UN report reveals that close to 50% of migratory species are experiencing a decline in population

Half of the World’s Migratory Species at Risk: What You Need to Know

A new report from the United Nations has revealed that almost half of the world’s migratory species are facing a decline, including songbirds, sea turtles, whales, sharks and other migratory animals. These species move to different environments with changing seasons and are threatened by habitat loss, illegal hunting and fishing, pollution, and climate change. According to the report, about 44% of migratory species worldwide are declining in population, with more than a fifth of the nearly 1,200 species monitored by the U.N. being threatened with extinction.

Kelly Malsch, the lead author of the report, emphasized that these are species that move around the globe and are essential to feed and breed as well as needing stopover sites along the way. Habitat loss or other threats at any point in their journey can lead to dwindling populations. Duke University ecologist Stuart Pimm warned that cutting migration could lead to the extinction of these species.

The report relied on existing data including information from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List which tracks whether a species is endangered. At a U.N wildlife conference in Samarkand Uzbekistan participants planned to evaluate proposals for conservation measures and whether to formally list several new species of concern. Susan Lieberman Vice President for international policy at nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society stressed that one country alone cannot save the species and conservation efforts will require a collaborative multinational approach.

During the meeting eight governments from South America were expected to propose adding two Amazon catfish species to U.N treaty’s list of migratory fish of concern. The Amazon River basin is world’s largest freshwater system and Lieberman emphasized protecting its habitat is crucial for catfish survival as well as other migratory fish populations in region also depend on it

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