World Migratory Bird Day this weekend

This video is called World Migratory Bird Day 2013 – “Networking for migratory birds”.

From BirdLife:

World Migratory Bird Day 2013 highlights importance of site networks for migratory birds

Sat, May 11, 2013

This weekend 11-12 May World Migratory Bird Day 2013 is being celebrated in over 65 countries, including events held by BirdLife Partners around the world from Paraguay to Lebanon to China.

“I fully support the global campaign to raise awareness about the threats to migratory birds from habitat destruction, overexploitation, pollution and climate change,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “I call for greater international efforts to restore and preserve migratory birds and the network of sites they need to survive as an important part of the environment on which we all depend.”

“Very often migrant birds are under huge pressure at the exact points where they are most vulnerable,” said  Dr Marco Lambertini, Chief Executive, BirdLife International.

“Birds battling to reach the sea-shore descend into a limitless line of nets. Tiny falcons funnel through forests to be trapped in their thousands. Exhausted shorebirds find that the mudflats where they once refueled are now a sea of concrete, or circle wearily because their roosting sites have vanished.”

The Yellow Sea of north-east Asia is a very important araa for migratory shorebirds and is of particular concern to BirdLife International. The rates of decline in the region are among the highest of any ecological system in the world. At least 24 waterbird species using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway are heading towards extinction. The decline is mainly caused by the fast pace of coastal land reclamation occurring in this densely populated region, particularly around key coastal staging areas in the Yellow Sea. As much as  50% has been lost in the past 25 years due to human activities.

Another migratory bird hotspot is the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion and also faces increasing pressure.

“Sadly, the bay currently faces major environmental changes, which might severely alter habitat suitability for migratory birds which will affect their survival along the migration route network,” said Dr Alberto Yanosky , Guyra Paraguay CEO (BirdLife in Paraguay).

Guyra Paraguay is working in both conservation projects and educational campaigns in order to raise awareness on the importance of of the conservation of sites appropriate for birds, including  celebrating  World Migratory Bird Day. My hope is that we can create a true network across the Americas for migratory birds.

Similar to a human transport system of harbors, airports and roads, these migratory birds depend on international networks of natural sites for food, safety, breeding and moulting—as well as for stopover areas which act as refueling stations between breeding and non-breeding areas.

One of the main goals of BirdLife’s Important Bird Areas Programme is to identify a network of sites for migratory species.

See the WMBD Press Release.

16 thoughts on “World Migratory Bird Day this weekend

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  2. Namibia: Habitat Loss Threatens Migratory Birds

    20 May 2013

    The loss and degradation of natural habitats is blamed for threatening migratory birds and pushing these bird species towards possible extinction.

    The World Migratory Bird Day 2013 that was celebrated recently highlighted the importance of ecological networks for migratory birds and the need for a greater international response. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the annual migration of an estimated 50 billion birds, which is about 19 percent of the world’s 10 000 bird species, is one of the world’s great natural wonders.

    Yet the critical staging areas migratory birds need to complete these journeys are being degraded or are disappearing completely, according to the UN body. These increasingly vulnerable sites, which act as stepping stones on migration routes, serve as a place for the birds to rest, feed and breed during their annual migration cycles.

    However, as a result of the degradation, some bird species could be extinct within a decade, while others are facing population losses of up to 9 percent each year. Celebrated annually in over 65 countries on May 11, World Migratory Bird Day highlights the important human networks dedicated to their conservation, the threats migratory birds face, and the need for more international cooperation to conserve them.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon supports the global campaign to raise awareness about the threats to migratory birds from habitat loss, overexploitation, pollution and climate change.

    “I call for greater international efforts to restore and preserve migratory birds and the network of sites they need to survive as an important part of the environment on which we all depend,” he said.

    Launched in Kenya in 2006, the day is organised by the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), two intergovernmental wildlife treaties administered by the UNEP.

    Many migratory birds such as cranes, storks, shorebirds and eagles travel thousands of kilometres across flyways that span countries, continents and even the entire globe.

    Yet pressures resulting from a growing human population, rapid urbanisation, pollution, climate change and unsustainable use of natural areas are causing the loss, fragmentation and degradation of natural habitats along the birds’ migration routes and threatening their survival.

    Stopover sites of international importance for migratory water birds include the Wadden Sea, shared by Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, Banc d’Arguin on the west coast of Mauritania, Bahia de Santa Maria in Mexico and the Saemangeum tidal flat in the Yellow Sea in South Korea.

    Migratory water bird species that depend on a network of intertidal habitats along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) are showing rapid decline and are amongst the world’s most-threatened migratory birds.

    According to a 2011 report commissioned by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the rates of decline in the region are among the highest of any ecological system in the world. At least 24 water bird species using the flyway are heading towards extinction and many others are facing losses of 5 to 9 percent per year.

    According to the IUCN report, species such as the spoon-billed sandpiper could become extinct within a decade. “Migratory birds and the challenges they face in many ways underline the ambition of multilateralism in a globalised world. It is only when countries work together in common cause that the survival and conservation of these species can be ensured,” UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner says.

    This year, World Migratory Bird Day events were celebrated in countries that share the African-Eurasian Flyways. In Kenya, for instance, a regional event took place on the shores of Lake Elementaita, which is part of the Kenya Lakes System, a network of sites that supports 11 globally threatened bird species.


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