Wetland Link International program is a global network of wetland education centers who support and participate in World Migratory Bird Day. The network defines a wetland education center as, ‘any wetland where there is interaction between people and wildlife and CEPA (communications, education and public awareness) activity occurs in support of wetland conservation aims’. WLI objectives include:
- To advocate for, and assist in, the development of new wetland education centres and their associated programmes throughout the world.
- To improve the effectiveness of operations at wetland education centres through sharing, training and expertise exchange.
- To lobby for the greater inclusion of CEPA programmes within wetlands and related conservation initiatives and instruments, and to support the development of frameworks for subsequent implementation at national, regional and global levels.
Migratory birds are an ideal subject for forging links between wetland education centres located on the same flyway. The arrival and departure of seasonal birds is an annual phenomenon that sparks people’s interest and imagination. They wonder where the birds come from and where they go, and it helps to emphasize the importance of their local sites as part of a network, vital to preserve these migratory bird populations .
Staff and visitors, could take concrete steps to monitor and record the arrival times of birds, numbers of species and individuals to share this information with other wetland education located on the same flyway centers. The data and resulting interest could promote further conservation measures in your country but also in other countries through these migratory birds. The WLI network supports a program called ‘Migratory Birds for People‘ in Europe with it’s own web pages and steering group.
The Convention on migratory species, CMS, (also know as the Bonn Convention) gives details on species action plans and wider projects to protect not only birds, but also sharks, turtles, and many other migratory animals.
AEWA, the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement brings partners together working on migratory birds across 119 range states.
The East-Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership covers a huge flyway, in a region containing 45% of the world’s human population. The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) links sites along flyways in the Americas.
World Migratory Birds day happens every year on the second weekend in May with lots of information at the website on how you can participate and issues facing migratory birds.
The Waddensee Partnership produced a nice animation for the East Atlantic Flyway, explaining in simple ways why it’s important to protect wetlands and species along the flyway – their International Wadden Sea School pages also haver good resources. Birdlife also has a ‘Spring Alive’ website, encouraging young people to get involved in recording and reporting the birds they see. See the Rutland Osprey project, which includes school resources and information on World Osprey Week (late March)