Figure 1: Parties and non-parties to the Convention of Migratory Species. Severe gaps exist in the north and east; these need to be closed urgently in order to effectively conserve the ecological networks of many endangered migratory species.
In order to help protect many of the world’s critically endan- gered species, including many whales, sharks, great apes, big cats, migrating antelopes and birds, the expertise, capacity and support of these countries are vital to conservation success.
The problems facing conservation efforts are further com- pounded by the fact that development pressures and poaching are increasingly putting many endangered keystone species at further risk and in most cases now present an international challenge on enforcement and protection that cannot be met successfully through domestic efforts alone (Interpol, 2011).
Migratory species represent a special and unique international responsibility, because they simply cannot be managed by one country alone.
Recognizing the range of international conventions and agree- ments in which many of these non-signatory countries also play a major role, the issue of conservation of migratory species and the risks they face require international recognition and effort to become effective. Herein, an overview of some selected critical species, corridors and hotspots are highlighted for major migra- tory species, along with the threats facing them.