published on 20 October 2021 in life

European Red List of birds published

BirdLife International, together with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has published the European Red List of Birds 2021, which examines the regional extinction risk for 544 bird species in more than 50 countries and territories in Europe, following the IUCN Red List categories and criteria applied at regional level. Of the 544 bird species recorded in Europe, 71 are threatened and another 34 are near-threatened: adding these two categories together, 19% (i.e. about one in five) are threatened with extinction. The data were collected by thousands of experts and volunteers from all over Europe. This is the fourth assessment carried out by BirdLife International, with previous editions published in 1994, 2004 and 2015.

Compared to the previous 2015 list, 84 bird species have changed status: 37 to a higher extinction risk category, while 47 are now in a lower category. The most threatened and rapidly declining groups of birds in Europe include seabirds, wildfowl, waders and raptors. Marine habitats, as well as farmland, wetlands and grasslands are the habitats with the most threatened and/or declining species. Large-scale land-use changes, intensification of agricultural practices, infrastructure development, over-exploitation of marine resources, pollution of waterways and unsustainable but commonly adopted forestry practices are the main factors threatening European birds. Added to these are the impact of climate change.

To find out more: European Red List of Birds

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