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Programme of Work

BirdLife aims to conserve the diversity and distribution of wild bird species worldwide as an integral part of nature, by preventing extinctions, improving the status of Globally Threatened Birds, and keeping common birds common. Through its Global Species Programme, BirdLife collates and analyses information on all the world’s birds in order to set priorities for action, through species-specific initiatives, safeguarding of sites, and campaigns and policy interventions.

BirdLife collates information from a global network of experts and collaborating organisations and from publications and unpublished sources to assess each species' extinction risk, using the categories and criteria of the IUCN Red List.  The IUCN Red List of threatened species is widely considered to be the most objective and authoritative system for classifying species in terms of the risk of extinction. Information on a taxon's population size, population trends and range size are applied to standard quantitative criteria to determine its IUCN Red List Category (Extinct, Extinct in the Wild, Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, Near Threatened or Least Concern).  Additional information on ecology and habitat preferences, threats and conservation action are also collated and assessed as part of the process.

Seabirds, particularly albatrosses, are becoming increasingly threatened and at a faster rate globally than all other species-groups of birds; they face a wide variety of threats.  Many declines are closely linked to the expansion of commercial long-line fisheries in seabird feeding areas, combined with the impacts of invasive alien species at nesting colonies.  The world’s oceans are open and dynamic systems that pose few physical barriers to the dispersal and migration of many seabirds, and conservation issues need to be addressed globally, which led BirdLife International to establish a Global Seabird Conservation Programme in 1997.

Information on Globally Threatened Birds is used to focus global conservation efforts and to guide BirdLife's priorities for action. It is therefore essential that data on Globally Threatened Birds are kept up-to-date and regularly reviewed and revised. If you have new updates or corrections to information on any of the species factsheets, please email us. Contributors who supply information that is used will be explicitly acknowledged.

You can see which species are currently having their IUCN Red List category actively reviewed (for example, because of new information on population or range size and trends, or threats) by visiting the Globally Threatened Bird Forums, where you can contribute relevant information or comment.