whale shark

Threatened Bat and Marine Species Granted Protection under CMS

/ No Comments / 17th November 2017

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Good news for the bats and some marine species because the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) has recently granted them protected status.

During the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP 12) that was held in Manila, protections for migratory bats, angelsharks, blue sharks, dusky sharks, guitarfish, white spotted wedgefish and whale sharks, among others were awarded migratory species protection.

It was the Defenders of Wildlife that supported the proposal to list 6 marine species and Peru’s proposal to have 4 Lasiurus species of bats listed in Appendix II. These bats are being threatened by habitat loss, climate change, wind energy production, and other factors.

This year’s CMS was participated by more than 120 Parties and delegates and observers of over 500. It was the first time that the event was held in Asia.

A side-event on the Conservation of Migratory Bats and on Green Energy was presented by the Defenders in collaboration with the Eurobats, the CMS Secretariat, and the World Wildlife Fund.

Importance of the adoption of the listing proposals

The new international adoption, collaboration, and recognition of listing proposals by all Parties will greatly benefit the four bat species – eastern red, hoary, southern yellow, and southern red bats who are facing the biggest threats.

They are greatly affected by the growing production of wind energy and the adoption will promote responsible handling of this specific threat to migratory bats.

The CMS listing adoption hopes to increase awareness, especially amongst decision-makers, of how wind energy production affects migratory bats, and to spur development and implementations of technologies that can potentially reduce fatalities.

It also hopes to bring to the fore the issue of wind energy and bats so that corporate power purchasers, particularly those who care about reputational risks, will be persuaded to see the value of bat-friendly wind energy.

Other objectives are to prompt research into species that are hardly being studied and to catalyse formalisation of other protections for threatened species.

Purpose of Marine Listing under CMS

Six marine species – whale shark, guitarfish of Mediterranean population, dusky shark, blue shark, angelshark, white spotted wedgefish, and guitarfish, have been listed for protection under the CMS.

The first two are under Appendix I, which is one of the two different levels of protection. This indicates that both species are under threat of extinction and require an individual approach to conservation and habitat restoration by certain Parties. Such species must be strictly protected.

The other four, on the other hand, are listed under Appendix II where international cooperation is required for the species to thrive.

The COP wants to bring increased concerted efforts or risk a continuous decline until each one of these species is gone.

With the protection awarded, the Defenders of Wildlife will now be working with partners and governments involved to ensure the next steps of the action necessary to protect affected bat and marine species will be implemented.

The CMS is a convention of the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) where sustainable use of migratory species and where they live and the international cooperation of conservation measures are brought to the attention of different countries.

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