migratory birds Current Affairs - 2020

Asian Elephant, Great Indian Bustard and Bengal Florican classified as “Endangered Migratory Species” at CMS COP13

On February 20, 2020, Asian Elephant, Indian Bustard and Bengal Florican were declared as “Endangered Migratory Species” at the CMS COP 13. The proposal was accepted by 130 countries.

Asian Elephant

India declared Indian Elephant as “National Heritage Animal”. This provides highest degree of legal protection to the animal under Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The Asian elephants are called Indian Elephants in the country. The threats to the Indian Elephants include habitat loss, human elephant conflict, habitat fragmentation, illegal trade and poaching.

Bengal Florican

The population of the species has declined greatly due to habitat loss. The Bengal Florican does not breed outside the protected areas today. It is listed as the critically endangered species under the IUCN list and is of the topmost conservation priority.

Great Indian Bustard

The Great Indian Bustard is also listed under critically endangered species in IUCN Red List. In order to protect the species, the Indian Government has declared their habitats as conservation reserves. According to the Wildlife Institute of India, there are only 150 Great Indian Bustards left in the country.

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GoI released Draft Visionary Perspective Plan (2020-30) to Conserve Avian Ecosystem ahead of CMS COP-13

Ahead of the Conservation of Migratory Species Conference of Parties-13 (CMS COP-13), the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has introduced a draft Visionary Perspective Plan (2020-2030) to conserve ecosystems, habitats, avian diversity and landscapes in the country.

Visionary Perspective Plan (2020-2030)

  • According to the draft, there are 1,317 bird species in India. Out of these 72 are endemic, 100 are threatened, 17 are critically endangered, 63 are vulnerable and 20 are endangered. Around 270 species of avifauna fall under “rare” category. It includes pheasants, hornbills, bustards, storks and cranes.
  • The birds are prone to extinction mainly due to poaching, fragmentation of ecosystem, habitat loss and epidemics. The draft also says that stray dog population has increased due to catastrophic decline in population of vultures.
  • The draft says that around 219 bird bio-diversity areas are under severe anthropogenic pressure.
  • The draft also says that 2,01,503 wetlands spread across 2.25 hectares in India are under stress. This is mainly due to agricultural run-offs and urbanization.

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