Hunting, poaching biggest threats to migratory birds, according to report
The biggest threat for migratory species at risk of extinction are hunting, poaching, persecution and control, according to a new report released at the thirteenth conference of parties (COP-13) on conservation of migratory species (CMS) of wild animals in Gandhinagar.
The preliminary assessment showed that 96% of all the species listed under Appendix 1 of the CMS face these threats. Of all the 173 species included in the appendix, 98% of the mammals, 94% of the birds and 100% of the reptiles and fish, respectively, are facing extinction because of hunting and poaching, the report showed.
The Great Indian Bustard, the mascot for the COP-13 event, has seen a 90% decline in population since 1969 amid widespread poaching in neighbouring Pakistan.
The CMS has never before worked on a report to evaluate the conservation status of migratory animals. COP-13 is pushing for greater budgetary allocation for a study of the population trends and the challenges faced by species threatened by extinction. “Though demand for elephant tusks have been known, now elephant skin and beads are being traded as well. Asian elephants need to be protected especially after the pachyderms cross into Nepal and Bangladesh,” said Dipankar Ghose, director, species and landscape at Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).
“An initial status report of migratory species showed that over 70% of the species on Appendix 1 are declining along with habitat loss. We need funds to prepare a flagship report on the status of migratory species,” said Amy Fraenkel, executive secretary, CMS.