East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Secretariat
6 May 2015, Incheon, Republic of Korea
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) will take place on 9-10 May 2015. It is an annual awareness raising campaign that aims to inspire the worldwide conservation of both migratory birds and their habitats. Local governments and stakeholders will celebrate this special occasion by holding bird watching and education events all over the world.
On this occasion, the EAAFP Secretariat highlights the urgent need to conserve the habitats of migratory waterbirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF), with the following message to call for action:
‘Save migratory birds and the places they need’
In the EAAF, the number of migratory waterbirds is in sharp decline. Their survival is threatened by loss of habitat at critical places along the Flyway. The network of sites that birds have relied upon for generations is getting ever smaller and more fragmented. The problem is most critical in the Yellow Sea region, which has lost around 30% of tidal flats in the last two decades and as much as 65% in the last 50 years.
“The East Asian-Australasian Flyway supports more migratory waterbird species – and a higher proportion that are globally threatened – than any other flyway in the world.”
–IUCN World Conservation Congress, Resolution 028.
Beyond the Yellow Sea, important habitats across the flyway are also at risk. Shorebirds continue to experience habitat disturbance at valuable sites where they spend the non-breeding season in Australia and New Zealand. Tidal flat conversion in the Philippines and development of the Inner Gulf of Thailand takes yet more vital habitat. These are just some examples. Every country in the flyway supports migratory waterbirds, and every country should ensure that habitats are conserved and maintained to provide that support.
Many people remain unaware of the amazing migrations that are happening all around us, every year, and may not realize that protecting habitats in their own countries will have far reaching benefits for this shared natural wonder. The Secretariat encourages its partners and people living in EAAF to join and celebrate WMBD together, and highlight the need to protect habitats supporting migratory birds.
In Incheon, Republic of Korea, a celebration event is scheduled on 19 June by Incheon City Government at G-Tower in Songdo, where the EAAFP Secretariat is located. For more information, please visit EAAFP WMBD webpage at: http://www.eaaflyway.net/our-activities/wmbd/wmbd2015/