World Migratory Bird Day
Date Published: 11 May, 2010
World Migratory Bird Day focuses on globally threatened migratory birds
On 8-9 May 2010 thousands of people around the world will be attending World Migratory Bird Day
(WMBD) events which will celebrate bird migration and highlight migratory birds in crisis.
Events to mark World Migratory Bird Day will include bird festivals, educational programmes,
presentations and birdwatching trips organised by hundreds of dedicated groups and organisations
around the world. An international photo competition – The World's Rarest Bird Photo Competition is
also linked to WMBD this year and is focusing on the world's most threatened birds.
“Save migratory birds in crisis – every species counts!” - is this year's central WMBD theme and
aims to raise awareness about globally threatened migratory birds, with a particular focus on those birds
on the very edge of extinction - the Critically Endangered.
"The threat of extinction faced by individual bird species is a reflection of the larger extinction crisis
threatening other species and the natural diversity that underpins all life on Earth", says Bert Lenten -
Executive Secretary of the UN Environment Programme’s African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird
Agreement (AEWA) and initiator of the World Migratory Bird Day campaign. "By focusing on migratory
birds in crisis during the International Year of Biodiversity, World Migratory Bird Day 2010 is highlighting
the role played by birds as indicators, enabling us to see the negative effects our current way of life is
having on the planet and its biodiversity", added Mr Lenten.
As one of the best researched taxa, birds serve as vital indicators for the state of biodiversity and the
biological health of the ecosystems they inhabit. If a bird species becomes threatened with extinction it is
often a clear sign that the conditions of the required habitats have changed and that other species
dependent on them may also be affected.
A staggering 1,227 or 12.4% of the total 9,865 extant bird species in the world are currently classified as
globally threatened and 192 of these are considered Critically Endangered.
An estimated 19% of all known birds are considered to be migratory, of which 11% are Globally
Threatened or Near Threatened and 31 are classified as Critically Endangered according to BirdLife
International on behalf of the IUCN Red List.
"World Migratory Bird Day is an opportunity to draw international attention to migratory birds around a
central theme each year. The focus on the most threatened migratory birds in 2010 acts as yet another
reminder to governments that more needs to be done internationally to conserve these species across
their migratory ranges", says Elizabeth Maruma Mrema - Executive Secretary of the Convention on
Migratory Species (CMS), a UNEP administered wildlife treaty.
For more information download: