Migratory Birds and Flyways - Asia


The routes followed by migratory birds on their journeys between their breeding and wintering places are known as flyways. BirdLife Partners in the countries and territories along the world’s great flyways are taking action for migratory birds, by protecting chains of IBAs used as feeding and resting sites, and working with governments, developers and funding agencies to reduce the impacts of infrastructure protects, such as windfarms and power distribution networks, on migratory birds. 

Three migratory flyways cross Asia: the West Pacific Flyway, East-Asian Australasian Flyway, and the West Asian Flyway. BirdLife works most closely within the East-Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF), as this flyway covers the majority of our Asian Partner countries

The EAAF extends from within the Arctic Circle, through East and South-east Asia, to Australia and New Zealand, stretching across 22 countries. Hundreds of thousands of birds of at least 178 species use this migration path every year. In fact, the EAAF is used by more waterbird species in total, and more globally threatened or Near Threatened species (34 species,19% of the total), than any other of the world’s flyways. In addition, 21 species of migratory birds have more than 95% of their entire global population within the EAAF, including the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus and Chinese Crested Tern Sterna bernsteini (both Critically Endangered).

Of the 22 countries within the EAAF, BirdLife has Partners in 17, and works with local organisations in four more. International collaboration is the only way to conserve migratory birds as they pass along their international flyways. BirdLife will continue to work with Partners and local organisations in countries across Asia to conserve critical migratory bird habitat all along the flyways.

The BirdLife Partnership has already produced international species action plans for several of the threatened species that use the flyway, and is working with governments and civil society organisations to raise awareness of the importance of coastal wetlands as staging sites for migratory birds, and an irreplaceable source of ecosystem services and livelihoods. 


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