Species Guardians

Central to the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme is the appointment of Species Guardians who take the lead in conserving a globally threatened species in their country or region. Their primary role is to take and encourage greater conservation action for their species, working with national and local governments, other concerned individuals, organisations and local communities.

BirdLife will appoint and support organisations and individuals from across the world - leaders in their field willing to take on this new global challenge. In addition to undertaking conservation work themselves, the Species Guardians will also monitor the status of the species, track the implementation and effect of actions taken, and report back to BirdLife on these each year. (Below: Conservation of the Critically Endangered Northern Bald Ibis has been assisted by Species Guardians in Morocco, Turkey and Syria.)

Priority is given to the recruitment and support of Species Guardians for globally threatened species that are Critically Endangered and are most urgently in need of conservation attention. The actions required vary from species to species, depending on the threats they face, and typically include habitat and site conservation, control of hunting and trapping, tackling invasive alien species, education and awareness-raising, building local community and government support, as well as research and monitoring.

BirdLife provides these Species Guardians with technical support, training, and the investment of funds for conservation action, based on mutually agreed Species Guardian Project Plans. BirdLife also supports the Species Guardians through liaising with decision-makers and governments, and raising awareness through ensuring coverage of their conservation work by the world’s media.

BirdLife’s cutting-edge global science work ensures the Species Guardians operate with objectivity and adhere to clear global priorities, and that systems are in place to measure success. BirdLife’s unique global structure, including its regional programme offices and in-country Partners, ensure that Species Guardians are never far from technical help and moral and practical support.


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