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World Migratory Bird Day 2022

  • 11 Oct 2022
  • 5 min read

Why in News?

World Migratory Bird Day was recently celebrated on 08 October 2022.

What is World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)?

  • About: It is a bi-annual global campaign organised to raise awareness about migratory birds, the need for their conservation, and the importance of the preservation of their habitat.
    • It is celebrated on the second Saturday in May and then in October. This year it was celebrated on 14 May and 8 October 2022.
    • WMBD is organized by a collaborative partnership among two UN treaties - the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), and the non-profit organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA).
  • Theme:
    • The theme of World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is “Light Pollution”
      • WMBD 2022 is addressing the growing issue of light pollution on these birds and actions on a global scale to help migrate these birds safely.
    • Artificial lights are the cause of significant threats to migratory birds such as:
      • Distortion while flying at night
      • Collisions with buildings
      • Disruptions - in their ability to migrate long distances and in their internal clock.

What is Light Pollution?

  • About:
    • As per CMS, “light pollution refers to artificial light that alters the natural patterns of light and dark in ecosystems”.
      • The use of artificial light at night is increasing all over the world. From 2012 to 2016, artificially lit outdoor areas increased by 2.2% per year, in 2022, this number could be much greater.
      • Today, more than 80% of the world's population lives under a “lit sky”, a figure closer to 99% in Europe and North America.
  • Impact of Light Pollution on Birds:
    • It can alter birds' behaviours, including migration, foraging and vocal communication.
      • It also affects their activity levels and their energy expenditure, especially those which migrate at night.
    • It attracts and disorients nocturnally migrating birds, which may end up circling in illuminated areas.
      • This unnatural light-induced behaviour can mean they end up depleting their energy reserves and puts them at risk of exhaustion, predation and lethal collision.
    • Long distance migratory birds, such as the blackpoll warbler, the Asian stubtail and the oriental plover may start and end their migrations in areas with relatively low levels of light pollution, but during migration they may fly over areas of intense urban development where they experience high levels of artificial light.

What is the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention?

  • It is an international agreement that aims to conserve migratory species throughout their ranges. The agreement was signed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and is concerned with conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale.
    • It was signed in 1979 in Bonn, West Germany and entered into force in 1983.
  • As an environmental treaty of the United Nations, CMS provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.
  • India is a signatory to the CMS.
    • India hosted the CMS CoP-13 (in 2020) at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat.
      • India has also launched the National Action Plan for the conservation of migratory species under the Central Asian Flyway.
    • India is a temporary home to several migratory animals and birds.

Source: CMS

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