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Countdown for World Migratory Bird Day - The Sociable Lapwing: the Plight of Migratory Birds

Bonn, Germany, 7 May 2008 - The Secretariat of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (UNEP/AEWA) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS) are glad to announce the countdown for World Migratory Bird Day 2008. This two-day awareness raising campaign will take place globally for the third consecutive year from 10- 11 of May 2008. The theme for this year's celebration is Migratory Birds - Ambassadors for Biodiversity.

Birds are some of the best indicators for the status and trends of wider biodiversity. They are important for monitoring changes in the environment, as they are inhabitants of virtually all ecosystems in the world.

Many sites - identified as important for birds - host numerous other threatened species of plants and animals. Therefore areas essential for birds represent hot spots for other biodiversity as well.

All through their annual cycle, migratory birds cross many countries and continents, some of them from the tundra to the tropics, linking different ecosystems. By conserving them and their environment we ensure the conservation of biodiversity on a wider scale.

World Migratory Bird Day was launched two years ago when the AEWA and CMS Secretariats saw the need for a global awareness campaign to inspire people to take action for the conservation of migratory birds.

Building upon the two very successful campaigns in 2006 and 2007, preparations for WMBD 2008 are now underway! Both the theme and the timing of WMBD 2008 coincide with the forthcoming 9th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held in Bonn, Germany this year. In this context the organisers hope to use WMBD to help spread the idea of migratory birds as messengers for the conservation of biodiversity worldwide.

The Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius has declined by around 95% in the last 15 years and may now number as few as 200 pairs Maxim Koshkin



Further Resources

BirdLife steps in to save Sociable Lapwing
BirdLife International Press Release

Sociable Lapwing factsheet

World Migratory Bird Day 2008
Migratory Birds - Ambassadors for Biodiversity.

WMBD Information Material
Information for the press
Images and Graphics
WMBD Logo + Poster

African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (UNEP/AEWA)

Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS)


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