Water and its importance to migratory birds – along with increasing threats to water quality and quantity – is the focus of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, which aims to raise public awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation. protect them.
“Water is essential to sustaining life on our planet”, recalls Jacques Trouvilles, of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds Agreement (AEWA) in an interview. Her information. “The current crisis we are experiencing regarding water availability affects not only humans, but most species, including birds.”
“Many birds are connected to water as places to live and survive. Waterfowl in particular – ducks, flamingos, sandpipers – need these habitats, these wetlands, to live, breed or breed and spend the winter there,” he added.
Unfortunately, we are seeing shrinking wetlands on the one hand due to climate change and increasing pressure on water resources in some parts of the planet. “Birds have less habitat to live in and their populations are declining,” Trouvilles said. “At the same time, when these habitats are reduced, the concentration of birds is high and in the last two years, we have seen the emergence of bird flu in many places, which also has an impact on the economy”.
Aquatic ecosystems at risk
35% of the wetlands needed by migratory birds have disappeared in the last 50 years. Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere, used by more than a million shorebirds, is at risk of disappearing within five years.
In Asia’s Amur-Heilong Basin, climate change increases the impact of habitat destruction by reducing natural hydrological systems and losing important stopovers and breeding sites for migratory birds.
Additionally, recent reports indicate that 48% of bird species worldwide are experiencing population declines.
Another example is the Aral Sea, shared by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Once the world’s fourth largest lake, the lake is considered one of the worst water-related environmental disasters on Earth. “Everybody probably has pictures in their minds of these boats lying on the sand never to see the water again,” remembers Jack Trouvilles.
The consequences are severe for communities living around the lake, but also for migrating birds, who have lost important food sources and an important stopover point on their journey.
“You see these wetlands shrinking,” he said. In Africa’s vast semi-arid region of the Sahel, long-term drought, deforestation and overgrazing have led to soil degradation and loss of vegetation, threatening the survival of local human populations and wildlife, including migratory birds. “Lake Chad was one of the most important wetlands in Africa in the 1960s and provided a lot of birds in the northern hemisphere during the winter, so we had millions of ducks, sandpipers living around the lake,” he explained. But in 70 years it has lost 90% of its surface, reducing water sources for local communities and many migratory birds.
A recent study predicts that a region of Africa surrounding the Mediterranean Sea is at risk of facing severe water crises. “Certainly not to mention concerns about the Middle East or the Nile. So we’re seeing this as a real planetary phenomenon.
Water pollution and plastic pollution
Water quality has a direct impact on the abundance and diversity of food that migratory birds need to survive. Contamination of water makes the water unfit for drinking by birds or humans. For example, “Voluntarily off-shore degassing of petroleum products affects birds, seabirds and waterfowl”.
Plastics, toxic chemicals and other pollutants pollute rivers, lakes and oceans, affecting migratory birds directly and indirectly. “Any plastic discarded in nature has every chance of reaching the sea through rivers. And we see many birds die after consuming this plastic. We have albatrosses or other species of birds that are very sensitive to this plastic pollution,” said Mr. Trouvilles explained.
According to him, it is important to think about better sharing of water while protecting natural habitats not only for citizens but also for migratory birds. “There are a number of actions that should be of concern to both governments, but also to us as citizens.”
He suggested avoiding any waste: “Avoid leaky faucets and prefer showers to baths. There are lots of small actions that mean every drop of water saved by each person contributes to creating beautiful rivers and feeding wetlands.
World Migratory Bird Day is an international call for the conservation of migratory birds, whose ranges often span multiple countries and face various threats around the world.
The purpose of World Migratory Bird Day is to raise awareness about migratory birds and their conservation issues. The campaign highlights the importance of international cooperation and encourages national and local action to protect migratory birds and their habitats.
The annual campaign is organized by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wildlife (CMS), the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), Environment for the Americas (EFTA) and the East Asia-Australia Flyway. Partnership (EAAFP).
To learn more about this year’s World Migratory Bird Day campaign and what to do, visit www.worldmigratorybirdday.org
“Coffee trailblazer. Social media fanatic. Tv enthusiast. Friendly entrepreneur. Amateur zombie nerd.”
In the United States, there is growing hope for a happy ending to the public debt crisis
France: More than sixty migrants rescued in Channel
Fierce battle in US Congress over debt