UN Report Warns of Dangerous Population Decline and Extinction Threats Facing Migratory Species
A groundbreaking report released by the United Nations has shed light on the perilous plight of migratory species worldwide, revealing alarming trends of population decline and imminent extinction for many key animals. The State of the World's Migratory Species report, unveiled during the UN biodiversity conference in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, underscores the urgent need for global action to safeguard these vital components of Earth's ecosystems.
According to the report, which marks the first comprehensive assessment of its kind, nearly half (44%) of the species listed under the Convention of Migratory Species and Wild Animals (CMS) have witnessed significant population declines. Even more concerning, a staggering 97% of fish species included in the convention are currently threatened with extinction, painting a stark picture of the challenges facing these migratory animals.
Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Program, expressed grave concern over the findings, stating, "Today's report clearly shows us that unsustainable human activities are jeopardizing the future of migratory species — creatures who not only act as indicators of environmental change but play an integral role in maintaining the function and resilience of our planet's complex ecosystems."
The report identifies habitat loss and overexploitation as the primary threats to migratory species, with three-quarters of CMS-listed species affected by habitat degradation or fragmentation. Additionally, overexploitation, including both intentional hunting and accidental capture, has impacted 70% of the species covered by the convention. Climate change, pollution, and invasive species further compound these challenges, exacerbating the precarious situation faced by migratory animals.
In response to these alarming findings, the report calls for urgent action from the international community to strengthen conservation efforts and reverse the decline of migratory species. Policy recommendations outlined in the report include increasing efforts to combat illegal and unsustainable capture, enhancing protections for critical habitat sites, and prioritizing conservation measures for species at the brink of extinction.
Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary of the CMS, emphasized the need for collective action, stating, "When species cross national borders, their survival depends on the efforts of all countries in which they are found." The report's release coincides with the CMS conference in Samarkand, where world leaders have the opportunity to adopt measures aimed at protecting migratory species and their habitats.
As the global community grapples with the mounting environmental challenges facing migratory species, Executive Director Andersen issued a rallying call for action, urging swift implementation of the report's recommendations. "Given the precarious situation of many of these animals, we cannot afford to delay," she asserted. "We must work together to make the recommendations a reality and ensure the survival of migratory species for generations to come."