IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


13th February, 2024 Environment


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Picture Courtesy: https://www.cms.int/en/news/world-migratory-bird-day-2023

Context: Every year on the second Saturday of May, the world celebrates World Migratory Birds Day (WMBD), a global campaign dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of migratory birds and the threats they face.

World Migratory Bird Day

  • World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an annual campaign that aims to raise awareness of the importance of migratory birds and their habitats, and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.
  • WMBD is celebrated on the second weekend of May and October every year, with different themes and activities around the world.

What are migratory birds and why are they important?

  • Migratory birds are birds that travel from one region or continent to another, following seasonal changes in food availability, climate, or breeding opportunities. Some of the most well-known migratory birds include swallows, geese, cranes, and flamingos.
  • They play vital roles in the ecosystems they inhabit, as well as in the global environment. They pollinate plants, disperse seeds, control pests, scavenge waste, and provide food for other animals. They also have cultural, economic, and recreational values for humans, as sources of inspiration, tourism, education, and research.
  • They face many threats along their journeys, such as habitat loss and degradation, climate change, pollution, hunting, collisions with human-made structures, and invasive species. These threats affect not only the survival of individual birds but also the functioning of the ecosystems they depend on.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

●This international treaty, also known as the Bonn Convention, aims to conserve migratory species and their habitats.

●It was signed in 1979 and currently has 132 Parties (countries).

●It provides a framework for cooperation and coordination between different nations to protect migratory species.

List of some migratory birds commonly found in India

  • Siberian Crane: Travels from Siberia to India, particularly to Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan.
  • Bar-headed Goose: Flies over the Himalayas from Central Asia to winter in various parts of India, including Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.
  • Greater Flamingo: Migrates from Central Asia to various wetlands along the coast of India, such as Chilika Lake in Odisha.
  • Demoiselle Crane: Travels from Central Asia, including Mongolia and Russia, to winter in western India, notably in Gujarat.
  • Asian Openbill Stork: Migrates from Southeast Asia to various parts of India, including Assam and Tamil Nadu.
  • Black-necked Crane: Flies from the Tibetan Plateau to winter in the high-altitude regions of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Northern Pintail: Migrates from Central Asia to winter in wetlands and lakes across northern and central India.
  • Osprey: Travels from Central Asia and Europe to winter in coastal areas of India, such as the Sundarbans in West Bengal.
  • Eurasian Curlew: Migrates from Europe and Central Asia to winter along the coastline of India, including Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • Amur Falcon: Flies from Siberia and Northeast Asia to winter in northeastern India, particularly in Nagaland and Manipur.
  • Common Greenshank: Migrates from Central Asia and Europe to winter in coastal areas and wetlands of India, such as Pulicat Lake in Andhra Pradesh.



Q. Climate change is posing a significant threat to many migratory bird populations. Which of the following is NOT a consequence of climate change for migratory birds?

A) Earlier ice melted in their breeding grounds, leading to mismatched food availability for chicks.

B) Changes in weather patterns disrupt their migration routes and timing.

C) Loss of coastal wetlands due to rising sea levels, impacting crucial stopover points.

D) Increased competition for food and resources with resident bird populations at their wintering grounds.

Answer:  D


A) This statement is a potential consequence of climate change. As temperatures rise, earlier ice melt can impact the timing of peak food availability, affecting the synchronization between the arrival of migratory birds and the availability of prey for their chicks.

B) This statement is a consequence of climate change. Altered weather patterns, including shifts in wind patterns and temperature changes, can disrupt traditional migration routes and timing. Migratory birds rely on predictable environmental cues for successful migration, and climate-induced changes can affect their ability to navigate.

C) This statement is a consequence of climate change. Rising sea levels, attributed to global warming, can lead to the loss of coastal wetlands – important stopover points for migratory birds. Loss of these habitats can disrupt their migration, affecting their ability to rest and refuel.

D) This statement is not a direct consequence of climate change. While climate change may indirectly influence resource availability and competition dynamics, increased competition with resident bird populations is a broader ecological concept and is not solely a direct result of climate change.