Almost half of migratory species in decline worldwide: UN

The population of nearly half of all migratory species is declining globally, according to a new report from the United Nations.

The report from the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) released Monday found that 44 percent of the species listed by CMS are in population decline. Migratory species are animals that rely on moving around to different habitats for feeding, mating and resting, according to the report.

Inger Andersen, undersecretary general of the United Nations and executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, urged world leaders to take action as a result of the report.

“The global community has an opportunity to translate this latest science of the pressures facing migratory species into concrete conservation action. Given the precarious situation of many of these animals, we cannot afford to delay, and must work together to make the recommendations a reality,” Anderson said in a statement.

Migratory species include a wide range of animals, from songbirds to sea turtles to sharks to monarch butterflies, the report said. CMS attributed the declines in migratory species’ populations to numerous factors, including the loss of habitat, human-related activity and overexploitation through hunting and fishing.

The report found that 3 in 4 CMS-listed species “are impacted by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation,” while 7 in 10 are impacted by overexploitation.

The report also found that about 1 in 5 species listed by CMS are also threatened by extinction, and 97 percent of all the CMS-listed fish species are threatened with extinction.

CMS urged policymakers to enact a series of changes to address the issue, including expanding monitoring of important sites for migratory species, following through on “ecosystem restoration commitments” and minimizing the negative impact of infrastructure on migratory pathways.

The Associated Press noted that governments vowed to protect 30 percent of the planet’s land and water resources for conservation at the 2022 U.N. Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada.

The Associated Press contributed

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