Migratory Birds

Photo: Ken Fung Hon Shing

Key Facts

  • BirdLife is the global authority on the status of birds. Our work shows that majority of migratory birds are declining
  • There are BirdLife Partners throughout the world's major flyways, so we are ideally placed to take a holistic approach to conserve migratory birds
  • BirdLife's national Partners are working together to protect chains of protected areas (Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, IBAs) used by migrating birds
  • BirdLife is advising governments, industries and development banks on reducing threats to migratory birds

Two thousand species of birds, 20% of all known species, make regular seasonal movements. Many travel thousands of miles between their breeding places and their wintering grounds. More than 40% of these migratory species are declining, and nearly 200 are now classified as globally threatened.

Migratory birds are being hit hard when they are most vulnerable. After very long journeys they face countless dangers. These may include the destruction and degradation of natural habitats, the loss of critical stopover sites such as coastal wetlands, illegal killing, poisoning, pollution, and collisions with badly-sited infrastructure such as power lines and wind turbines.

We have identified the sectors that affect migratory birds the most have been identified as those of agriculture, energy, hunting, tourism and waste management. With this in mind, our Migratory Soaring Birds project aims to work with every sector in eleven countries within the Rift Valley (an important flyway for birds).

Migratory birds know no boundaries. International collaboration is essential to keep the flyways safe and another one of our projects focuses on working with national and regional governments in Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, BirdLife has already made significant steps in controlling and reducing the illegal killing of migratory birds.


Other articles of interest:

The video below "Living on the Edge: improving bird habitats in the Sahel" is available in English and French.

Find out more about Migratory Birds.