Promoting only sustainable use of Red Siskins

Did you know that breeders from around the world have joined efforts to save the Red Siskin?

A top priority of the Red Siskin Initiative is understanding and mitigating key threats to the species, including illicit harvest and trafficking.  Years of research have greatly increased our understanding of how unsustainable harvesting is structured, who is involved, and what their socio-economic motivations are. Our results identified that, among the actors involved, aviculturists have the knowledge and interest in birds that make them great influencers for promoting and spreading good practices for responsible and safe captive breeding as an alternative to illegal trade.

The Red Siskin Initiative is finding and connecting aviculturalists and breeding organizations around the world to work together to reduce the demand for wild red siskins and other species and, in turn, to promote best practices for captive breeding within aviculturist communities.


2022 Achievements coming soon
Quantitative evidence to mitigate Red Siskin trafficking.

With assistance from the UK government through the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund program, we have designed a Behavior Change Campaign aimed at discouraging the demand for Red Siskins and other wild birds and promoting positive attitudes towards their conservation.

We presented at AZA’s 2021 Annual Meeting! 

Red Siskin Initiative researchers presented a poster entitled “Eliciting Conservation Behavior: An Evidence-Based Approach to Reduce Illegal Trade in the Red Siskin (Spinus cucullatus)” and gave a talk in the program session “Quantifying and Fighting the Illegal Wildlife Trade in Live Animals”. 

New document: “Sustainable management of songbirds: lessons learned from the Venezuelan Red Siskin”.

As part of the efforts of the Red Siskin Specialists and Aviculturists Network (ReSSAN) we have produced a draft handbook that gathers together the expertise and knowledge of experienced aviculturists, including Hugo Santana, Herminio Conca, Mike Fidler, Francisco Reyes and Roberto Jurado.

We have new allies in Argentina!

Thanks to new funding from the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), RSI will collaborate with Fundación Temaikén in Argentina to understand the illegal trafficking networks of the Yellow-cardinal and the Red Siskin, in order to promote best practices and reduce the demand for them in the bird trade.

2020 – 2018

  • Thanks to contributions from the Neotropical Bird Club (NBC) and James Sillers, DVM, we completed important research to understand the actors involved in unsustainable harvesting, their interactions, and their socio-economic motivations and commercial mechanisms.
  • We produced the publication “Social network analysis reveals specialized trade in an Endangered songbird”, which was selected as the featured paper of the April 2020 issues of the journal Animal Conservation.
  • We held two workshops with aviculturists that were focused on husbandry and breeding protocols for Red Siskin.
  •  The Aviculturists and Specialists Group to RS Conservation (ASG) was formed to increase networking and collaboration on behalf of Red Siskin conservation. More information can be found in the Red Siskin Specialists and Aviculturists Network section of our website including main objectives, accomplishments, testimonials, and a discussion forum.