World Migratory Bird Day

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World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated each year on 10 May to highlight the need for international cooperation to conserve migratory birds and their habitats for the benefit of mankind.

The theme this year 2017 is ‘Their Future is Our Future – A Healthy Planet for Migratory Birds and People, which is closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by UN Member States in 2015 as a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.

Migratory birds face an increasing number of threats while travelling huge distances. Their intercontinental flyways include key stopover sites that are essential for migratory birds to rest and refuel before continuing their journey. But land-reclamation and changes in global agricultural practices as well as poaching are causing habitat losses.

Habitat loss at stopover sites along the shores of the American Atlantic Coast have prompted a sharp 80 per cent population decline in the North American breeding populations of the Red Knot since 2000.

In the African Sahel, migratory waterbirds, such as the Garganey Duck, are hunted to ensure food security for people in the region.

On the occasion of the World Migratory Bird Day, the World Heritage Centre draw attention to the importance of World Heritage sites for migratory birds. A number of sites across the five continents contain critical habitats and refuges vital for migratory birds, such as:
Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves(Niger)
Banc d’Arguin National Park (Mauritania)
Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System(Belize)
Blue and John Crow Mountains(Jamaica)
Comoé National Park(Côte d’Ivoire)
Danube Delta (Romania)
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (Senegal)
Doñana National Park (Spain)
Everglades National Park (United States of America)
Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia)
iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa)
Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Mexico)
Kaziranga National Park(India)
Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya)
Keoladeo National Park (India)
Pantanal Conservation Area(Brazil)
Saryarka – Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan(Kazakhstan)
Shiretoko (Japan)
Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria)
Sundarbans National Park (India)
The Sundarbans (Bangladesh)
Tikal National Park(Guatemala)
Uvs Nuur Basin (Mongolia/Russian Federation)
Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Wadden Sea (Denmark/ Germany/Netherlands)
Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino(Mexico)
Wood Buffalo National Park (Canada)

The World Heritage Centre encourages all stakeholders to help conserve these sites working closely with the Secretariats of the seven biodiversity related Conventions, including with the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), to improve the conservation of protected areas relevant for migratory birds along their flyways.

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