World Migratory Bird Day 2018

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Today, 13th October 2018 is the World Migratory Bird Day.

The Celebration of migratory birds was ideated in 1993 in the United States as the International Migratory Bird Day, however it did not reach a global awareness but was celebrated only in the western hemisphere.

To raise awareness at a global scale, the World Migratory Bird Day was initiated in 2006 by the Secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) and in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).

World Migratory Bird Day and International Migratory Bird Day were celebrated each year separately.

In 2017, at the COP12 of CMS in Manila, Philippines, the Environment for the Americas (EFTA), CMS and AEWA combined the Days of Migratory Birds to strengthen the global awareness of Migratory Birds.

This year theme “Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation” is fitting into the context of unifying the action days and overcoming borders. After all, bird migration is a global issue because the birds fly each year hundreds of kilometres across all borders.

From this year on World Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated twice a year: the second Saturday of May and the second Saturday of October. On May 12th 2018, the MEDSEA Foundation organised in collaboration with the Sinis MPA, public meetings with several experts and events in the region of Oristano. An ornithological walk (birdwatching) at the S’Ena Arrubia wetland was just one activity regarding migratory birds.

In alignment with the re-invention of World Migratory Bird Day, 2018 is also the “Year of the Bird”, 100th birthday of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act initiated by National Geographic, BirdLife, Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The anniversary year raises awareness for the dangerous migration of birds all over the world. Migratory birds are vulnerable and confronted with the destruction and degradation of natural habitats, the loss of critical stopover sites such as coastal wetlands, illegal killing, poisoning, pollution, and collisions with badly-sited infrastructure such as power lines and wind turbines (

The main routes of migratory birds are: 1. Americas flyway, 2. African-Eurasian flyway, and 3. East Asia-Australasian flyway. Wetlands are important sites for migratory birds. The lagoons offer fish rich places as a result of low water level.

Many migratory birds rest after a non-stop flight, nest or winter in Sardinia. They are often faced with illegal hunting and birds killing of and therefore in danger. But the wetlands of Oristano offer perfect sites for migratory and aquatic birds.

The wetlands of the Gulf of Oristano and the Sinis Peninsula are among the most important wetlands in Italy for the concentration of specimens of osprey and in recent years has seen the growth of the population of flamingo, as throughout the Mediterranean, the flamingo, the egret, the great crested grebe.

The wetlands are important resting places for the waders of Northern Europe directed towards the wetlands of North Africa and are important for the nesting of waders such as the Knights of Italy, the Avocets, the Eyeglasses. In these areas also nests the very rare Sultan's Chicken, the Shelduck, the Tobacco Duck, the Purple Heron, the Bittern.

The need to preserve the richness of biodiversity of our wetlands and to organize moments of operational discussion on these aspects, is one of the objectives of the MARISTANIS project.


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