The United Nations reported that one in every five of the world’s migratory species faces extinction due to climate change and human intrusion. The study highlights the critical journeys billions of animals undertake annually across various terrains for breeding and feeding.


Launched at the CMS COP14 conference, the State of the World’s Migratory Species report marks the first global assessment of its kind, detailing the dire state of these animals. Despite some progress, nearly half of the species under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) are in decline.

The report draws attention to the severe impacts of “unsustainable” pressures on migratory species, which could lead to a significant decrease in their populations. This decline poses a threat not only to biodiversity but also to food security and human livelihoods.

Of the 1,189 species covered by a 1979 U.N. convention to protect migratory animals, 44% have experienced population declines. Alarmingly, up to 22% are on the brink of disappearing.

Amy Fraenkel, the executive secretary of the U.N. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, emphasized the report’s clear directive for governmental action as one in five migratory species faces extinction. She stressed the importance of implementation, especially in light of the convention’s recent meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Human activities, including hunting, fishing, and overexploitation, impact 70% of the listed species, with habitat loss affecting up to 75%. The report calls for governments to maintain connectivity between ecosystems and to consider the environmental impact of infrastructure projects like dams, pipelines, and wind turbines.

Fraenkel highlighted the need for high-level government decision-making that balances human requirements with the preservation of nature. The report also points to the exacerbating effects of climate change, such as altered migration timings, heat stress, and more frequent extreme weather events.

As part of its efforts to counteract these challenges, the U.N. agency announced a new program aimed at offering technical assistance to countries for effective habitat protection. Conservationists have also called on governments to fulfill their commitment to protect 30% of the world’s land and sea areas by 2030, as agreed in the 2022 global biodiversity pact.