Song Bird Crisis Summit

Song Bird Crisis Summit

Concern towards these little beings

From 19 to 21 February 2017, approximately 60 experts from all over the world came for the second Asian Songbird Trade Crisis Summit at Jurong Bird Park, Singapore. Organised by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, the summit’s primary objective was to discuss the progress and implementation of the strategy for the conservation of endangered songbirds in Southeast Asia.

What can be done

Participants discussed a variety of future actions ranging from advocating the closure of illegal markets, motivating enforcement actions, breeding highly threatened species in captivity for eventual release in the wild, to the need for further research and monitoring of trade and wild populations. Opportunities to raise global awareness of this crisis through zoo campaigns were also discussed at length.

Other priority action areas included improving knowledge on wild populations, community-based interventions to reduce poaching and demand for wild birds, supporting law enforcement along the trade chain, and developing a plan for the rehabilitation and release of confiscated birds.

The summit also identified the need to strongly encourage the government of Indonesia to take immediate action and close down the markets facilitating the illegal and unsustainable trade of songbirds. It is also vital that the governments of other Southeast Asian nations take stronger measures to protect songbirds from unsustainable over-exploitation, and shut down pet shops and markets facilitating illegal trade.


Together with other global experts, WRS played a key role in driving the formation of the Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group – a natural progression from the first Songbird Trade Crisis Summits in 2015 – and will implement the conservation strategy and action plans discussed at these important meetings. This is also the first time a local institution is hosting a specialist group under the IUCN SSC.