Thursday, March 25, 2010

World Migratory Bird Day 2010 Focuses on Globally Threatened Migratory Birds

Malaysian Nature Society Miri Branch is again celebrating World Migratory Bird Day this year, our third year. WMBD events are extra special this year since in 2010 we are also celebrating MNS 70th Year Anniversary.

This year MNS Miri have confirmed the following events locally:

08th May
Birdwatching at Innoue Trail, Lambir Hills National Park. Birdwatching with Khoo Swee Seng, MNS Raptor Study Group together with Miri Branch Bird Group, members and interested public.

Talk and Slideshow on "Migrating Raptors" by Khoo Swee Seng at Pustaka Miri. Inline with this year's theme, Seng will be speaking about migrating raptors. This is a collaboration with Pustaka Negeri Sarawak. Seng will also touch on the upcoming MY Big Garden Birdwatch in June.

Evening Birdwatching at Bukit Song, Lambir Hills National Park. Birdwatching with Khoo Swee Seng, MNS Raptor Study Group together with Miri Branch Bird Group, members and interested public.

09th May
Birdwatching fieldtrip in Kuala Baram led by Seng and MBBG. MNS Miri will be providing a complementary 40 seater bus to transport participants to site from Pustaka Miri and back.

And one special event in collaboration with our MNS Sabah friends at Kinabalu National Park:

15th May
Birdwatching with members and school students in Kinabalu National Park World Heritage Site. This is also a joint celebration of MNS 70th Anniversary with MNS Sabah Branch. Students will be led through the different routes around to park in search of Sabah endemics and other interesting KNP birdlife.

MNS Miri Branch members, students and members of the public are invited to participate in the above events. All events in Miri are complementary, and all are welcomed.

For more details about the WMBD events in Miri, please email :

More information on WMBD2010 from the UNEP-AEWA Secretariat:

The Secretariats of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (UNEP/AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS) are pleased to announce the countdown for World Migratory Bird Day 2010. This two-day awareness raising campaign will take place globally for the fifth consecutive year from 8-9 May 2010.

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) aims to inspire people to take action for the conservation of migratory birds and encourages national authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), clubs and societies, universities, schools and individuals around the world to organize events and programmes, which help draw attention to migratory birds around a central theme each year.

This year’s theme is “Save migratory birds in crisis – every species counts!” It is closely linked to the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) declared by the United Nations for 2010.

The WMBD 2010 theme aims to raise awareness on globally threatened migratory birds, with a particular focus on those on the very edge of extinction – the Critically Endangered migratory birds.

In line with the International Year of Biodiversity, the 2010 WMBD theme also highlights how migratory birds are part of the biological diversity of our world and how 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.

Migratory birds in crisis
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 on the IUCN Red List of threatened species, i.e. they face an extremely high risk of becoming extinct.
An estimated 19% of all known birds and about 30 of the 192 Critically Endangered bird species are considered to be migratory and undertake regular cyclical movements between their breeding and non-breeding areas.

Some prominent examples of “migratory birds in crisis” being highlighted in the context of this year’s WMBD campaign include the Slender-billed Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris), the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita), the Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius), the Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) and the Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster) – all of which are migratory and listed as Critically Endangered.

Migratory birds as indicators
By focusing on “migratory birds in crisis” during the International Year of Biodiversity, World Migratory Bird Day 2010 is also highlighting the role played by birds as indicators, enabling us to clearly see and highlight the negative effects our current way of life is having on the planet and it’s biodiversity.

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 that depend on them may also be affected.

Migratory birds rely on several different habitats to survive – often across several continents. They need areas to breed, rest, feed and to raise their young. The conservation of migratory birds depends to a large extent on the conservation of their habitats, thereby simultaneously benefiting other species.

WMBD 2010 during the International Year of Biodiversity

The International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations for the year 2010, is an appreciation of the value of biodiversity and the vital role it plays in all our lives. However, it is not only a celebration, but also an invitation to take action to safeguard the variety of life on earth. Humankind relies on this diversity, because it provides us with food, fuel, medicine and other essentials which we need to survive.

Yet species are disappearing at an unprecedented rate because of human activities, amongst other threats, and these losses are irreversible. In fact, the current rate of extinction is a thousand times faster than the natural one. For birds, the natural rate of extinction is one bird per century, but in the last thirty years alone, 21 bird species have become extinct. Without immediate action, many of the “migratory birds in crisis” will no longer exist in ten year’s time.

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2010 is an opportunity to take action and to draw international attention to those migratory birds which are threatened by extinction and to highlight them as flagship species during the International Year of Biodiversity.

Further Information:

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is a global initiative devoted to celebrating migratory birds and for promoting their conservation worldwide. It is being organised by the Secretariats of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) – two international wildlife treaties administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – and other partners.

People and dedicated organisations around the world will be using the event to draw attention to migratory birds that are threatened by extinction. Activities to mark WMBD include bird festivals and bird watching trips, public discussions, exhibitions, presentations, bird rallies and other educational and public events.

Event organizers are encouraged to register their events on the WMBD website and can order the WMBD 2010 poster and other information materials to support their events by writing to:

For more information please visit:

WMBD Partners:

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the voice for the environment in the United Nations system. It is an advocate, educator, catalyst and facilitator, promoting the wise use of the planet's natural assets for sustainable development.

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB). The goals of this special year are to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity, highlighting the fact that it continues to be lost, and to celebrate novel solutions being carried out around the world for its conservation and sustainable use, and the equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. The Year 2010 was chosen to coincide with the biodiversity target agreed by world leaders in 2002. During the Year scientists will report on a global trend on biodiversity.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS; also known as the Bonn Convention) aims to conserve terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range. It is an intergovernmental treaty concluded under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Since the Convention's entry into force, its membership has grown steadily to include 113 (as of 1 January 2010) parties from Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) is an intergovernmental treaty developed under the CMS dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds. The Agreement covers 255 species of birds, ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle. The treaty covers a large geographic area, including Europe, parts of Asia, Canada, the Middle East and Africa. So far 63 out of the 118 countries (as of 1 February 2010) in this area have become Contracting Parties to the International Agreement.

BirdLife International is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity. BirdLife International has long been committed to the conservation of migratory birds and the habitats upon which they depend. The BirdLife Partnership is engaged in migratory bird conservation at numerous scales, from projects focused on individual species or key sites, to broader policy and advocacy work to promote migratory species conservation, and involvement in flyway-scale projects.

Wetlands International is an independent, non-profit, global organisation, dedicated to the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Wetlands International works globally, regionally and nationally to achieve the conservation and wise use of wetlands, to benefit biodiversity and human well-being.

The Partnership for the East Asian - Australasian Flyway - Launched in November 2006, the Partnership is an informal and voluntary initiative, aimed at protecting migratory waterbirds, their habitat and the livelihoods of people dependent upon them. There are currently 21 partners including 10 countries, 3 intergovernmental agencies and 8 international non-government organisations. The Partnership provides a framework for international cooperation, including: (1) development of a Waterbird Site Network (for sites of international importance to migratory waterbirds), (2) collaborative activities to increase knowledge and raise awareness of migratory waterbirds along the flyway, and (3) building capacity for the sustainable management and conservation of migratory waterbird habitat along the flyway.

MNS Miri, March 2010

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