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Migratory Species in The Arctic Suffer From Climate Change

Arctic (40)

Migratory species refers to all species that periodically “cross one or several national jurisdictional boundaries”. (InforMEA – migratory species – Definition(s). In other words, species that change their physical environment seasonally, because these cannot live/survive in the same geographical region around the year due to climatic conditions. Migratory species include for instance butterflies, birds, whales, seals, dolphins, turtles and insects. ( – Migratory Species).

Since migratory species are sensitive to climate change, a changing climate including even slight changes in environmental conditions can lead to these species changing their habitat/routes. The Bonn Convention (EUR-Lex-Access to European Union law) for Conservation of migratory species aims at developing international cooperation for conservation of migratory species of wild animals. As stated in the Bonn Convention, “wild animals require special attention because of their importance from the environmental, ecological, genetic, scientific, recreational, cultural, educational, social and economic points of view”. Furthermore, according to the Bonn Convention, parties must prevent migratory species from becoming endangered through promotion, cooperation and supporting research related to migratory species. Read the complete act here.

According to ACIA (Arctic Climate Impact Assessment), climate change impacts upon animals and their habitats in the Arctic region will endanger the livelihood of certain species, including polar bears and seals that depend upon sea ice for many reasons: giving birth, resting, and hunting. If the sea ice disappears, these animals will be threatened by extinction. Other animals in the Arctic that are threatened by climate change include many migratory bird species, and even caribou and reindeer herds.

Learn more about the Bonn Convention and the protection of migratory species by watching Bonn Convention´s video: “Listen: Reconciling Energy Developments with Migratory Species Conservation”:


Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys – for climate-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank & to receive my newsletter delivered personally to you, subscribe to Leading With Passion


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