Why birds matter

Why birds matter

Birds are mesmerizing creatures. From the tiniest of songbirds to the most magnificent of raptors, birds evoke wonder and inspiration and connect us to the rhythm of the natural world in a way that perhaps no other living thing can.

More importantly, birds are a vital part of nature’s balance. Together with millions of other species, birds make up the web of life that supports all life on earth, including ours. This magnificent infrastructure is called biodiversity. Biodiversity is incredibly complex but also vital, with organisms linked up in interdependent ecosystems.

The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the stable climate we all rely on, all depend, ultimately, on biodiversity. Without it, nature and ecosystems suffer and livelihoods are at stake. Losing biodiversity undermines and weakens nature and the ecosystem services human wellbeing and society is totally dependent on, simple as that.

Safeguarding birds requires the safeguarding of habitats, which in turn helps safeguard nature and biodiversity – the key to our planet’s resilience and our own.


Birds play an essential role in the functioning of ecosystems, in a way that directly impacts human health, the economy and food production - as well as the millions of other species that call this planet their home.

Here's how...

Birds control pests

Birds can eat up to 400-500 million tons of insects a year and can even provide solutions for the control of rodent populations naturally.

Birds pollinate plants

Birds' role as pollinators benefits us directly - around 5% of the plants humans use for food or medicine are pollinated by birds.

Birds are nature's clean-up crew

Scavengers such as vultures provide critically important ecosystem services by cleaning up after death and acting as natural carcass recyclers.

Birds spread seeds

Birds bring seeds and therefore plants back to ecosystems that have been destroyed, and even carry plants across the sea to new land masses. Birds have helped to shape the plant life we see around us - and around the world.

Birds transform entire landscapes

Without birds, many of our ecosystems, such as forests, marshes and grasslands, may not exist. Birds maintain the delicate balance between plant and herbivore, predator and prey.

Birds keep coral reefs alive

Birds, especially seabirds, play a key role in cycling nutrients and helping to fertilise marine ecosystems such as coral reefs.

Birds inspire science

Birds are the messengers that tell us about the health of the planet. Birds are widespread and respond quickly to changes in the environment. Because of this, they can act as our early-warning system for pressing concerns such as the looming climate crisis.

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