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INTRODUCTION

Across the planet, migratory wildlife swim, fly or run across continents and borders, fol- lowing fine-tuned ancient routes to enable them to survive, reproduce and thrive (UNEP, 2001; Bolger et al., 2008; Harris et al., 2009). Much like the modern world’s traffic hubs, such as airports, harbours and travel routes, these species depend on hotspots, corridors and safe havens in order to refuel, rest or navigate safely in a world full of risks. These ecological networks are vital to the survival of migratory populations. The loss of an ecological network, or parts of it, can be likened to domino effects on society for closing down air traffic, shipping and road transport – or any supply to them.

CMS – the Convention on Migratory Species – works with a range of partners to help secure these corridors and safe ha- vens. However, while 150 countries are signatories or partial signatories, USA, Canada, Brazil, Russia and China, as well as

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a few others, are still not party to the Convention. These coun- tries represent as much as 36 per cent of the global land area and large shares of the worlds coastlines. They also represent crucial parts of the global migration routes (Fig. 1).

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