Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) Bali Bird Park by Simon Bruslund

New publication: A standardized dataset for conservation prioritization of songbirds to support CITES

Songbirds are the largest order of birds with over 6000 extant species described. Their colourful plumage and unique singing abilities have made songbirds major targets for the international pet trade. Many of these species are being traded illegally and are now of conservation concern.

In the paper, “A standardized dataset for conservation prioritization of songbirds to support CITES” published in Data in Brief, the authors collected and synthesized information on 6659 songbirds from six knowledge categories: Conventions and Treaties, Human Use, Extinction Risk, Management Opportunities, Biological Information, and Intrinsic Values. Species360 zoo holdings data is part of the management opportunities category for ex-situ management information.

The study was authored by ERASMUS student Jacqueline Jürgens from the University of Hamburg, who is currently doing her exchange with the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and supervised by Species360 Director of Science, Prof. Dalia Conde. Authors also include Simon Bruslund, Head of Conservation at Birdpark Marlow and 10 coauthors including Conservation Science Alliance members, Dr. Johanna Staerk and Rikke Øgelund Nielsen.

In the paper the authors present, for the first time, the complete Songbirds in Trade Database (SiTDB), a trade database curated by taxon expert S. Bruslund based on expert knowledge, literature review, market surveys and sale announcements.


Figure 1. Venn diagram showing the number of species in each trade database and their overlap. To make the data sets comparable only data for live, commercially traded individuals since 2006 were used for the CITES Trade Database (CITES TDB) and the Law Enforcement Management Information System (LEMIS). For the TRAFFIC Wildlife Trade Information System (TRAFFIC International), the Songbirds in Trade Database (SiTDB International) and IUCN Red List (IUCN) only data referring to international trade entries were considered. This figure was generated using the Bioinformatics & Evolutionary Genomics webtool: (

The data enable a broad spectrum of analyses and will be useful to scientists for further research and to policymakers, zoos and other conservation stakeholders for future prioritization decisions.

Moreover the Conservation Science Alliance is closely working with Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to support thethe implementation of Decision, 18.256 on Songbird trade and conservation management, taken at the 18th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties, Geneva, 2019. The work has been published as an information document for the CITES Animals Committee AC31. Read the full CITES document here.

Read the full paper here

Photo: Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) Bali Bird Park by Simon Bruslund


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