DUDLEY Zoo has added its voice to a global conservation campaign to save millions of Asian songbirds from extinction.

The zoo is backing the two-year European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) Conservation campaign ‘Silent Forest, Asian Songbird Crisis’ to make noise about the plight of Asian songbirds taken from forests in Southeast Asia and raise money to help tackle the crisis.

Many birds are traded as pets or stolen to take part in singing contests.

Some of the most sought-after species are now at great risk of extinction with many being used as status symbols or used for export, traditional medicine and food.

Already generous zoo visitors have donated just over £200 by adding their change to collection buckets during February half term – which is a great start towards the €2,000 target.

Bird’s section leader Nicola Wright and conservation officer Chris Leeson are heading up the zoo's effort to help in the Asian songbird crisis and have pledged to raise awareness and money to save millions of endangered birds.

Nicola said: “We are passionate about playing an active part in global conservation and some of these songbirds face extinction if we don’t act now.

“Our support for the campaign kicked off during February half-term when we held bird food making sessions and ran a colouring competition in the Farm to highlight the plight of these colourful creatures.

“We will have many fundraising events and awareness days taking place over the next year and a half and hope to reach, or even exceed, our €2,000 target.”

The demand for live songbirds in Southeast Asia is extremely high, affecting hundreds of species and involving millions of birds each year.

The Greater Sunda region – made up of Brunei, western Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, southern Myanmar and southern Thailand – is home to more than 850 bird species.

Details about the zoo's upcoming Songbird Crisis events will be added to the website www.dudleyzoo.org.uk

Anyone wanting to donate to the campaign can do so by texting DZ0011 and then the amount to 70070.