Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

World Migratory Bird Day falls over 14/15 May 2011: get involved!

World Migratory Bird Day was initiated in 2006 as a global awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats.  On the second weekend of Maypeople around the world take action and organise public events such as bird festivals, education programmes and bird-watching excursions to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day and to help raise awareness around a specific theme.

World Migratory Bird Day activities take place in many different countries and places, but are all linked through a single global campaign and theme.  Anyone interested in organising an event to mark World Migratory Bird Day is encouraged to register their activity at http://www.worldmigratorybirdday.org/2011/.  In this way, individual events can be shared with others around the world and help inspire them to get involved.

The theme for 14/15 May 2011 "Land use changes from a bird's-eye view" centres on the conversion of natural areas into agricultural land, the construction of buildings, roads and dams, or deforestation are just some examples for the human use of land, also known as land use.  Land use and land-management practices have a major impact on natural resources including water, soil, nutrients, plants and animals.  Migratory bird populations are particularly sensitive to land use and studies reveal that this is the major threat they are facing.

Although many ACAP-listed species breed on uninhabited islands there are localities where they interact with land-use activities in the broad sense such as farming, ranching and environmental tourism, and at sea, fishing.

Those among us interested in the conservation of albatrosses and petrels and their habitats should consider organizing an event to feature these charismatic birds.  All the species listed within the Agreement are migratory, in the sense that they cross international boundaries while foraging at sea, including travelling from national into international waters.

World Migratory Bird Day is a global initiative devoted to celebrating migratory birds and for promoting their conservation worldwide.  It is organized by the Secretariats of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) - two international wildlife treaties administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 6 April 2011