Orange-breasted Waxbill. Photo Chris Krog
SAVE AFRICA'S SMALLEST FINCH
Not yet listed as threatened unexpected declines
in the Orange-breasted Waxbill (Amandava subflava) has resulted
in the urgent need for the species to be researched. The species
has now been selected as the key sentinel bird for 8 threatened
South African wetland bird species and 84 common bird species. The
8 Red listed species, ranging from Near Threatened to Critically
Endangered, plus all 84 common species that use a similar habitat
to the Orange-breasted Waxbill , will all benefit from the BirdLife
South Africa and Rare Finch Conservation Group research collaboration.
Click on SAVE AFRICA'S SMALLEST FINCH for the detailed news release.
The Rare Finch Conservation Group
(RFCG) was founded in August 2005 by a group of South African and
Australian finch enthusiasts who each wish to play a meaningful
role in ensuring the ongoing survival in the wild of the world's
threatened finch species. The founding RFCG members are all experienced
in the field of finch husbandry and wish to utilise these skills
to the benefit of wild finches.
For upto the minute RFCG information
visit our Blog site on http://rarefinch.wordpress.com
Which birds are popularly known and grouped as finches?
Birds from the families Cardinalidae (cardinals), Fringillidae
(finches), Estrildidae (waxbills), Emberizidae (buntings),
Passeridae (sparrows), Ploceidae (weavers and widowbirds)
and Viduadae (whydahs and indigo finches) are popularly referred
to as finches. These birds are coming under increasing pressure
in the wild, mainly due to the ongoing loss of suitable habitat
and to a lesser extent the trapping of wild birds for the caged
bird and scientific research markets. Sadly these minute birds are
not high-profile and marketable enough to attract sufficient conservation
funding and so many finch populations are simply sliding downhill
while conservation entities focus their limited resources on issues
like climate change, tigers and gorillas. Many of the world's finches
are now under some form of immediate or medium-term threat of extinction
while others are heading that way, and yet there is no cohesive
plan of action to reverse that trend.
Ongoing habitat loss is something that is in the hands of governments,
corporates and private landowners and hopefully humankind will reverse
that process during the next decade. In the meantime though the
RFCG is working away at aspects of finch conservation that can be
addressed at a more practical level.
Visitors to this site are encouraged to look at the rarefinch listing
page and find out more about the 77
finch species that have been classified as threatened by Birdlife