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The Red List Index for internationally traded bird species shows their deterioration in status

Yellow-crested Cockatoo, © Roland Seitre

One third (3,337) of living bird species have been recorded as traded internationally for the pet trade and other purposes. Among these species, factors related to international trade (unsustainable levels or successful control or management of such trade) have caused an overall deterioration in the status of these species. However, factors other than international trade are more significant drivers of their declines.


The Red List Index for internationally traded bird species 1988–2004

Red List Index (RLI) for internationally traded species, showing trends driven by international trade (or its control and management) compared to trends driven by other factors combined (e.g. habitat loss), for the proportion of species expected to remain extant in the near future without additional conservation action; n=3,736 non-Data Deficient species. Butchart (2008).

One third (3,337) of living bird species have been recorded as traded internationally, all for the pet trade, although some are internationally traded for additional purposes (Butchart 2008). Of these species, 266 are considered globally threatened (8% of those internationally traded), with unsustainable exploitation implicated as a threat for over half of these (152; BirdLife International 2008). Taking all internationally traded species, factors related to international trade (unsustainable levels or successful control or management of such trade) have caused an overall deterioration in their extinction risk. Although some species have improved in status through successful control of unsustainable trapping and trade and/or improved harvest and trade management (e.g. Lear’s Macaw Anodorhynchus leari, Imperial Amazon Amazona imperialis), these improvements have been outweighed by the number of species that have deteriorated in status owing to inadequate trade management or implementation of trade controls (e.g. Saker Falcon Falco cherrug, Yellow-crested Cockatoo Cacatua sulphurea). Hence the Red List Index showing trends driven by international trade or its management and control also shows a negative slope (see figure). However, this is outweighed by trends driven by factors other than international trade (Butchart 2008).



Related Case Studies in other sections

Related Species

References

BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008. CD-ROM. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.
 
Butchart, S. H. M. (2008) Red List Indices to measure the sustainability of species use and impacts of invasive alien species. Bird Conserv. Int. 18 (suppl.) 245–262.

Compiled 2008

Recommended Citation:
BirdLife International (2008) The Red List Index for internationally traded bird species shows their deterioration in status. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: http://birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/164. Checked: 31/10/2014