UN Report: Migratory Species Face Unparalleled Threats

Feb 16, 2024

A new report on migratory species is the first of its kind from the United Nations’ Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). It presents the clearest proof to date that these species are under dire threat. 

A migratory species is one which travels great lengths as part of its life cycle. The CMA report on these species was published Monday. It found that 44% of them have dwindling numbers. One in five is threatened with extinction. For migratory fish, the data is grim: 97% of species in the CMS report are critically endangered.   

"These are magnificent species that take unbelievable journeys, in some cases, that are economically beneficial, as well as the stuff of poetry and song and cultural significance," Amy Fraenkel, CMS’ executive secretary, told CNN. “And we have a lot of evidence showing that if you remove these species, if they decline, it will have impacts on the ecosystems where they’re found, and not in a positive way.”    

Threatened migratory species run the gamut from sea turtles to elephants. CMS’ report described many threats to their numbers. Most of the threats are linked to human actions. Hunting, fishing, and climate change are some. So is habitat harm. All are the chief causes for the species decline, the report said.   

Migratory species play vital roles in nature. They disperse nutrients. They also spread seeds. And they pollinate plants. To protect them, CMS advised a global approach. They called for efforts to map migration routes. They recommended building monitoring centers. They also advised countries to work together to protect habitats and lower pollution

Photo from Reuters.

Reflect: How might protecting migratory species benefit the environment as a whole?

Which of the following words could best replace the word “dire” in the opening paragraph without changing the meaning of the sentence? (Common Core RI.5.4; RI.6.4)
a. minor
b. small
c. serious
d. mild
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