Advocacy for songbirds at the CITES CoP19

Yesterday, with the EAZA Silent Forest Group and partners*, we hosted CITES delegates at an event on songbird conservation, moderated by Dalia Conde of Species360 and our own Danny de Man. Welcoming the audience of official delegations, NGOs and researchers, EAZA Chair Endre Papp underlined the importance of protecting songbirds from unsustainable and illegal trade.
Before CITES CoP19 ends tomorrow, it is hoped to approve stronger regulation for two songbirds (white-rumped shama and straw-headed bulbul) and renew its commitment to protecting more species. Just over 1% of songbirds are CITES listed, and actions promised at previous CoP in 2018 failed to gain momentum.
Our side event was an initiative to inject fresh energy into the topic. What is needed is a full picture of the scale of the trade, so that the conservation community – and governments that decide on CITES listings – can undertake the right protection efforts.
The session highlighted the need for more research and more data collection, which will allow for stronger evidence-based decisions in the future, especially in the CITES context.
© Tomasz Rusek, EAZA