UN report finds a fifth of migratory species are at risk of extinction

Nearly half of species’ populations are declining

A United Nations report found more than a fifth of the world’s migratory species are at risk of extinction. The first-ever report from the U.N. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals found that 44% of migratory species have seen their numbers decline and 22% could disappear altogether due largely to climate change and human encroachment. Seventy-five percent were experiencing loss of habitat. 

The report “clearly shows us that unsustainable human activities are jeopardizing the future of migratory species—creatures who not only act as indicators of environmental change but play an integral role in maintaining the function and resilience of our planet’s complex ecosystems,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program.
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Header Image: Snowy owls (Bubo scandiacus) are among the migratory species whose populations are declining, according to a United Nations report. Credit: Jake Bonello/USFWS