Migratory animal species are threatened with extinction

Migratory animal species are threatened with extinction


A new report issued by a United Nations body on Monday indicated that one-fifth of the species listed in the 1979 Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals are threatened with extinction, while 44% of them are witnessing a decline in their numbers.
Almost all of the 58 listed fish species (97%) are threatened with extinction, as are some sharks.
“Migratory species are being hit hard,” said UNEP Director Inger Andersen. While the Executive Secretary of the Convention, Amy Frankel, confirmed to Agence France-Presse that “the phenomenon of migration of species itself is in danger, because there are barriers, and the habitats that these animals need may be under pressure.”
In addition, the 130 signatory countries (not including the United States or China) will meet at the Fourteenth Conference of the Parties in the historic city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan from 12 to 17 February.
Conference participants will consider the fate of these migratory species, which include animals that have symbolic importance to life on Earth, such as sea turtles, whales, sharks, elephants, species of wild cats, and many species of birds.
These species are also forced to migrate due to several factors, including searching for suitable climatic conditions, obtaining food, or seeking an ideal environment to raise their young.
The threats to these animals are directly linked to human activity, such as habitat loss, degradation or fragmentation due to intensive agriculture or overexploitation by hunting and fishing, as well as climate change.
Moreover, animals are also exposed to additional stressors such as pollution (pesticides, plastics, etc.), underwater noise, or lights that disturb them.
“This report makes clear that unsustainable human activities are putting the future of migratory species at risk,” says Inger Andersen. She also points out that these creatures “not only act as indicators of environmental change, but also play a role in maintaining the functions of our planet’s complex ecosystems and ensuring their resilience.”

In fact, these species provide several environmental services, such as pollination, transferring nutrients from one environment to another, or eliminating pests. Similar to bats, which play an important role in pollinating flowers and distributing seeds, allowing mango or papaya trees to reproduce in some countries.

“Man-made challenges…and man-made solutions”
The report not only makes this bleak note, but also calls for international cooperation to help animals that, by nature, know no borders and can sometimes travel thousands of kilometres. One of these species is the monarch butterfly, which can travel a distance of four thousand kilometers in North America.

In a statement, Matthew Collis of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said: “These are man-made challenges that can only be solved by humans.”

He added, “Wildlife knows no borders, and it is our shared responsibility to ensure that these species can follow the migration paths that their ancestors took long ago, in order to preserve their species and the important ecosystem services they provide to the world.”

The report also proposes expanding the list of species included in the Convention to highlight other endangered animals.

The list includes nearly 400 threatened or near-threatened species that have not yet appeared on the convention’s lists, such as the American and European bison or the Indus dolphin.

It is noteworthy that the paths that the Samarkand Conference will rely on will also reflect the Kunming-Montreal Convention on Biological Diversity, established in 2022, which plans to preserve 30% of the planet’s lands and seas by the year 2030. Therefore, the report calls for “identifying, protecting, connecting and managing Important sites for migratory species. Other priorities include: combating illegal or unsustainable fishing, urgently caring for species most vulnerable to extinction, or intensifying efforts to address various pollution phenomena (light, noise, plastic, chemicals…) and climate change.

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This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.

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