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British Birders Support International Conservation

Pacific parrots receive record funds from Birdwatching Fair

Parrots in the Pacific, many of which are facing considerable threats, have been handed a significant lifeline with news that the British Birdwatching Fair has raised record amounts towards their conservation. At a ceremony today at the headquarters of the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK), a cheque for £215,000 (421,000 USD) was handed to BirdLife International from the organisers of the British Birdwatching Fair.

Accepting the cheque on behalf of BirdLife International was Dr Michael Rands, Chief Executive: "The British Birdwatching Fair has been incredibly important in helping us achieve a great deal towards bird conservation across the world. BirdLife International would like to express thanks to the British Birdwatching Fair and the thousands of people who visited last year and gave so generously.” he said.

The annual three-day event is held at Rutland Water and is jointly promoted by the RSPB and Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. Almost 19,000 people attended the event in August 2006.“It was another record-breaking year for the British Birdwatching Fair.” said Tim Appleton, co-organiser of the event. “The fair continues to be a great day out for anyone with an interest in the countryside and wildlife and by coming along people are contributing to conservation on a global scale. It’s a fantastic achievement.”

Over its eighteen year history, donations now total £1.7 million. These donations have supported and contributed toward many of BirdLife’s global achievements. In past years, the British Birdwatching Fair has helped BirdLife conserve Gurney’s Pitta in South-east Asia, establish a BirdLife Partner in Brazil, supported projects saving crucial habitat in Sumatra and Cuba and contributed to the global ‘Save the Albatross’ campaign. This year’s donation from the British Birdwatching Fair will contribute towards BirdLife’s work in the Pacific Islands. Pacific Parrots are becoming extinct at a higher rate than anyway else in the world, mainly due to invasive alien species like cats and black rats. The donation will help BirdLife strengthen and raise capacity of BirdLife Partners in the Pacific; providing a basis to halt parrot declines and protecting habitats through the Important Bird Areas (IBA) Programme.

“We are truly delighted to be handing over such a significant sum of money to help conservation efforts on the other side of the world. The British Birdwatching Fair continues to initiate and support real progress for bird conservation.” said Martin Davies of the RSPB and co-organiser of the event, who presented today’s cheque to BirdLife. “We look forward to raising even more money next year to help Critically Endangered birds across the world.”

4th July 2014