BirdLife International, the world's largest conservation Partnership, has a programme called ‘Preventing Extinctions” whose entire focus is to prevent all bird species globally from going extinct! And we’re partnering with them (name a cooler duo, we dare you) and releasing the Criticals Collection.
THE CRITICALS COLLECTION
Our Criticals Collection is a range of four extremely endangered birds, thoughtfully rendered by our amazing artists. Sadly, these four species don’t all have organisations devoted specifically to their care and protection, so the best way to help is to donate to groups that have the largest reach and impact, as well as the ability to offer localised support. We want the funds to do the maximum amount of good for the largest range of endangered birds, and we’re confident Preventing Extinctions can pull that off.
As some of these birds have frighteningly small populations of between 80-250 worldwide, it’s possible that our designs may outnumber the birds themselves, a chilling but ultimately galvanising thought, and one that motivates us to do everything we can to see these populations grow, and eventually thrive.
With 30% of all profits going directly to ‘Preventing Extinctions’, we know we’re making a tangible, even life changing difference to endangered birds out there. We would be humbled to have you join us.
Here's the thing though. Even if you don’t order from our Criticals Collection, we encourage you to donate directly to BirdLife to help prevent extinctions; as they’re doing the selfless, invaluable work of keeping endangered species alive and attempting to increase their numbers. For these birds, the line between endangerment and extinction is paper thin, and help is urgently needed. We’re making it as easy as possible, putting a donate button up on our website that directs the funds straight to them!
Thank you for reading this, and for being a friend to the birds. We really hope you join us in supporting critically endangered birds, here, and around the world.
How does BirdLife International’s Preventing Extinctions programme make an impact?
Operational for over a century, BirdLife International is a global voice for nature. They work with 117 partners around the world, their tireless and far-reaching efforts cementing their legacy as a courageous advocate for the natural world. It’s a legacy of profound impact, one that you can now be a part of.
Our planet is in the midst its sixth mass extinction event, with climate change, habitat destruction and other human activities devastating the diversity of life on the planet. But while the crisis is undeniably urgent, there’s also hope. Humans may create huge challenges – but with enough support, dedication and resources, we can also reverse them.
There are some particularly shining examples in the bird world. Their flagship report, State of the World’s Birds, finds that 25 bird species have been rescued from the Critically Endangered category since 2000 thanks to conservation action. And that’s not counting the 21-32 bird species that would have vanished altogether without intervention.
Many of these recoveries were made possible with the help of BirdLife’s Preventing Extinction Programme. Underpinned by our science, they work by pairing ‘species champions’ – individuals or organisations that provide funding – with ‘species guardians’ – often BirdLife Partners – who can make the action happen on the ground. To date, the program has benefited at least 483 threatened bird species.
THE CRITICALS COLLECTION
How do we describe the spectacular kākāpō? Is it playful, intelligent and nocturnal with rich green feathers and a sweetly owlish face? Heck yes. The heaviest parrot in the world? You bet. The only parrot that can’t fly? Of course. Moves in a way that experts describe as a waddle, capable of living for up to 100 years, and world famous for an enthusiastic attempt to mate with the head of a BBC presenter? That’s our guy! The kākāpō is adored worldwide, but especially in its native New Zealand, where it is banned from competing in the Bird of the Year competition because it “wins too easily”. And now this beloved bird needs help, urgently. Due to introduced predators, habitat destruction and human impact, there are just 248 in existence. Conservation groups in NZ have made massive strides with the kākāpō breeding program, but the fight against extinction is only just beginning..
The gentle, inquisitive laysan duck is one of the rarest waterfowl in the world, native to Hawaii and with just a tiny population remaining. It’s the small things about this shy, critically endangered duck that capture your heart, the white comma around both eyes, the dappled brown plumage featuring one neat flash of brilliant teal beneath the wing. Nearly wiped out by extinction once before, this plucky bird deserves to flourish, and we know you agree!
The flight of the manumea - or Little Dodo - has been described as a ‘distant rolling thunder’ echoing through the forests of Samoa. The name translates to “tooth billed pigeon”, but only at first glance does it resemble a generic pigeon, gaze a little longer and you’ll see unique features with ancient roots. The large, bright red, extremely hooked bill immediately evokes a famously extinct relative and namesake: none other than the Dodo. The manumea is living history - the closest connection we have to a vanishing past. That only makes the rapid disappearance of the Manumea much more disturbing, currently experts believe there could be fewer than 70 left alive. This dwindling population is due to a combination of factors: introduced predators like cats and rats, rampant deforestation, and hunters frequently mistaking the endangered species for pigeons. By far the most endangered bird in our Criticals Collection, this is a link to history worth preserving.
First off, this beautiful wader is a lot smaller than you think. Found on the coastline of Southeast Asia, the Spoonbill Sandpiper is approximately the size of a small mouse! The bird affectionately known as “spoonie” is tiny and elegant, with a rust coloured head and neck that speckles and fades into a creamy white body, held up by two slender black legs. The star of the show, of course, is the bill the bird is named for, long and thin with a slightly star shaped “spoon” at the end. Massively endangered as a result of swiftly disappearing habitats, this tiny wader bird has a population of around 120, and without serious intervention, extinction is predicted to be within just ten years. The rapidly declining population of the spoonbill sandpiper made it an all too obvious choice for our criticals collection, shining a spotlight on this beautiful wader and the tragic and preventable fate it currently faces.
Buy purchasing a bird you’re helping prevent extinctions.
Like the Kaua’i ō’ō.
We want to tell you about the last song of the Kaua’i ‘ō’ō, a dainty and beautiful honeyeater native to Hawaii. In 1987, the once abundant population of the Kaua’i ō’ō had dwindled down to a single bird. A travelling ornithologist made an audio recording of that bird singing his courtship song to an empty forest, unaware that he was the last of his kind, calling out for company that would never arrive. The bird was declared extinct not long afterwards, due to environmental destruction and invasive predatory species.
2022 Criticals Collection
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