The majority of the world’s migratory birds are unsafe on their journeys that they make each year.
More than 90% of the migratory birds remain without any protection during their annual trips. And research has proved that many of them are not safe when they take intermittent breaks for feeding, relaxing or reproductive purposes.
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Many conservationists have urged that reserves be built for the sake of these rare birds. Large sections of migratory birds have already been decimated due to hunting and the destruction of their habitat.
These avian species are high on the endurance scale since they make such long journeys over both land and sea. Take the example of the arctic tern. It covers a distance that is equal to going to the moon and coming back. And it covers it three times over in its lifetime.
As for the bar-tailed godwit, it travels 10,000 km at a single flying time span. This is the lengthiest journey ever recorded for an avian. In the past three decades, most migratory birds have suffered on their journeys and been subject to serious population decline. The problem once again lies with the protection that mankind ought to provide these beautiful birds.
Typically most migratory birds stop to refuel at various geographic locations along the way. However, safeguarding their breeding grounds is not enough. That is because the threats lie virtually everywhere.
The study had experts from the UK, the US and Australia looking into the migratory journeys of over 1500 birds. Only 9% of the birds had the proper immunity against harm guaranteed on their journeys.
This was a stark contrast to the 45% that were non-migratory. The main issue is that migratory birds have their own needs as far as conservation is concerned. And many of them are not being met.
Such nations as France and Venezuela meet the needs of over 80% of their migratory birds. But other countries such as China and India are lagging behind. They only meet the requirements of their migratory birds by a measly 10%.
However, it is not just a matter of developing countries being light years behind developed ones. If this were the case then why are the protection rates higher in Central America as compared to the US and Canada. Whatever the case, the need for greater coordination is a must if we are to even start the dialogue on the conservation of migratory birds.
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This study got published in the journal Science.