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Threatened birds occur in nearly all countries and territories

Egyptian Vulture, © Juan M. Simon

Nearly all (99%) countries and territories worldwide support at least one globally threatened bird. Of the 1,313 threatened bird species 788 (60%) are confined to just one country or territory, but conversely 184 species have been found in five or more countries; therefore, conservation of the world’s birds requires both national priority setting and international cooperation.

Density map of globally threatened birds across the world

Analysis of data held in BirdLife’s World Bird Database (2008)

Nearly all countries and territories of the world (242, or 99%) hold one or more globally threatened bird species (i.e. a species falling within the categories of Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List), which are therefore national priorities for conservation action. Some regions and countries stand out as having particularly high densities of threatened species, for example, the tropical Andes, Atlantic Forests of Brazil, the eastern Himalayas, eastern Madagascar, and the archipelagos of South-East Asia. In total, 788 threatened birds (60%) have ranges confined to just one country, and 82 countries (33%) have one or more such ‘endemic’ threatened bird, with certain countries being particularly important for these endemics. Conversely, the ranges of some threatened birds may cross the borders of several countries: Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus tops the list, occurring regularly in 82 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa. In total, 22 species have ranges that encompass 30 or more countries, and 184 species are recorded from five or more countries. Hence the political responsibility for saving threatened species rests both nationally and, as a shared effort, internationally.

Related Species


BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008. CD-ROM. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.

Compiled 2004, updated 2008, 2011, 2012

Recommended Citation:
BirdLife International (2012) Threatened birds occur in nearly all countries and territories. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: Checked: 23/10/2016