Monday, March 08, 2010

ENV: Photographing the World's Rarest Birds

The World's Rarest Birds through the lens 08-03-2010

A new international photo competition covering the world's 623 most threatened birds has just been launched. This is a follow-up to the photo competitions that led to the production of the highly acclaimed Rare Birds Yearbooks 2008 and 2009.

The photos submitted for the new competition will feature in a landmark publication – The World's Rarest Birds – which will be produced by the not-for-profit publisher WILDGuides next year. The proceeds will be donated to BirdLife International's Preventing Extinctions Programme, as was the case with the Rare Birds Yearbooks.

The World's Rarest Birds will be a lavishly illustrated hardback book, covering the 362 species categorised as Endangered and 65 that are Data Deficient, as well as the 192 Critically Endangered species and the four species that are Extinct in the Wild and only now exist in captivity. It will be a comprehensive directory of the world's most threatened bird species and include specially written feature articles on the key bird conservation issues in each of the world’s regions.

Orange-bellied Parrot

"Over the past two years we have received a lot of constructive feedback from our readers about how they would like to see Rare Birds Yearbook develop", said editor Erik Hirschfeld. "The World's Rarest Birds incorporates the best of these enhancements while still supporting conservation. Our prime concern continues to be helping to prevent the extinction of the most threatened birds in the world by raising funds and promoting awareness."

"It seems very fitting that The World’s Rarest initiative has been launched in 2010 – the year proclaimed by The United Nations as the International Year of Biodiversity" —Ade Long, BirdLife International

All photographs submitted for The World's Rarest Birds photo competition will be entered into a prestigious international photographic competition, with some excellent prizes generously provided by the key sponsors Minox and Lynx Edicions. Anyone who has photos of any of the 623 species on the list is encouraged to enter the competition at The closing date is 31 August 2010.

"We are delighted to be involved in working with Erik Hirschfeld and BirdLife in producing The World's Rarest Birds", said Andy Swash, Managing Director of WILDGuides. "Although it will be a beautiful book, its key message is poignant – one in eight of the world's bird species being threatened with extinction. This is a great concern to many and I just hope that the production of The World's Rarest Birds will help to raise awareness and make some contribution to their conservation."

Ade Long, BirdLife's Head of Communications said, "It seems very fitting that The World’s Rarest initiative has been launched in 2010 – the year proclaimed by The United Nations as the International Year of Biodiversity. The Rare Birds Yearbook was a fantastic success and I have no doubt that The World’s Rarest Birds will build on it and be even more influential. Who better to take up this photo challenge than the BirdLife Partnership and our millions of supporters?

For more information on The World's Rarest Birds, the photo competition, and lists of the species that are Extinct in the Wild, Critically Endangered, Endangered and Data Deficient, visit:

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