UN report reveals alarming state of migratory species

To date, a comprehensive assessment of migratory species has not been carried out. The report provides a global view of the conservation status and population trends of migratory animals, as well as the latest information on the main threats they pose and successful efforts to save them.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said: "Today's report shows that unsustainable human activity threatens the future of migratory species, creatures that not only play a role in signaling environmental change but "which also play an indispensable role in survival and sustainable development." develop the complex ecosystems of our planet.

The global community has the opportunity to translate the latest scientific knowledge on the pressures faced by migratory species into concrete conservation measures. Given the precarious situation of many of these animals, we cannot delay and must work together to make the recommendations a reality.”

Each year, billions of animals make migratory journeys across land, oceans, rivers and airways, across national and continental borders, with some traveling thousands of kilometers to feed and reproduce.

Migratory species play a vital role in maintaining the world's ecosystems and provide important benefits by pollinating plants, transporting vital nutrients, hunting pests and helping to store carbon dioxide.

The CMS report on the state of the world's migratory species, prepared for CMS by conservation scientists at the United Nations World Environment Program Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC), uses data sets documenting global species and includes contributions from experts from organizations such as BirdLife International, International. Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Migratory species in serious danger

The report focuses on the 1.189 animal species for which CMS sites require international protection and are included in the CMS appendices, but also includes analyzes of more than 3.000 additional migratory species not included in CMS.

Species found in the appendices are species that are threatened with extinction throughout all or most of their range or that require concerted international action to improve their conservation status.

"Migratory species depend on different specific habitats at different times in their life cycles," said CMS Executive Secretary Amy Frankel.

To get to these places, they have to travel periodically, sometimes thousands of kilometers. They face enormous challenges and threats along the way and in the places where they breed or feed.

When species cross national borders, their survival depends on the efforts of all the countries in which they live. “This ground-breaking report will help support much-needed policy action to ensure the continued development of migratory species around the world.”

While positive trends can be seen for many CMS-listed species, the report's findings highlight the need for further action for all migratory species.

The inclusion of species in the CMS means that these species require international cooperation to protect them.
However, many of the threats these species face are responsible for global environmental change, which affects both the biodiversity loss like climate change. Addressing the decline of migratory species therefore requires action by governments, the private sector and other organizations.

Over the past 30 years, 70 CMS-listed migratory species, including steppe eagles, vultures and Bactrian camels, have faced increased levels of threat. By contrast, only 14 appendix-listed species currently have improved conservation status, including blue and humpback whales, white-tailed eagles, and spoonbills.

Most worryingly, almost all CMS-listed fish species (sharks, rays and migratory sturgeon) are at risk of extinction, and their populations have declined by 90% since the 1970s.

By analyzing threats to species, the report shows to what extent the decline in the number of migratory species is due to human activity.

The two greatest threats to both CMS-listed species and all confirmed migratory species are overexploitation, including unsustainable hunting, overfishing and unsustainable harvesting, for example in fisheries, and the loss, degradation and Habitat fragmentation due to activities such as agriculture and development.

A key priority is to map and take appropriate measures to protect key sites that serve as breeding, feeding and reproduction areas for migratory species.

The report found that nearly 10.000 globally critical biodiversity areas important to migratory species are covered by CMS applications, but more than half (by region) are not designated as protected areas or protected areas. 58% of important areas for species monitored on the CMS list are threatened by human activities.

The report also analyzes how many migratory species are at risk of extinction but are not covered by the Convention. 399 migratory species, mainly birds and fish, including many species of albatrosses and finches, sharks and rays, have been identified as threatened or endangered, but have not yet been included in the CMS findings.

The report highlights the worrying situation of many species, shows that recovery of populations and entire species is possible and highlights success stories based on policy changes and positive actions, both locally and internationally. Examples include local coordination actions reducing illegal birds using 91% of the chip network and a highly successful integrated maintenance and renovation in Kazakhstan, where the saiga anticlope is no longer determined.

The state of migration of the world forms a clear focus and makes some priority recommendations for activities, including:

Improve and expand efforts to combat the arrest of illegal and unstable migrating species, as well as random capture of biased species,

Increase activities to identify, protect, combine and effectively manage important locations for migrating species,

Urgently switched to higher species extinction, including almost all types of fish covered by CMS,

Expand efforts to prevent climate change, as well as lighting, sound, chemical and plastic, and

Consider expanding CMS applications with many endangered species requiring national and international attention.

The United Nations Conference on Wildlife Conservation (CPS COP14), which begins today in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, is one of the most important global meetings on biodiversity since the Global Biodiversity Framework Plan adopted in Kunming-Montreal.

It will also be the first COP under any global environmental treaty to be held in Central Asia, a region that is home to many migratory species, including Saiga antelopes, snow leopards and many migratory birds.
Governments, environmental groups and scientists met for a week to explore ways to accelerate implementation of the Convention.

The report on the state of the world's migratory species will provide the scientific basis and policy recommendations necessary to set the context and provide valuable information to support discussions at the meeting.

The report will be released at the opening press conference of the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CPS COP14) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Follow the live broadcast of the press conference: https://www.cms.int/cop14/cop14-livestreams-and-videos