East Asian Birds Spotted in Andaman Islands | 22 Apr 2019

Researchers have sighted a number of East Asian birds in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

  • The birds include Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo (Chalcites basalis) which is native of Australia and New Guinea.
  • Other birds are the Zappey’s Flycatcher (Cyanoptila cumatilis) bird from China and Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) which is usually found in Thailand and Cambodia.
  • During their migration from north to south, these birds make a stopover at the Andaman and Nicobar islands. These birds use Andaman and Nicobar Islands for a few weeks rests before they can fly along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF).


  • Flyways are the area used by a group of birds during their annual cycle which includes their breeding areas, stop over areas and wintering areas.
  • There are nine flyways in the world. Three of the nine flyways pass through Indian Subcontinent:
    • Central Asian Flyway (CAF)
      • This is a migration route, covering over 30 countries, for different waterbirds linking their northernmost breeding grounds in Russia (Siberia) to the southernmost non-breeding (wintering) grounds in West and South Asia, the Maldives and British Indian Ocean Territory.
      • India has a strategic role in the flyway, as it provides critical stopover sites to over 90% of the bird species known to use this migratory route
    • East Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF)
      • The East Asia/Australasia Flyway extends from Arctic Russia and North America to the southern limits of Australia and New Zealand.
      • It encompasses large parts of East Asia, all of Southeast Asia and includes eastern India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
    • Asian East African Flyway (AEAF)
      • The Asian East African Flyway extends from Arctic Russia  to South Africa and Madagascar in Africa. The flyway pass cover area from west of Tibetan plateau and Himalayas including central Asia and West Asia
      • It also covers parts of north-western India.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

  • It is an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • CMS or Bonn Convention provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.
  • India is a party to the CMS since 1st November 1983.
  • Raptor MoU
    • Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia is also known as Raptor MoU
    • Raptors MoU is an agreement under CMS.
    • It aims to promote coordinated actions to maintain the favorable conservation status of migratory birds of prey (raptors) throughout their range in the African-Eurasian region
    • India is a signatory to Raptor MoU. It is not legally binding.