Migratory Species Almost 50% in Decline, Over 20% Threatened with Extinction Mainly Due to Overexploitation and Habitat Loss [UN Report]

Migratory species are experiencing population decline and some species are in the brink of extinction due to various factors, including overexploitation and habitat loss. This is according to a recent report by the United Nations, which revealed that hundreds of species of migratory animals are facing challenges and threats that hinder them from going to their intended destinations, where they forage or reproduce.

In addition to anthropogenic or human-induced activities, climate change continues not only to be a direct threat but also an “amplifier” of existing threats like pollution and invasive species, the UN report says.

Furthermore, the assessment released earlier this week suggests that the impact of the current climate crisis, which includes global temperature rise, on biodiversity is expected to be more evident in the coming decades.

The disruptions or alterations to the natural movement of migratory species involve either the animal’s early or late arrival to their destinations. This phenomenon not only affects the potential food and chances for successful breeding of the migratory creatures but also other animals from their original habitats and the ecosystem surrounding them.

Migratory Species at Risk

Migratory Species Almost 50% in Decline, Over 20% Threatened with Extinction Mainly Due to Overexploitation and Habitat Loss [UN Report]
(Photo : Photo by Olga ga on Unsplash)

Nearly 520 or 50% of migratory species globally are facing critical population decline, while 260 or over 20% of these species are threatened with extinction, according to the UN report on Monday. Two of the greatest threats to this biodiversity (overexploitation and habitat loss) mentioned earlier is due to human activity. The report is based on a study, described as the “first of its kind,” prepared by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Over the past several decades, the excessive hunting of different wildlife species and human expansion has resulted in significant loss of habitat for both terrestrial and marine animals. This means that these anthropogenic factors are also aggravated due to extreme heat or higher temperatures amid global warming and climate change.

According to Amy Fraenkel, head of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory species of Wild Animals (CMS), habitat destruction and fragmentation combined with pollution and climate change are part of the general threat affecting migratory species, ranging from birds to fish and turtles.

Moreover, wildlife disease is also a growing problem that concerns both scientists and conservationists.

Also Read: Extinct Animals: Which Died from Natural and Anthropogenic Causes?

Climate Change

The climate crisis is a recurring theme that appears in scientific reports about the disintegration of the environment and even the declining wildlife population. In fact, not only wild animals but also humans are affected by climate change, one of modern time’s greatest challenge. Because it increases and intensifies extreme weather events or natural disasters, including drought, heat waves, and storms, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Now, the UN report officially entitled State of The World’s Migratory Species highlights the current dangers impacting migratory species found all over the world, with evidence showing that the conservation status of many CMS-listed species is deteriorating.

Related Article: Devastating Kansas Drought Affects Millions of Migratory Birds

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