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Migratory birds – Conservation

Migratory birds - Conservation

UPSC CSE – SYLLABUS – GS – 3- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Migratory birds – Conservation

Migratory birds act as a vital part of biodiversity in all ecosystems. Migratory birds serve key functions in the interconnected systems that keep nature healthy, including pollination and seed dispersal of crops for human and livestock consumption, pest regulation and as an aesthetic source of pride for cultures across the globe.

Migratory birds are increasingly at risk due to the negative consequences of human activity including environmental pollution, toxins, pesticides, electrified power lines, wind turbines, and other physical changes to landscapes and habitats (terrestrial and aquatic). In addition, encroachment from human settlement, agriculture and poaching – be it for subsistence food, a means of income or for high profits in illegal game hunting – are destroying habitat for all wildlife species, including migratory birds.

In order to protect the migratory birds from such issues, India has taken the following measures.

Measures taken:

India has a strategic role in the Central Asian Flyway of migratory birds, as it provides critical stopover sites to over 90% of the bird species known to use this migratory route. 

  • It has the National Action Plan (NAP) for conservation of migratory birds and their habitats states the national priority and specific actions required to ensure healthy populations of these migratory species in India, within their range across the flyway.
  • India accords high level of protection to the migratory birds under the wildlife protection act 1972.
  • India also has entered into international cooperation for the protection of these birds.
  • It also has the wetland management rules for the protection of habitat of these birds.
  • Action in other areas of environmental conservation like establishing national parks, bird sanctuaries, biosphere reserves & community conservation measures and a vibrant civil society also helps in protecting these birds.
  • It is a part of international conventions like the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitats (Ramsar), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).

Still there is a need to halt and reverse decline of migratory birds for which the following measures are essential,

Reduce pressure on critical habitats by management based on landscape approaches;

Develop capacity at multiple levels to anticipate and avoid threats to habitats and species undergoing long term decline; Improve database and decision-support systems to underpin science-based conservation of species and management of habitats; Sensitize stakeholders to take collaborative actions on securing habitats and species; and, Support trans-boundary co-operation to secure migratory bird species and habitats in range countries.



Migratory birds which play a crucial part in biodiversity conservation are increasingly at risk due to the negative consequences of human activity. In this context discuss the measures taken by India to protect migratory birds.