There are 10,426 species of birds worldwide. More than 1,100 are threatened. In the last 200 years, due to human activities, 74 species have already been extinct, while many species are threatened by extinction. Out of the 526 species of birds, registered in Europe so far, 226 species or 43% do not have a bright future. Among them, 35 species are globally threatened and with high risk of extinction.
In Montenegro, there are about 342 species registered, with more than 40% of those that do not have satisfactory status. In 2006, 297 species have been permanently protected. There are more than enough reasons for concern. We enable survival for many endangered species by preserving their habitats. It is also the best way of protecting them.
BirdLife International seeks to preserve bird habitats by applying the world program for protection called the Area of International Importance for the Stay of Birds or popular IBA (Important Bird Areas), under which Montenegro is included.
IBA Program (Area of International Importance for the Stay of Birds) is a world initiative, which aims to identify and create the network of key areas for the protection of birds worldwide. It includes research of natural areas, habitat management, monitoring, advocacy, education, national and international legal protection.
During the nineties, the IBA areas were the key stone of the protection of European biodiversity. Since the establishment of the first pan-European IBA inventory in 1989, all of Europe's steps towards the protection of nature have been precisely towards creating the network of these important habitats. The IBA has been used by nature lovers, ornithologists, government and non-government organisations and politicians as the basis for the legal protection of nature.
The list from 1989 proved to be the key scientific resource for the protection of the area and today at least 60% of the IBA is in some way protected through national legislation.
In 2000, the BirdLife International expanded the European IBA Inventory and it now contains over 5000 IBA habitats, covering 7% of Europe. In times when human needs for land and sea are more intensified, and when European landscapes are being destroyed due to the economic development, it is necessary that the protection of nature becomes the subject of the fundamental consideration during the decision-making process. IBA program must still be the basis of protection of nature and of European biodiversity.