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World Migratory Bird Day: Unifying voices for conservation

“Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation” is the theme of World Migratory Bird Day 2018. This year, the campaign will have a new global dimension, bringing together the world’s main migration corridors, also called flyways, for celebrations all across the world – and for the first time, with two peak campaign days in the year.

Migratory birds

As birds migrate during different seasons throughout the year, World Migratory Bird Day will be observed on both the second Saturdays of May and October (May 12, 2018 and October 13, 2018), making it possible for individuals and organisations to organise educational activities and awareness-raising events in their countries at the time of migration.

The African-Eurasian Flyway, the Americas Flyway and the East-Asian Australasian Flyway link breeding, stop-over and wintering sites of billions of migratory birds which roam across the planet. Migratory birds such as the Arctic Tern travel more than 70,000 km from Iceland to Antarctica and back every year. Habitat loss, illegal hunting, collision with and electrocution by power lines as well as pollution and poisoning put their survival at risk.

Migratory birds cross international borders during their migrations and require quality habitats and a network of suitable sites to support their annual journeys. International cooperation across the entire migratory range is therefore essential. International treaties such as the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Waterbirds (AEWA) and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), one of the oldest wildlife protection laws, are indispensable for coordinated conservation actions among countries.

Environment for the Americas (EFTA), CMS and AEWA recently entered a partnership to unify their respective campaigns, IMBD and WMBD, and are working together to organise a new World Migratory Bird Day. This year, they are uniting for the first time to emphasise the importance of migratory birds globally and are calling for a better protection of the birds and their habitats.

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