Conservation of Migratory Species Current Affairs - 2020

May 9: World Migratory Bird Day

Every year, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) marks the World Migratory Day on May 9. It is an annual campaign that creates awareness about the need to conserve migratory birds and their habitats. This year the day is being celebrated under the theme

Theme: Birds Connect our World

The theme mainly focuses on ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystem. The theme also focuses on the tracking technologies that are used to explore the routes of migratory birds in the world.

Highlights

The World Migratory Day was first introduced in 2006 at the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild animals.

Significance of the theme

Connectivity has become essential for migratory species. This is because, currently 1 million species are facing risks of extinction due to loss of connectivity. Migratory birds connect different countries and cooperation among them is essential to conserve these species.

When the birds migrate, they rely upon certain habitats along their pathways. In some countries, the pathways are lost due to lack of conservation steps, urbanization, pollution, global warming, etc.

Thus, year the theme focuses on these connectivity areas.

Key Issues

On the World Migratory Bird Day, the UNEP identifies the following as the key issues. The man-made structures pose great threats to more than 350 species of migratory birds, especially at night. The structures that are made of reflective materials such as glass cause death of several migratory birds.

Apart from the buildings, the wind turbines also pose great threat to these birds.

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.