Conservationists and governments from around the world are due to gather at a major wildlife conference in Gujarat, India to agree on vital protections for migratory species such as elephants, jaguars, albatross and sharks whose survival depends on trans-national co-operation and action. This will take place 15-22 February 2020.
This meeting of the 130 nations that are parties to The United Nations' Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) is an important opportunity for policy makers from across the globe to collaborate in order to ensure that protections are in place for species whose range extends across countries.
With estimates of up to one million species at risk of extinction, nations have a shared responsibility to act on behalf of chimpanzees, giraffes, whales, sharks and more. Experts will also discuss the hugely important issue of animal culture and how this needs to be taken into account when constructing wildlife conservation strategies for species that have complex social structures.
Some of the key proposals for this meeting are:
Of particular concern to Australia, a number of important shark proposals with worldwide distributions are on the table:
School Shark – known as tope throughout the rest of the world, this species is frequently caught and sold as "flake.” An IUCN listing of Vulnerable has resulted from comprehensive population decline across its wide distribution, including the population that migrates between Australia and New Zealand.
Smooth Hammerhead – another globally distributed species IUCN listed as Vulnerable, the smooth hammerhead is also threatened by commercial fishing with declines of up to 75% in some parts of its range including Western Australia.
Oceanic Whitetip – recently recategorized as Critically Endangered, the nomad that is the oceanic whitetip has seen calamitous declines throughout its range due to commercial fishing.
Antipodean Albatross - a frequently caught species in the Southern Ocean jurisdictions of Australia and New Zealand has been proposed after bycatch from commercial fishing has driven populations to all-time lows.
Humane Society International is asking the Australian Government to give full support for CMS protection for these imperilled migratory species.
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