UN Report: 20% of World's Migratory Species Face Extinction Risk

  • 14 Feb 2024

The United Nations' inaugural report on migrating animals, published on 12th February, 2024, underscores the critical risks faced by these species due to climate change and human activities.

Key Points

  • Extinction Risk: More than 20% of the world's migrating species are threatened with extinction due to the combined impacts of climate change and human encroachment.
  • The report emphasizes that unsustainable pressures on these species could lead to dwindling populations, disrupt food supplies, and endanger livelihoods.
  • Population Decline: Among the 1,189 species covered by the 1979 U.N. convention to protect migratory animals, 44% have experienced declines in their numbers.
  • Alarmingly, up to 22% of these species could face complete extinction if current trends persist.
  • Human Impact: Human activities such as hunting, fishing, and habitat destruction pose the most significant threats to migratory species. These activities impact 70% of the species listed under the U.N. convention.
  • Habitat Loss: Habitat loss affects up to 75% of migratory species, emphasizing the urgent need for enhanced connectivity between isolated ecosystems.
  • The report urges governments to avoid disrupting habitats and migration routes when implementing infrastructure projects.
  • Climate Change: Temperature changes disrupt migration patterns, cause heat stress, and contribute to increasingly destructive weather events such as droughts and forest fires. These factors exacerbate the challenges faced by migratory species.
  • Government Action: The report calls for decisive action by governments to address the threats to migratory species.
  • This includes implementing measures to protect habitats and migration routes, as well as honoring commitments to biodiversity conservation.
  • Convention Meeting: The report coincides with a meeting of the U.N. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
  • This meeting aims to review new species for conservation status and launch initiatives to protect habitats more effectively.
  • Global Biodiversity Agreement: Conservationists urge governments to fulfill their pledge under the 2022 global biodiversity agreement to set aside 30% of the world's land and sea territories for nature conservation by 2030.