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Pink-headed duck still Alive?

Read more: Pink-headed duck still Alive?

Pink-headed duck Rhodonessa caryophyllacea was last seen in the wild in 1949. Since then it has never been sighted again in its former habitats which were mainly distributed in India but scarcely in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is thought that the bird has gone extinct due to habitat loss and hunting. However, it has not yet been declared extinct by IUCN or Birdlife International, who consider it critically endangered because some of its former habitats have not been yet completely surveyed. Therefore, ornithologists and birders are urgently requested to search for this species in remote wetlands in Northern Myanmar and Northeast India.

Record-breaking numbers of Spoon-billed Sandpipers in China

Read more: Record-breaking numbers of Spoon-billed Sandpipers in China

Record numbers of Spoon-billed Sandpiper, a Critically Endangered shorebird, have been discovered wintering in China, says conservationists from the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS, BirdLife International Partner in Hong Kong SAR, China).

On 30 December 2015, HKBWS volunteers Jonathan Martinez and John Allcock found at least 30 Spoon-billed Sandpipers near the Fucheng Estuary in south-west Guangdong Province, some of this land is located within the Zhanjiang Mangrove National Nature Reserve. This was the highest number ever found in China during winter, but the record did not even last a month

Read more: Record-breaking numbers of Spoon-billed Sandpipers in China

Is Europe on track to save global biodiversity by 2020?

Read more: Is Europe on track to save global biodiversity by 2020?

In 2010, the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 – which commits the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Member States to take action on all key drivers of biodiversity loss and degradation of ecosystem services – was adopted and endorsed by all the stakeholders. At this halfway point to 2020, BirdLife International is assessing the progress of the EU. The six targets of the strategy each address a different cause of biodiversity loss: lack of implementation of existing legislation, deterioration and loss of ecosystems, unsustainable agriculture, unsustainable fisheries, invasive alien species and the ecological footprint of the EU on the rest of the world. The objective for 2020 is to halt the loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services in the EU and restore them, as well as stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss. Our conclusion is that we are far from achieving this.

Want to know the six targets?
Check out the Birdlife International website.

How the Nordics can set precedence for fisheries management in the EU

Read more: How the Nordics can set precedence for fisheries management in the EU

EU decision makers are in the middle of a debate on how to manage Baltic commercial fish stocks (cod, herring, and sprat) and the impact of fishing activities on the wider environment – including the incidental catch of seabirds, known as seabird bycatch. But how can this be achieved concretely in the Baltic? And why are the decisions taken for the Baltic region so important for the rest of European countries?

Seabird bycatch is a threat to the survival of seabirds. Fishermen often congregate in the same area where seabirds feed. While diving for food, seabirds get entangled in fishermen nets or caught in fishing hooks and drown. BirdLife International has been working with fishermen around the world to solve this problem – having had very good success in fisheries management off the Namibian coast and the Uruguayan fishing fleet, just to name a few. Rightly so, mitigation of seabird bycatch can be easily achieved through good fisheries management.

Seabirds in the Baltic that caught in fishing nets

Velvet Scoter, Eider Duck, and Long-tailed Duck are some of the seabirds found in the Baltic that are caught in fishing nets – mainly those fishermen trying to catch cod and herring. Studies suggest that just in the Baltic and North Sea alone, around 200,000 of seabirds are caught per year. This is having a detrimental impact on seabird populations.

In 2012, the European Commission released an action plan to combat the problem of the incidental catch of seabirds. In 2013, the EU adopted a Common Fisheries Policy that set as an objective to minimize the impact of fisheries to the wider environment by implementing an ecosystem based approach to fisheries. These plans should give direction to what fishermen in the region need to do to ensure fish stocks are restored and maintained above levels capable of producing the maximum sustainable yield. Furthermore, they aim to minimise the impact of fisheries to other non-target species (including fish and non-fish bycatch). These directions include catch limits that Member States negotiate on a yearly basis, technical rules needed to kick in a safeguard for fish stocks and other non-target species (such as seabirds), rules of the landing obligation setting limits to discarding of fish at sea.

The Baltic management plan, as it is called, will set a precedent for all other regional sea plans. On the 30th of March, Members of the Fisheries Committee in the European Parliament will vote to decide just that. Until then, they are negotiating how to amend the Commission’s vague proposal.

Some questions remain. In 2015, will the EU do what it set out to do in previous years starting with the Baltic? Will the EU be left behind at the international scene or step up its game? Will it show that it can also manage its fisheries and the impact to the wider environment?

Hundreds of important sites for nature threatened with destruction

Read more: Hundreds of important sites for nature threatened with destruction

More than 350 of the planet’s most important sites for nature are threatened with being lost forever according to a new report by BirdLife International.

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are places of international significance for the conservation of the world’s birds and other nature, with over twelve thousand having been identified worldwide. IBAs are the largest and most comprehensive global network of important sites for nature conservation. Now, 356 of these – known as ‘IBAs in Danger’ – have been identified in 122 countries and territories as being in imminent danger of being lost. About half of these are legally protected, which highlights the importance of improving the management effectiveness of protected areas.


Read more: Hundreds of important sites for nature threatened with destruction

Unravelling mysteries for conservation of birds in São Tomé e Príncipe

Read more: Unravelling mysteries for conservation of birds in São Tomé e Príncipe

Quite a number of knowledge gaps have continued to hinder conservation efforts directed towards the threatened birds of SãoTomé e Príncipe. Such has been the case for the critically endangered Dwarf Ibis (Bostrychia bocagei), only found on SãoTomé island. Among others, the breeding biology of this bird has remained poorly described thus making it difficult to decide on conservation interventions required duringat this crucial stage in its life cycle.

Read more: Unravelling mysteries for conservation of birds in São Tomé e Príncipe

Birdlife (Adv)

BirdLife Australia's new wetland bird app! 

This little gem includes drawings and photographs, detailed descriptions, distribution maps, conservation status and calls for the 63 non-passerinespecies you’re likely to encounter at the near-coastal and inland wetlands of south-eastern Australia. Get these birds in your pocket for free by visiting the iTunes store. We hope to make the app available on android later this year too... 

Download from App Store


Birdlife Wetland Bird Field Guide


My Waterfowl

My Waterfowl offers an interactive website with information about the aviculture of ornamental waterfowl with the best pictures, videos and sounds. Help us to improve or expand the Bird Guide. Place ads on Birdmarket, share your experiences to My Waterfowl and through your social channels. Simply Use your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account to log in.

Enyo My Waterfowl web.