BirdLife International (formerly the International Council for Bird Preservation) is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. It is the world's largest partnership of conservation organisations, with over 120 partner organisations.
It has a membership of more than 2.5 million people and partner organizations in more than 100 countries. Major partners include Britain’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Wild Bird Society of Japan, and the U.S. National Audubon Society. The group’s headquarters are located in Cambridge, UK.
BirdLife International’s priorities include preventing extinction of bird species, identifying and safeguarding important sites for birds, maintaining and restoring key bird habitats, and empowering conservationists worldwide. Guided by a global council, member organizations implement the group’s strategies on local, regional, and national levels.
BirdLife International has identified 7,500 important bird areas and manages more than 2,500,000 million acres (1,000,000 hectares) of wildlife habitat. As the official listing authority for birds for the World Conservation Union’s Red List of threatened species, BirdLife International has identified more than 1,000 bird species threatened with extinction and has developed conservation strategies for each of them.
BirdLife International is a worldwide alliance of nongovernmental organizations that promotes the conservation of birds and their habitats. BirdLife International was founded in 1922 as the International Council for Bird Preservation by American ornithologists T. Gilbert Pearson and Jean Theodore Delacour under the name International Committee for Bird Protection. The group was renamed International Committee for Bird Preservation in 1928, International Council for Bird Preservation in 1960, and BirdLife International in 1994. It changed its name in 1993 to "BirdLife International".
BirdLife International has conservation work programmes in the following parts of the world, which it describes as "regions" - the Americas, Asia, Europe and Central Asia], the Middle East] and the Pacific.
There are about 120 regional partners of BirdLife International, including:
Within each of these regions, BirdLife has nine programmes - some are well established, others are more recent and responding to specific conservation issues. In addition to the regional programmes, there are "global" programmes, not specific to a region. Together these programmes help the partnership to focus and work on common priorities. They provide the framework for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating conservation work. BirdLife programmes are:
BirdLife International publishes a quarterly magazine, BirdLife - The Magazine, which contains recent news and authoritative articles about birds, their habitats, and their conservation around the world.
BirdLife International is the official Red List authority for birds, for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. As of 2015, BirdLife has established that 1,375 bird species (13% of the total, or roughly one in eight) are threatened with extinction (in the categories of critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable).