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BirdLife Protects

French Overseas Departments’ Biodiversity

BirdLife International and LPO (BirdLife in France), in cooperation with local conservation organisations, have just published Un patrimoine, un atout – Oiseaux des departements d’outre-mer, presenting the status of birds and biodiversity in the French overseas departments, and focusing on their added values and the threats they are facing.

"More than ever it is now urgent to mobilise all the available legal, technical and financial tools at our disposal to halt the biodiversity decline both in Europe and in France", commented Angelo Caserta, Regional Director of BirdLife International European Division.

Birds represent a unique asset to develop eco-tourism activities and boost local economies. Within the publication, some concrete financial and economic measures are also proposed in order to better preserve the biodiversity in those territories. For instance, including their species and habitats in the EU Birds and Habitats Directive will be essential to be in line with the European goals of halting the biodiversity loss and fighting against climate change. "The five overseas French departments which are part of the EU are highly concerned with bird conservation, because they hold close to 900 bird species, a significant proportion of French species", commented Bernard Deceuninck, Program coordinator at LPO.

"Martinique, Guadeloupe and Reunion are also classified by BirdLife as Endemic Bird Areas. They have unique assemblages of breeding endemic birds which are not found anywhere else in the world", concluded Mr Deceuninck.

In Critically Endangered Birds: a global audit, its recent publication, BirdLife has identified ten priority actions to save Critically Endangered birds from extinction, and calls on governments and agencies to implement them urgently. Tackling multiple threats on French and UK Overseas Territories is one of them.

Download Un patrimoine, un atout – Oiseaux des departements d’outre-mer here: http://www.birdlife.org/eu/pdfs/un_patrimoine_un_atout_2010.pdf

Download: Critically Endangered Birds: a global audit here: http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2008/09/Complete_Critical Birds_superlowres.pdf

4th July 2014