WMBD 2019

Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution

The annual World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) conservation theme is an important part of the program, providing you with specific messages and information about birds and their conservation. This theme is selected by a team of biologists and educators, with input from the general public and WMBD host organizations.

The accumulation of plastic and plastic pollution have become a worldwide epidemic and a primary threat to birds across the globe. An estimated 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced since its introduction in the 1950s.  91% of plastic is not recycled, but rather discarded as waste, accumulating in landfills and the natural environment.  Most of these plastics exist indefinitely, breaking into smaller and smaller pieces over time. As exposure to plastics increases, birds and their environments are facing increasingly detrimental consequences.

The 12 focal bird species selected for World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2019 represent diverse groups of birds, the habitats they use, and their foraging behaviors. Despite their differences, each of these birds and their habitats have been impacted by plastic pollution. Reducing the use of plastic and cleaning up the waste that is currently contaminating our natural environments is essential to migratory bird conservation.

By making changes individually and within our communities, we can make a difference in the fight against plastic pollution! WMBD invites you to participate as a host site by using the theme to introduce your communities to the impacts of plastic on bird populations and the importance of adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle. We encourage involvement in habitat restoration activities, such as trash cleanups, to improve the local environment and motivate participants to continue efforts that contribute to a plastic-free world.

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