CMS: conserving migratory species

As the only global (and UN-based) intergovernmental convention established exclusively for the conservation and management of migratory species, the CMS provides a highly useful mechanism that can help support many of WWF’s multi-country species conservation initiatives.
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS; also known as the Bonn Convention) aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range.

How does the CMS work?

The Convention lists migratory species threatened with extinction in its Appendix I. CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration, and controlling other factors that might endanger them.

The CMS also lists migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international cooperation in its Appendix II, and encourages Range States to conclude global or regional agreements for their protection.
zebras migration / ©: WWF-Canon / Martin HARVEY
Burchell's zebra (Equus burchelli) amongst a herd of migrating wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.
© WWF-Canon / Martin HARVEY
CMS has the unique capability to bring together the countries though which migratory species move in order to promote coordinated, cross-boarder conservation of such species.

What does WWF do?

  • WWF attends CMS meetings in order to support the passing of resolutions that address some of the most critical issues for migratory species conservation, such as climate change and bycatch.
  • WWF also seeks to provide positive direction to the CMS Parties, the Secretariat and the Scientific Council. This includes urging CMS Parties to list certain species on the Convention, for example species of whales, dolphins, porpoises and sharks.

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