Fall Migration Reminds Us It’s Time to Take Motion on Biodiversity Loss


As the recent North American summer season fades into the cooler days of autumn/fall, tens of tens of millions of migratory birds are touring south day by day throughout Canada, the U.S., and Mexico into Central and South America and the Caribbean. Over the interval from late July via November, from the Boreal Forest area of Canada and Alaska alone, there are three to 5 billion birds that should cross over the Canada-U.S. border. Most of them migrate at evening whereas we’re sleeping—one of many world’s grandest migratory spectacles that slips by largely unnoticed.

This contains birds just like the chicken-size shorebird referred to as the Whimbrel with its lengthy, downcurved invoice. Some fly from locations within the Arctic just like the Mackenzie Delta of the Northwest Territories with stop-offs within the huge saltmarshes of Hudson and James Bay after which onto the Maritimes and New England. Right here some feed on lowbush blueberries and different pure berries earlier than hanging off throughout the stormy Atlantic for 3 to 5 days of continuous flight to the coast of South America.  

One other, the Blackpoll Warbler—a hen the scale of an grownup’s closed fist, comes from the spruce forests as distant as Alaska and the Yukon to the Atlantic Coast earlier than additionally flinging themselves into the evening sky to fly to South America. Right here, in international locations like Colombia, which boasts the best hen range of any nation on Earth, Blackpoll Warblers turn out to be temporal housemates of numerous non-migratory denizens of lush, tropical Andean rainforests and different forest habitats. 

Screenshot of Bird Migration Explorer for Blackpoll Warbler.

Birders throughout Canada and the U.S. are marveling at these and lots of different superb hen species that breed within the Boreal Forest and Arctic areas as they cross via their backyards and neighborhoods. However at all times at the back of the thoughts is the conclusion that there have been as soon as so many extra—nearly three billion extra actually, in line with a paper revealed just some years in the past. 

This and lots of different research and reviews proceed to make it clear that we’re certainly within the midst of a free fall in biodiversity—together with birds—all through the western hemisphere. Blackpoll Warblers, for instance, share their non-breeding habitats with critically endangered species such because the Blue-billed Curassow and the Chestnut-capped Piha, each of that are endemic to Colombia.

In December, leaders of most nations all over the world might be coming collectively on the U.N. Conference on Organic Range COP15 assembly/Biodiversity Convention in Montreal to collectively resolve on the targets they need to all attain with a view to reverse biodiversity declines via socially equitable options. They are going to want all of the encouragement, stress, steering, and assist that they will get.

Happily, there are lots of folks, organizations, and governments coming ahead to lift the extent of ambition, dedication, and motion to face the problem. BirdLife Worldwide, a coalition of main hen conservation organizations representing many of the nations of the world, held its 100-year-anniversary congress final week in England. Audubon, one of many 4 authentic founding members of BirdLife, was excited to be a part of this effort to provoke the world’s hen organizations to usher in a brand new period of even better ranges of motion to reverse declines and stabilize hen populations. We had been particularly happy to announce, with coalition companions BirdLife Worldwide, RedLAC, American Chook Conservancy, and others, an incredible new initiative referred to as Conserva Aves which is able to convey tens of tens of millions of {dollars} to the hassle to guard crucial locations for migratory and resident birds throughout South and Central America and Mexico.

Coinciding with the BirdLife Congress occasion was one other momentous sport changer for hen conservation—the discharge of the outstanding Chook Migration Explorer, one of many largest compilations of hen migration monitoring information ever assembled. This info might be essential to serving to perceive how birds are utilizing totally different locations for his or her survival throughout breeding, migration, and winter so we are able to be sure the locations they want usually are not misplaced and the habitats there stay intact and wholesome. This work exhibits the continued want for rising the extent of land beneath conservation safety all over the place, a reality highlighted by the push for a brand new world benchmark to guard 30% of lands and waters in each nation by 2030.

Occasions final week in New York on the U.N. Normal Meeting showcased Indigenous voices highlighting the necessity to acknowledge and assist their rights together with deciding the way forward for their lands and waters. And leaders of many world governments, together with from Canada, got here collectively to advocate for drastically rising the degrees of funding from governments, philanthropists, and companies which are directed at biodiversity conservation and alternatives for synergies with local weather change initiatives, particularly nature-based local weather options.

These are all hopeful landmarks on the map pointing the world in direction of the COP15 U.N. Biodiversity Convention in Montreal in December. By then, many of the birds migrating via the U.S. and Canada could have discovered their winter houses starting from Chile and Argentina to Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, and international locations in-between. Birds inform us how vital this new world biodiversity treaty is, they usually want us to ensure it raises the ambitions and commitments of all nations of the world. They haven’t any voice, however we do.




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