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Conservation of Migratory Species

According to the 2019 UN Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity (IPBES Report)

a) There might be a mass extinction of 1 million species, including migratory species if humanity does not change its course.

b) The populations of most migratory species covered by CMS are declining although there has been some success visible.

What is CMS?

1. Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) is also known as the Bonn Convention

2. It was signed in 1979 in Germany.

3. It provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.

4. It aims to bring together the States through which migratory animals pass and the Range States.

5. It lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.

6. The member countries are obligated to protect the listed species throughout their range.

7. CMS is in force under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Which are the species covered under CMS?

1. The CMS lists the migratory species that are threatened with extinction.

2. Among the ten species to be added to this list during the Conference, there are three Indian species such as Asian Elephant, Bengal Florican, and the Great Indian Bustard.

3. Other species to be added to the protection list include Jaguar, Urial, Little Bustard, Antipodean Albatross, Oceanic White-tip Shark, Smooth Hammerhead Shark and Tope Shark.

What was the focus of the 2020 CMS conference?

1. India hosted the 2020 conference on CMS, which is held once in 3 years.

2. The 2020 conference focused on adopting actions to help reduce the decline of migratory species.

3. Its primary focus was to enhance ‘ecological connectivity’—the ability of geographical areas to support migratory species together.

4. So, the Conference calls for international cooperation to protect migratory species and their habitats.

5. It is also expressed in the theme “Migratory species connect the planet – together we welcome them home”.

6. It aims to prepare an international action plan to protect all the animals, plants and birds, particularly the migratory species.

7. This action plan will be valid for 10 years and will be implemented by 130 member countries.

How various factors impact migratory birds?

1. Migratory species are those animals or birds that move from one habitat to another during different times of the year.

2. This can be due to various factors such as food, sunlight, temperature, climate, etc.

3. The movement between habitats can sometimes exceed thousands of kilometres for some migratory birds and mammals.

4. A migratory route can involve nesting and also requires the availability of habitats before and after each migration.

5. But this movement gets restricted by factors like

a) Climate change

b) Increase in global temperature due to greenhouse gas emissions.

c) Change in rainfall pattern, droughts, floods etc.

d) Loss of biodiversity (25-27%)

e) Increase in vector-borne diseases.

Where is India focusing?

1. India focuses more on the conservation of Central Asian Flyway, which passes through India.

2. It covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans and covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory waterbird species, including 29 globally threatened species.

3. India has also launched the National Action Plan for conservation of migratory species under the Central Asian Flyway.

4. Also, creation of an institutional facility for undertaking research and assessment, capacity development and conservation initiatives is necessary.

5. People living near forest areas are to be involved in joint forest management committees and eco-development communities for the protection of forests and wildlife.