Migratory birds in crisis
This coming weekend, thousands of people are attending World Migratory Bird Day events which highlight migratory birds in crisis. BirdLife Partners around the world are celebrating bird migration, whilst also stressing the plight of some the world's most threatened species.
World Migratory Bird Day is a global initiative to raise awareness for the need to conserve all migratory birds. Events range from bird festivals, education programmes and birdwatching trips to watch bird migration in action.
Every year it focuses on a different topic. This year's theme 'Save migratory birds in crisis - every species counts!' - is raising awareness about Globally Threatened migratory birds, with a particular focus on those on the very edge of extinction - the Critically Endangered.
Around 11% of migratory birds are Globally Threatened or Near Threatened according to BirdLife on behalf of the IUCN Red List. Of these, 31 are classified as Critically Endangered. Examples include, Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus in Europe, Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius in the Middle East and Africa, Chinese Crested Tern Sterna bernsteini in Asia, Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster in the Pacific, and Kittlitz's Murrelet Brachyramphus brevirostris in the Americas.
BirdLife Partners around the world know the value of migratory birds, and are best placed to help. We operate in over one hundred countries and territories worldwide, and work together to raise awareness about migratory birds and implement conservation projects.
“International collaboration is the only way to conserve migratory birds as they pass along their flyways” —Dr Marco Lambertini, BirdLife’s Chief Executive
"International collaboration is the only way to conserve migratory birds as they pass along their flyways", said Dr Marco Lambertini - BirdLife's Chief Executive. "That's why the BirdLife Partnership, with over 100 national organisations across the continents, can make a great difference in providing safer routes for migratory birds, as well as promoting the crucial inter-governmental co-ordinated efforts needed to address the growing threats along the flyways".
With 2010 being the International Year of Biodiversity, this year's World Migratory Bird Day theme also highlights how migratory birds are part of the natural diversity of our world. It also illustrates how the threat of extinction faced by individual bird species is a reflection of the larger extinction crisis threatening other species and the natural diversity that underpins all life on earth.
"We know that migratory birds are part of the biological diversity of our world and are often used as indicators for the biological health of our ecosystems", said Bert Lenten - Executive Secretary of AEWA and initiator of the World Migratory Bird Day campaign. "We rely on this variety of life to provide us with the food, fuel, medicine and other essentials we simply cannot live without and it is in our power to protect these resources and to safeguard biodiversity".
If you want to join in this weekend, visit www.worldmigratorybirdday.org and find your local event. If you want to find out more about BirdLife's work to conserve migratory birds, please visit www.birdlife.org/flyways. If you want to see how you can help to stop bird extinctions, please visit www.birdlife.org/extinction.
World Migratory Bird Day was initiated by the UNEP administered African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) Secretariat in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) in 2006.
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Credits: This news is brought to you by BirdLife's Flyways Programme