Thirty-two vulnerable species proposed for protection at UNEP convention

Polar bears, sawfish, African lions and the Great Bustard are among the proposed species

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 05 November 2014

Sawfish and the Great Bustard are among the vulnerable species (Photo credit: Guillaume Baviere and Francesco Veronesi/Flickr)

As many as 32 vulnerable species were proposed for protection under the United Nations Convention of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

The Polar Bear, Red-fronted Gazelle, Hammerhead Shark and the Reef Manta Ray are part of the list proposed at the 11th Conference of the Parties being held in Quito in Ecuador.

Of all proposals, the sawfish is among the most threatened species on the planet, according to an official release  by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Other aquatic species include the Cuvier's Beaked Whale, an elusive species which can dive to nearly 3,000 metres according to a study.

These migratory species are facing an increasing threat to their survival due to the loss of habitat, overexploitation, wildlife crime, marine debris and climate change.

"The CMS sets global policies to ensure animals can move freely across international boundaries and establishes rules and guidelines to reduce threats to international wildlife such as by-catch, illegal hunting, trapping, poisoning and capture, and it directly protects some of the rarest and iconic species on the face of the planet," Achim Steiner, UN under-secretary general and executive director of UNEP, said, according to the release.

Species listed on Appendix I of the convention receive full protection while those on Appendix II are supported by trans-boundary conservation measures by countries.

Solutions to protect migratory behaviour of the species have also been proposed. These include improving waste management to prevent marine debris from entering the seas, establishing international arrangements to minimise illegal trafficking and developing guidelines for wildlife-friendly infrastructure that removes barriers to migration.

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