World Migratory Bird Day 2023

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Today is World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)!

WMBD is a biannual campaign that looks to raise awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.

This year’s theme is Water: Sustaining Bird Life.

Water is fundamental to life on our planet. The vast majority of migratory birds rely on aquatic ecosystems during their life cycles. Inland and coastal wetlands, rivers, lakes, streams, marshes, and ponds are all vital for feeding, drinking, or nesting, and also as places to rest and refuel during their long journeys.

Unfortunately, aquatic ecosystems are becoming increasingly threatened around the world and so are the migratory birds that depend on them.

President of the CIC, Dr. Philipp Harmer, spoke about the ways in which hunters are supporting migratory birds and their associated aquatic ecosystems:

In an increasingly interconnected world, an ecosystem-level approach to conservation is the most effective way to provide holistic benefits to our wild plant and animal species.

Hunters are already playing an essential role in preserving aquatic migratory bird ecosystems, such as through predator control, managing nesting sites or preventing the spread of avian influenza. 

As global pressures on migratory birds continue to grow, it is vital that we consistently provide and expand on these services going forwards.”

Executive Secretary of AEWA, Dr. Jacques Trouvilliez, recently discussed migratory birds within the context of hunters’ broader contributions to conservation at the Biodiversity 2030: A “One Health” Perspective Technical Session held within the framework of the 69th CIC General Assembly.

Part of the session explored the role of hunters in limiting the spread of wildlife diseases, with avian influenza given as one specific example.

A full summary of this session at the General Assembly can be found here.