Migratory species verging on imminent man-made extinction, warns UN


Over one in five of 1,189 listed creatures are now at risk, spanning various animal groups, with 44% experiencing population declines

Migratory species include some of the most iconic animals on the planet, like elephants. These elephants are grazing after spraying sand on their bodies at Kimana Sanctuary in Kimana, Kenya — a mud bath that helps protect them from heat and bug bites. —AFP

A recently published report by the UN’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals reveals that human activities are pushing hundreds of migratory species toward extinction, CNN reported. 

Female leatherback turtles, known for their extensive journeys, face fatal threats such as fishing nets, poaching, pollution, and climate-induced changes in sea temperatures. 

Baby Leatherback sea turtles head to the sea at sunset on Indonesias Lhoknga Beach in February 2023. —AFP
Baby Leatherback sea turtles head to the sea at sunset on Indonesia’s Lhoknga Beach in February 2023. —AFP

The report indicates that over one in five of the 1,189 listed creatures are now at risk, spanning various animal groups, with 44% experiencing population declines. The dire state of migratory fish, with 97% facing extinction, is particularly alarming.

A female narwhal surfaces in an open ocean area surrounded by sea ice near western Greenland. As oceans warm and annual sea ice expansion is delayed, narwhals are threatened by flash freezing, which could trap them underwater with no open ocean to breathe through. —Reuters
A female narwhal surfaces in an open ocean area surrounded by sea ice near western Greenland. As oceans warm and annual sea ice expansion is delayed, narwhals are threatened by flash freezing, which could trap them underwater with no open ocean to breathe through. —Reuters

The study identifies overexploitation and habitat loss due to human activities as the major threats, fragmenting migratory pathways and hindering complete journeys. 

While the population of the iconic humpback whale has increased, after centuries of hunting, the report calls for strong conservation efforts worldwide. —AFP
While the population of the iconic humpback whale has increased, after centuries of hunting, the report calls for strong conservation efforts worldwide. —AFP

Around 58% of crucial locations for migratory species are under unsustainable human pressure. Climate change and pollution exacerbate the situation, affecting migration patterns and habitats, and leading to potential consequences such as delayed journeys and mass strandings.



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