World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day poster (English)From World Migratory Bird Day

Each year on the second weekend in May, World Migratory Bird Day celebrates migratory birds and raises awareness about the need for their conservation. Since World Migratory Bird Day began in 2006, events have reached 118 countries. In 2012 alone, over 250 events were celebrated and this year it is hoped to motivate even more people and organizations to connect and work together towards conserving migratory birds worldwide.

This year’s World Migratory Bird Day theme is “Networking for migratory birds”. It aims to emphasize the mutual importance of ecological networks and networks between organizations and individuals for the long-term conservation of migratory birds. Read more here

Northern wheatear. Photo by Paul Marshall Ecological networks for migratory birds

Migratory birds travel huge distances along their migration routes, sometimes even tens of thousands of kilometres. This year’s World Migratory Bird Day theme “Networking for migratory birds” highlights the importance of networks of sites for migratory birds along their migration routes. These connected sites act like ‘stepping stones’ birds use to migrate and are important for resting, feeding, breeding and wintering.

Wood pigeon over Noirmont. Photo by Mick DrydenMany sites that birds depend on are under threat from human activities, thereby posing a grave risk to migratory bird species. Direct human activities such as land reclamation and deforestation, as well as indirect human influences such as climate change, damage these sites through habitat fragmentation and degradation. Large numbers of important sites have already been damaged, or lost entirely. The conservation of these important sites is crucial for the protection of avian migratory species.

Working together to conserve migratory birds

This year’s theme also highlights the importance of networking and connecting globally amongst governments, conservation organizations and dedicated people to conserve migratory birds. Joint action in the form of international cooperation is needed, since conservation efforts in one country can be completely jeopardized by the loss of a single site in another area or country. World Migratory Bird Day aims to encourage the international community that shares migratory birds – governments, conservation organizations and dedicated people alike – to further work together to conserve migratory birds. Read more here

World Migratory Bird Day was initiated in 2006 and is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. World Migratory Bird Day is jointly organized by the Secretariats of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds – two international wildlife treaties administered by the United Nations Environment Programme – and a growing number of partners.