Birds are Uniting the World

Photo by: Vladilen Zubarev
Photo by: Vladilen Zubarev

Twice a year, World Migratory Bird Day unites those people who care about birds. The second Saturday in May and the second Saturday in October are the days when we need to pay attention to conserving migratory birds and their habitats. This is an appeal to all those who live on flight routes. Every year, flocks return with great losses: the pollution of rivers and lakes, drainage of swamps, poaching, spring-fallen grass that destroys bird sites and other factors have a negative influence on wildlife, and it is a reason to seriously to think of.

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Photo by: Vladilen Zubarev
Photo by: Vladilen Zubarev

In 2006, World Migratory Bird Day was established by the secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of Afro-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. Both agreements were related to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). On this day information campaigns, round tables and meetings of scientists and environmental specialists are held all over the world.

In addition, every year World Migratory Bird Day is devoted to one bird whose population is critically decreasing. 2018 is declared the year of the sandpipers, waders of small and medium size. Of particular concern are the Icelandic and Great Sandpipers whose population is reduced by 2-2.5% per year. This is mainly due to the loss of habitat. 

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Photo by: Yevgeni Popov
Photo by: Yevgeni Popov

It is interesting that bird migration is not limited to birds that can fly. Most species of penguin (migrate by swimming: they can cover routes over 1,000 km.  The Emperor penguins migrate on foot. Long-distance movements on foot are also characteristic of blue grouse.

If to speak of history, the problem of conserving migratory birds was first raised at the international level in the early twentieth century. The International Convention for the Protection of Birds Useful to Agriculture was adopted in Paris in 1902. And in 1950, the International Convention for the Protection of Birds was signed replacing the previous one. Russian joined the Convention in 1927.  

Long before that, in Czarist times, the Russian Geographical Society had already paid attention to the protection of birds and animals, and acclimatization of animals and plants.

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Photo by: Nikolay Denisov
Photo by: Nikolay Denisov

The Russian Geographical Society has always paid special attention to phenology, system of knowledge and data about periodic plant and animal life cycle events, their dates and reasons defining the time frame for these events. Migration of birds, emergence of first buds and flowers on trees, emergence of berries, leaf fall and first snow and other seasonal biological phenomena are phenological phases are studied.