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Azores Bullfinch

Azores Bullfinch Save Them All: The Azores Bullfinch is today’s Endangered All-Star, considered the most critically endangered passerine—or perching bird—in the world. With a population estimated at 775 in 2008, the Azores Bullfinch is endemic to São Miguel Island in the Azores, an island archipelago in the North Atlantic and occupies little more than two square miles of one hillside. The species was once common and considered a pest in fruit orchards, but after 1920, with widespread clearing of local laurel forest and the resultant takeover of much of the island by invasive species, the bird was driven at one point to as few as 30-40 pairs. BirdLife International enlisted the Bullfinch in its Preventing Extinctions Program, which has sought “Species Champions” for all 189 critically endangered birds, to fund conservation work. For the Azores Bullfinch, BirdWatch Magazine stepped in as sponsor and so far has raised nearly 52,000 pounds (approximately $81,000.) The money is being spent on clearing invasive species, planting appropriate native food plants for the bird, and producing educational materials for local schools. Ecotourism services are also being improved, for birders who want to visit the area. To donate to this effort, check out the BirdWatch JustGiving site.
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