BirdLife: The Magazine September 2017 - Page 2

EDITORIAL Together we are BirdLife International Partnership for nature and people P. 38 WHICH MIGRATORY BIRD FLIES THE HIGHEST? COMMON PROBLEMS A recurring theme this issue is one of common birds no longer being quite so common. In our cover story [p. 12] we address the threats faced by birds that use the Atlantic Americas Flyway — a popular migration route connecting the Canadian Arctic with South America. While affected species such as Canada Warbler and Red Knot are widespread and (still) numerous enough to be classified as Least Concern, their decreasing population trends should alarm us all. Left unchecked, they could easily go the same way as the Eskimo Curlew — a once abundant wader that today, thanks to overhunting and the near-total loss of its prairie habitats to agriculture, is a ghost that seemingly no longer haunts the flyway. The key is to identify the cause of decline swiftly. By the time we had discovered the once superabundant Yellow-breasted Bunting was on the slide, it was almost too late [p. 34]. And even if we are successful in tackling the threats, some species face a long road to recovery — see the slow progress being made to repopulate the Blue-throated Macaw in Bolivia, over three decades removed from the ban on trapping [p. 58]. All these cases illustrate the importance of BirdLife’s work in gathering population trend data on all species — and ensuring we keep common birds common. Enjoy the issue, Alex Dale, Editor CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation partnership. Through our unique local-to-global approach, we deliver high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people STEPH WINNARD Steph is BirdLife’s International Marine Project Officer. She leads on engagement with High Seas fisheries to reduce the numbers of threatened albatross being killed incidentally in longline fisheries. On page 60, she shares with us some of the stunning photography she’s taken during her travels. SEPTEMBER 2017 • BIRDLIFE SIMBA CHAN As Senior Conservation Officer of BirdLife International Asia Division based in Tokyo, Simba has been working on conservation issues of the flyways in Asia and wetland conservation since 1995. On page 34, he examines the frightening decline of the Yellow-breasted Bunting. CONNIE WARREN As BirdLife Australia’s Shorebird Conservation Coordinator, Connie leads on migratory shorebirds related advocacy and is also the Coordinator in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership’s Far Eastern Curlew Task Force. Read the latest on this Endangered wader’s status on page 30. 3