This fifth edition of State of the World’s Birds summarises what birds
tell us about the state of nature, the pressures upon it, and the solutions in place and needed. It focuses on birds because they are an excellent barometer
for planetary health. Being widely distributed, relatively easy to survey,
and responsive to environmental change, birds are useful biodiversity
indicators, revealing wider trends in natural ecosystems. Owing to the
cultural significance and enduring popularity of birds, there is an army of birdwatchers collecting data on them. BirdLife began documenting the status of birds and the threats to them exactly 100 years ago. Birds are therefore better known than any comparable group of organisms. This wealth of information paints a deeply concerning picture. One in eight bird species is threatened
with extinction, and the status of the world’s birds continues to deteriorate: species are moving ever faster towards extinction.