15. Bird conservation in tropical ecosystems

challenges and opportunities

  1. David W. Macdonald4 and
  2. Katherine J. Willis5
  1. Joseph A. Tobias1,
  2. Çağan H. Şekercioğlu2 and
  3. F. Hernan Vargas3

Published Online: 25 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118520178.ch15

Key Topics in Conservation Biology 2

Key Topics in Conservation Biology 2

How to Cite

Tobias, J. A., Şekercioğlu, Ç. H. and Vargas, F. H. (2013) Bird conservation in tropical ecosystems, in Key Topics in Conservation Biology 2 (eds D. W. Macdonald and K. J. Willis), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118520178.ch15

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, Recanati-Kaplan Centre, Tubney House, University of Oxford, UK

  2. 5

    Biodiversity Institute, Oxford Martin School, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

  2. 2

    Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

  3. 3

    Peregrine Fund, Boise, ID, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658765

Online ISBN: 9781118520178



  • bird conservation;
  • extinction risk;
  • threats;
  • tropical birds;
  • tropical ecosystems;
  • tropical species


Bird conservation is a global mission but most of the key battles are being played out in the tropics. This chapter summarizes the key attributes of tropical ecosystems and implications for bird conservation. First, it outlines threats to key tropical environments. Then it argues that tropical species often differ from their temperate-zone counterparts in ways that pose novel challenges for conservation. The chapter concludes that sustainable conservation of tropical birds and the ecosystem services they provide will be achieved only if attention is focused on biotic processes and interactions operating at larger spatial and temporal scales. The strategies proposed by the authors have broad relevance for the management of tropical diversity because birds have long been viewed as a model system for assessing conservation priorities, and act as flagships for numerous conservation programmes.