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Migratory bird - Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore
Migratory bird


What’s in news?

            Today, May 11 is being celebrated as World Migratory Bird Day and this year was with the theme based on Plastics and its impacts.

Key data’s:

  • Theme 2019: Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution.
  • World Migratory Bird Day calling everyone for urgent action to stop plastic pollution by highlighting its negative effects on seabirds and other migratory birds.

 Plastic and its impact on Birds:

  • Plastic pollution presents a three-fold threat to birds: entanglement in fishing gear and other plastic litter is the most visible but affects fewer individuals.
  • Ingestion of plastic waste is more pervasive and can affect large proportions of some species. 
  • Plastic is also being used as nest material. Many birds pick up plastic to line their nests mistaking it for leaves, twigs and other natural items, which can injure and trap fragile chicks.
  • Of 265 bird species recorded entangled in plastic litter, at least 147 species were seabirds, 69 species freshwater birds and 49 landbird species.
  • Chemical additives from plastic were found in birds’ eggs in remote environments.
  • Background:
  • One-third of global plastic production is non-recyclable and at least eight million tonnes of plastic flows unabated into our oceans and water bodies each year.
  • Plastic pollution poses serious health risks to wildlife globally, affecting a wide range of species including whales, turtles, fish and birds.


  • The effective conservation of World Heritage sites is crucial for migratory bird conservation on a global scale. 
  • In February 2017, UN Environment launched the “Clean Seas Campaign” which targets marine plastic pollution in particular, has an upstream focus and asks individuals, governments and business to take concrete steps to reduce their own plastic footprints.
  • The Convention on Migratory Species and the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement work with countries to prevent plastic items from entering the marine environment.
  • At Convention on Migratory Species in 2017, countries also agreed to address the issue of lost fishing gear, by following the strategies set out under the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
  • A recent resolution on seabird conservation adopted by African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) countries in December 2018 includes a series of actions countries can take to reduce the risk caused by plastic waste on migratory birds.

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS):

  • The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals aims to conserve terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range.
  • It is an intergovernmental treaty, concluded under the aegis of UN Environment, concerned with the conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale.
  • Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1979, its membership has grown steadily to include 127 Parties from Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA):

  • The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds that migrate along the African-Eurasian Flyway.
  • The Agreement covers 255 species of bird ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle.
  • The treaty covers 119 range States from Europe, parts of Asia and Canada, the Middle East and Africa.
  • As of 1 March 2019, 78 countries and the European Union have become a Contracting Party to agreement.

Important links:

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