This Is Why Birds Are Key to Conservation

Why National Geographic is launching the Year of the Bird

‘If you take care of the birds, you take care of most of the big problems in the world.’

That’s what Thomas Lovejoy says, and he should know. The famed biologist and conservationist, a National Geographic–funded scientist, helped introduce the term “biological diversity” to the world. And he long predicted that by early in the 21st century, the Earth would start losing a dramatic number of species—a prediction, unfortunately, that is turning out to be spot-on.

We were taken with Lovejoy’s quote about birds and decided to use it as a launchpad for what we’re calling the Year of the Bird. In this 12-month multiplatform exploration—with our partners from the National Audubon Society, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology—we’ll examine how our changing environment is leading to dramatic losses among bird species around the globe. And just as important, we’ll document what we can do about it.

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