The BirdLife Flyways Programme is working on the ground to protect chains of Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) that are critical for migratory birds, and to reduce threats along these routes.
Analyses of the data that BirdLife compiles for the IUCN Red List show that migratory birds have become more threatened since 1988, with 33 species moving to more serious threat categories, and just six improving in status.
Many of these declining species were once common, and their arrivals and departures are significant cultural events throughout much of the world.
Their disappearance from the landscape was unthinkable 30 years ago, but is now a real prospect without concerted action.
Birds know no borders
The Bar-tailed Godwit, Limosa lapponica, undertakes one of the avian world’s most extraordinary migratory journeys. Recent research reveals that some individuals had made nonstop flights of over 11,000 km, the longest continuous journey that has ever been recorded for a landbird.
International collaboration is essential to tackle the threats affecting migratory birds and our Flyways Programme coordinates the work of BirdLife Partners in the three main global flyways:
Africa-Eurasia Flyway: connects the breeding grounds of Europe and northern Asia with the wintering grounds in Africa, and includes vital stop-over sites in the Middle East and Mediterranean
East Asia-Australasia Flyway: connects north-east Asian breeding grounds with wintering grounds in south-east Asia and Australia, and includes the vital stop-over sites in China and the Korean Peninsula
Americas Flyway: connects North American breeding grounds with wintering grounds in the Caribbean and Central and South America
- To save threatened migratory species from extinction by addressing main threats and conserve key sites and habitats which will be beneficial to a wider set of migratory species
- To address landscape-scale barriers to migration, especially illegal and unsustainable killing of birds and the proliferation of poorly-planned energy and power transmission infrastructure
- To conserve networks of critical stop-over sites (Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas, IBAs) through action on the ground by our Local Conservation Groups
- To strengthen local and national capacity in the stop-over sites by strengthening the collaboration between BirdLife Partners
- To understand and address the wider land-use issues facing migratory birds through targeted research and policy work