Conservation of Migratory Species Current Affairs - 2020

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Animal Culture linked to its Conservation at CMS COP 13 for the first time

The Convention on the Conservation on Migratory birds Conference of Parties (CMS COP 13) is being held in Gandhinagar. Proposals were presented to conserve Sperm Whales and Chimpanzees based on their culture. This is the first time such proposal is being made in the world.

Highlights

It was presented at the conference that some of the animals such as elephants, dolphins and whales acquire some of their knowledge through social learning. They learn most of their behaviors from adults, especially the migrating routes.

Findings

The report presented at the conference says that when a species gets vanished from an area, its critical knowledge will also be lost. For instance, as a result of commercial whaling in the coast of New Zealand, the whales lost their knowledge of migration route and stopped calving in the region. This was during 1800. Recently, in 2000, after 200 years, they have started calving in the region again.

This proves that genetic mixing among the species might help in recolonizing their forgotten destinations. Therefore, it is essential to protect their cultural knowledge for their survival.

In case of Chimpanzees, their nut cracking methodologies are passed on to their next generations.

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Indian Bird Species have declined by 80% says State of India’s Birds Report at CMS COP 13

On February 18, 2020, the State of India’s Birds Report was released at the CMS COP 13. It assessed the status of more than 867 birds. The report says that more than 80% of Indian bird species have declined in the last 5 years. More than 15,000 bird watchers participated in the survey.

Highlights

According to the report, the highest decline of birds in India was found in vultures, eagles, warblers and migrating shore birds. The report says that habitat loss and hunting are the two main reasons behind decline in bird population. The report is first of its kind.

The report classified 101 species of birds as “High Conservation Concern”.

Stability

The stability in count was found only with house sparrows. Their population have gone up in rural areas. The Indian peafowl was found in abundance according to the report.  Around 48% of bird species in the country were stable.

Assessment

The report was prepared based on three assessments namely long-term trend, measure of distribution range and current annual trend.

Long Term Assessment

Out of the 261 species that were assessed on long term basis, 52% of them declined since 2000. Only 43% showed a long-term trend and were stable. Around 22% of them declined strongly.

Current annual Trend

The current annual trend was assessed over 146 species. Under this category, 80% of the birds declined and 50% declined strongly. Only 6% were stable and 14% were increasing in numbers.

Categories of Concern

The report with the help of IUCN Red List and the three indices classified the birds into three categories. Around 442 of the birds were put under Low Concern Category, 319 in Modern Concern Category and 101 in high concern category.

Who prepared the report?

The report was prepared by 10 research and conservation organizations. It included Wildlife Institute of India, Natural History and Wetlands International South Asia, World Wide Fund for Nature India, Bombay Natural History Society and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment.

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