By Eric Wikramanayake, WWF Lead, Asian Flyways Initiative
- Tens of millions of birds are currently taking to the skies across Asia, migrating south along the region’s two vast flyways – heading for warmer weather. Some travel relatively short distances, while others cover thousands of kilometres. The remarkable Red Knot, with a wingspan of just 50cm, flies from the Arctic Circle to Australia every year during the migratory season, sometimes staying aloft for up to a week
But Red Knots – and the multitudes of other migratory birds – find themselves up against fierce headwinds, which threaten their very survival. And there is nothing they can do about them. Their future – along with ours – depends on whether we can stop destroying the wetlands we all depend on.
Extraordinary as Red Knots are, eventually even they need to stop and rest – relying on a multitude of wetlands along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) that serve as stepping stones during their epic journey. These wetlands – from mangroves to mudflats, lakes to lagoons, rivers to reef-fringed islands – are critical to the survival of not just migratory birds but also the future of countless communities, which depend on them for water, food, shelter, livelihoods and protection from extreme storms and floods.
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accompanied by: Srdjan Acanski, B.Sc.
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