World Migratory Bird Day 2017
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was initiated in 2006 and is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. It has a global outreach and is an effective tool to help raise global awareness of the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.
Every year people around the world take action and organise public events such as bird festivals, education programmes, exhibitions and birdwatching excursions to celebrate WMBD. All these activities can also be undertaken at any time of the year because that countries or regions observing the peak of migrations at different times, but the main day for the international celebrations is 10 May.
Since the dawn of time, the ways of migratory birds have been an essential feature of the landscape of human existence. The sight and sounds of birds on their way to and from their wintering grounds has been reflected in poetry, art, and literature.
These migrations require precise orientation and high-energy consumption because of the physiological and ecological adaptation needed for different environmental conditions. The routes are called flyways - which encompass the breeding, wintering and staging areas required to complete the whole annual cycle.
During migration, these animals face a wide range of threats that impact their chances of surviving the journey. High-voltage power lines result in collisions and electrocution. Pollution, deforestation and changing land use destroy habitats that once were suitable breeding and wintering grounds, as well as stopover sites. In these stopover countries and wintering grounds, their eggs and chicks face poaching. And as more and more countries take up renewable energy, these migratory birds face a new threat: of being killed by wind turbines.
All the activities organized for World Migratory Bird Day are united by a common theme. With the 2017 theme "Their Future is our Future", Migratory Bird Day will throw light on the topic of "Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People".
World Migratory Bird Day 2017 will highlight the interdependence of people and nature, and more especially people and migratory animals - in particular birds, as they share the same planet and thus the same limited resources.
The 2017 campaign will aim at raising awareness on the need for a sustainable management of our natural resources, demonstrating that birds conservation is also crucial for the future of humankind.