Global Campaign Highlights Importance Of Water For Migratory Birds


October 15, 2023


World Migratory Bird Day 2023 focusing on the theme “Water: Sustaining Bird Life.” On this year , people and organizations all over the world will come together to raise awareness and take action on October 14th for world Migratory Bird Day

Water is essential to the survival of migratory birds. From breeding to resting, and refueling during migration and wintering, migratory birds rely on lakes, rivers, ponds, coastal wetlands, and even moisture found in seeds, flowers, and mist. But water is under threat. Climate change, pollution, and increasing human demand for water are endangering vital ecosystems and the availability of clean water – for birds and people alike. In fact, 35 percent of the world’s wetlands have been lost in the last 50 years, and the recently published UN World Water Report estimates that over 2 billion people now don’t have access to safe drinking water.

It’s not just water quality that’s at risk, but also quantity. Lake Chad, a Ramsar site and one of the largest water bodies in Africa in 1960, lost 90 % of its area, depleting water resources for local communities and also for many migratory birds. In the Amur-Heilong Basin in Asia, climate change is exacerbating habitat destruction, leaving migratory birds without crucial breeding and stopover sites. In the United States, extended drought has left some wetlands, such as Cheyenne Bottoms in Kansas, dry during migration, impacting shorebirds and other species. The facts are alarming: 48 percent of existing bird species worldwide are experiencing population declines.

World Migratory Bird Day serves as a global call to action. With migratory birds crossing the borders of multiple countries, international cooperation is crucial for their effective conservation. Only by acting together can the global water crisis be addressed and our shared birds be effectively conserved.

The campaign is organized by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), Environment for the Americas (EFTA), and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP). Various events are scheduled for October 14th, including an educational event along the Kherlen River in Mongolia, a bird conservation festival in Bangladesh, a festival in Guatemala, zoo events in Belize, and many more worldwide.