Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
The edible nests of swiftlets (Collocaliini) are used in bird’s-nest soup, a delicacy in some countries. In 1989, 19,900,000 swiftlet nests were traded globally; they are sold for as much as $1,225 (US)/kg. The swiftlet nest trade is an important part of the economy for many people living in South-east Asia.
It is thought that swift saliva may be used in the development of AIDS treatments as a way to promote cell division in the immune system.
Because they are insectivores, swifts are also important agents in pest control.
Positive Impacts: food ; source of medicine or drug ; controls pest population
- Wildlife Section, Sabah Forest Department. The management of edible bird's nest caves in Sabah. Sandakan: Syarikat Sanshine Printing Sdn. Bhd. 1987.