World’s migratory birds are increasingly facing difficulties due to destroyed habitats and researchers are tracking these migratory birds, some 1,451 species to check if they are flying through protected areas or destroyed habitats.
Migrating birds are incredible, and travel thousands of kilometres in a single flight. A recent study, however, found that 91% of the birds flew in unprotected regions that have seen a slew of development activities by humans.
Only 9% of the migratory birds had protected areas in their migratory route to rest, feed and breed.
Human activities along the routes taken by migratory birds are posing a serious problem for these long distance flyers of migratory birds. The researchers studied the migratory route and also checked the resting spots and breeding grounds and winter locations of the 1,451 migratory avian species and also 4,50,000 protected areas like national parks and other reserves.
It is crucial for these birds that fly vast distances to find a series of spots in the journey where they can rest, feed and breed.
Conservation scientist, Richard Fuller from the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and the University of Queensland said that even if a single link in this chain of spots is lost it could lead to a decline and even extinction of a particular species.
The bird’s transverse vast distances, crossing countries where there are no protected areas or conservation measures. The problem is particularly bad in North Africa, Central Asia and the East Asian coasts.
Small birds need to rest and feed to recoup their energy for the next leg of the journey. If the habitats are lost or destroyed due to human activity, these birds no longer have the energy to make the next leg of the journey, and they perish on the way.
A typical example is the bar-tailed godwit bird that migrates from its breeding grounds in Arctic region to Australia and New Zealand. The bird makes a stopover in China, North Korea and South Korea.
Many of the critical sites have been destroyed by developmental activities for urban, industrial and agricultural expansion. Experts are calling for creating new and protected locations and coordinating conservation across international borders.