The Birdfair/RSPB Research Fund for Endangered Birds

RSPB awards small grants to help the world's rarest birds.

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Around 600 bird species are listed as globally Endangered or Critically Endangered.

These are the rarest and most threatened species on the planet. Yet some of them are so poorly known that it is difficult to know what to do to help them. Some of them have not even been seen for many years. This fund allows researchers working in their own countries to undertake basic research on these species to generate the knowledge we need to design conservation actions.


  • To support local ornithologists to undertake research on the world's most threatened birds.
  • To publicise their findings.
  • To raise the capacity of researchers in developing countries.


  • Since 2001, the scheme has funded 145 projects, around a quarter of all those submitted to the scheme.
  • By seeking co-funding with other organisation, we have been able to fund projects to a total value of more than £215,000.
  • In 2005, the UK Birdfair joined the scheme, allowing us to fund even more projects each year.
  • The scheme is one of very few which focuses funding on the world's most threatened species.


The many significant successes of the scheme include:
  • The rediscovery of Chinese crested tern in Fujian, China. 
  • The discovery of important staging posts of sociable lapwings in Syria. 
  • The discovery of new sites for the fringe-backed fire-eye in Brazil. 
  • The recovery of the tiny remaining population of the pale-headed brush-finch in Ecuador.
  • The rediscovery of the Banggai crow in Indonesia.
  • Identification of key wintering sites for the scaly-sided merganser in China.



  • UK Birdfair
We always receive far more applications than we can ever fund. If you would like to sponsor a project, please contact Toby Galligan.


Coast on a stormy day

Dr Toby Galligan

Senior Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science
Tagged with: Country: UK Country: International Project status: Ongoing Project types: Research