- Over 40% of migratory species listed as needing international protection are declining in numbers.
- Migratory species face serious threats due to hunting, fishing, pollution, and habitat destruction.
- Marine animals are particularly at risk.
- Climate change, habitat loss, and overexploitation are the greatest threats to migratory species.
- Citizens and governments need to work together to set aside protected areas and reduce overexploitation to save these species.
In a new report presented at a gathering in Usbekistan, the UN Environment Program warns that migratory animals are facing an increasing risk of extinction. More than 40% of migratory species listed as needing international protection are experiencing declining numbers, and many could be wiped out if measures are not taken to address the threats they face.
Why are Migratory Species at Risk?
Migratory species are particularly vulnerable to threats due to their long-distance travels across multiple countries. Species that migrate face serious risks throughout their entire migratory route. For example, a whale that migrates from Antarctica up the Atlantic Ocean into the northern hemisphere is exposed to tremendous risks. The same applies to migratory bird species, bat species, and many others.
Various factors contribute to the risks faced by migratory species. Climate change is a major threat, as it forces animals to adapt by changing their habitats. Additionally, habitat loss and destruction, as well as overexploitation, pose significant dangers. These species often fall victim to hunting, fishing, and the destruction of their habitats for agricultural, timber production, and mining purposes.
Taking Action to Protect Migratory Species
The UN report serves as a wakeup call for governments and individuals to do more to protect migratory species. It emphasizes the need for citizens and governments to work together to address these threats and take proactive measures to safeguard these vital creatures.
One crucial step is the establishment of protected areas. Governments need to set aside designated areas where migratory species can thrive and find refuge. These protected areas must be carefully planned to meet the specific needs of migratory species and the local communities that depend on them. By reducing or limiting overexploitation and preserving habitats, these areas can provide a safe haven for threatened species.
The importance of collaboration between organizations, governments, and local communities cannot be overstated. Efforts must be made to educate and raise awareness about the threats faced by migratory species and the steps needed to protect them. Organizations like the Wildlife Conservation Society are actively involved in conservation efforts and can provide valuable expertise in setting up protected areas.
If governments fail to commit and take action, the loss of these precious species is inevitable. It is crucial for all stakeholders to recognize the urgency and work collectively to ensure the survival and well-being of migratory animals.
Together, we can make a difference and prevent the extinction of migratory species.