10 October 2020.
World Migratory Day is celebrated bi-annually on the second Saturday in May and in October.
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. It aims to draw attention to the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.
- It is organised by The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and Environment for the Americas (EFTA).
- This year the theme of World Migratory Bird Day is “Birds Connect Our World”.
- It was chosen to highlight the importance of conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that support the natural movements of migratory birds and that are essential for their survival and well-being.
- The idea of celebrating World Migratory Day was designed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1993.
- The Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species is also called Bonn convention.
- The convention enlists more than 173 migratory species all over the world.
- As of November 2019, 130 parties have joined the convention.
- Maldives was the latest country to join the convention in November 2019 appendix 1 of the convention list of endangered or threatened migratory species.
- Appendix II to list the migratory species those are currently under unfavourable conservation status.
- Appendix II species required International agreements to conserve them.
- The COP 13 Boss held in India. It is proposed to include 10 new species under the convention on conservation of migratory species. It included three Indian species namely Asian elephant, Great Indian Bustard and the Bengal florican.
Significance of Migratory birds matter!
- Migratory birds are beneficial to us and the planet’s ecosystems because they provide critical services such as seed dispersal, pollination and pest control.
- They are not only vital to sustaining life on Earth, but also provide major economic benefits and jobs through tourism, research and education, and leisure activities such as bird-watching and photography.
- They are central to our cultures and have been reflected in our art, music, theatre and belief systems throughout history.
- Birds inspire us and help us to connect with each other and re-connect with nature.
Ecological Connectivity and its significance:
- Connectivity is essential for migratory species, and important for a wide variety of ecological functions.
- It describes the natural and necessary movement of species and the flow of natural processes that sustain life on Earth. With 1 million species facing the risk of extinction within our generation, connectivity has become a central topic for biodiversity and sustainability.
Connectivity and Birds
- The flyways used by migratory birds connect different habitats. Often, these long-haul flight paths cross inhospitable terrain, such as deserts and open seas.
- Migratory birds have evolved incredibly complex migration strategies that require suitable habitats for wintering, stop-over, staging and breeding sites that are crucial for their survival.
- The ecological connectivity of these sites is important to the survival of migratory birds, but this is being threatened by habitat loss and degradation.
- World Migratory Bird Day 2020 will therefore help raise awareness on the importance of ecological connectivity for migratory birds and complement the efforts of CMS to promote ecological connectivity and functionality, international cooperation and the conservation of migratory species within the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.