What are Flyways?
- A flyway is defined as the geographical area covered by a migratory bird over the course of its annual cycle, while travelling from its breeding grounds to the non-breeding areas and back.
- As several environmental parameters affect many species in the same way, birds tend to follow very similar routes, allowing experts to distinguish eight major flyways around the world.
- In the Americas there are three flyways (the Pacific Americas Flyway, Central Americas Flyway and Atlantic Americas Flyway) connecting the high Arctic to Tierra del Fuego—the southernmost tip of the South American mainland.
- Collectively, the three Palaearctic–African flyways (East Atlantic Flyway, Mediterranean/Black Sea Flyway and East Asia/East Africa Flyway) constitute the world’s largest bird migration system.
- The Central Asian Flyway is the shortest flyway in the world. Lying entirely within the Northern Hemisphere, it connects a large swathe of the Palaearctic with the Indian subcontinent. Fewer species use this route because of the formidable barrier presented by the Tibetan plateau and Himalayas.
- The East Asia/Australasia Flyway extends from Arctic Russia and North America to New Zealand.
- International cooperation across their migratory range is needed to conserve and protect migratory waterbirds and the habitats on which they depend.
Why in News?
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has organized a meeting of Range Countries to strengthen conservation efforts for migratory birds and their habitats in the Central Asian Flyway (CAF).
- The meeting was attended by eleven countries of the CAF region including Armenia, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Mongolia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.