Environment Animals

In the seas 97% of fish are at risk

Animals. This is how we kill migratory species, the UN report warns

Nearly half of the world's migratory species are in decline and more than a fifth are at risk of extinction due to habitat loss due to human exploitation and climate change

12/02/2024

Nearly half of the world's migratory species are in

decline

and more than a fifth are at

risk of extinction.

This is what emerges from a new United Nations report published today,

the first dedicated to migratory animals.

In the dock are the

climate crisis

and the effect of anthropization on ecosystems, the exploitation of territories and

indiscriminate capture.

Billions of animals

cross deserts, plains or oceans every year to breed and feed.

From humpback whales to monarch butterflies,

birds, sea turtles, whales, sharks and many other animals are threatened by

habitat loss,

illegal hunting and fishing,

and pollution.

Of the

1,189 species monitored

under a 1979 United Nations convention,

44% have suffered declines in numbers and as many as 22% could disappear entirely.

Dramatic picture for the oceans, here

97% of

fish species are at risk of extinction.

The figures in the document entitled

'State of the world's migratory species'

are based on assessments and data provided by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Living Planet Index, which collects population numbers of

over 5,000 especially from 1970 onwards

.

The greatest threat, the report states, is posed by

human activities which impact 70% of the species

on the UN list. A threat aggravated by the

effects of the climate crisis

with changes in temperatures that interrupt the timing of migrations, cause heat stress and lead to

increasingly destructive meteorological events

, such as droughts or fires.

The authors of the study urge governments

not to destroy habitats and interrupt migratory paths

when building infrastructure such as dams, oil pipelines or wind turbines.

"These are species that move all over the world. They move to feed and reproduce and they also need rest sites along the way," explained Kelly Malsch, first signatory of the document presented at a United Nations

conference about wildlife in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

The defense of migratory species is by definition

a transnational issue

that cannot be addressed on a national scale by individual countries.

“One country alone can't save any of these species

,” said Susan Lieberman, vice president for international policy at the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society.

One example is

the snow leopard of the Nagar Valley in Pakistan,

which lives and hunts across a vast area in the mountains of northern and central Asia, across the borders of as many as twelve countries, including China, India, Russia and Mongolia. According to Colman O'Criodain, WWF's wildlife policy manager, Climate change is a major threat to animals such as the leopard.

Environmentalists are calling on governments to honor the commitments made in 2022 at the

United Nations Conference on Biodiversity

held in Montreal which plan to

dedicate 30% of the

world's terrestrial and marine territories to nature by 2030.