World Migratory Bird Day 2024: Protect Insects to Protect Birds

For the first time, the upcoming World Migratory Bird Day campaign in 2024 will focus on insects’ importance to migratory birds and highlight concerns related to decreasing insect populations. 

In 2024, World Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated on two different days, 11 May and 12 October, aligning with the cyclic nature of bird migration in the different hemispheres. 

Insects are an essential energy source for many migratory bird species during the breeding seasons and their extensive journeys. They significantly affect the timing, duration, and overall success of bird migrations.

During their migration, birds actively seek out insects in fields, forests, wetlands, and various habitats during stopovers. The timing of bird migration often coincides with peak insect abundance at stopover locations, supplying nourishment for birds to replenish their energy reserves before continuing their journeys.

Loss of insects has severe consequences on bird survival

The loss and disturbance of insect populations at breeding sites and along avian migration routes threaten bird survival and well-being. Natural spaces like forests and grasslands that have been transformed or endangered by intensive agriculture or urban development and its effects, such as light pollution, can result in a decline in insect populations. Pesticides and herbicides designed to protect crops harm insects that birds rely on for food. A scarcity of energy- and protein-rich insects can hinder bird migration and breeding, weakening immune systems, reduced reproductive success, and increased mortality rates for adult birds and their offspring.

Need for proactive conservation measures

The World Migratory Bird Day campaign in 2024 stresses the need for proactive conservation measures. These measures include reducing the use of pesticides and fertilisers and, where possible, switching to organic farming. Other measures include maintaining and connecting areas of natural vegetation in agricultural landscapes that provide food and shelter for birds and other species.

World Migratory Bird Day is an annual global campaign dedicated to raising awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them. It is organised by a collaborative partnership among two UN treaties –the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) and the non-profit organisationEnvironment for the Americas (EFTA).


Additional links:

Latest news