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Only international action will save migratory birds.

Populations of long-distance migratory landbirds are declining so rapidly in the African-Eurasian flyway that a delegation of 20 staff from around the BirdLife International Partnership will be lobbying this week for their plight to be addressed at a meeting focused on conserving the world's migratory species. The decline of these birds is so severe that conservationists believe the only way to save them is through concerted international action. So far, tropical African countries, including Ghana, have been leading this call. The BirdLife International Partnership hope this plea will be heeded by all countries sharing these birds, and especially the governments attending this week's 10th Conference of Parties of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

Migratory landbirds nesting in Europe and wintering in Africa (south of the Sahara desert) are showing the most alarming and significant population declines. For instance in the UK between 1995 and 2008, the populations of four summer-visiting birds declined by more than more than half – Turtle Dove [70%] - Wood Warbler [61%] – Nightingale [53%] and Yellow Wagtail [52%. Unlike waterbirds, they are not restricted to individual sites and they migrate on a very broad front. So, site-based conservation initiatives simply will not be effective in preventing further declines. Instead, conservationists need to work in a broad range of habitats, across wider landscapes, improving the environment for both people and wildlife.

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