© Adam Oswell / WWF-Thailand
Asian Flyways
Every year, as autumn falls in the northern hemisphere, millions of birds undertake an arduous journey of over 13,000 km from breeding grounds as far north as the Arctic Circle, to overwintering grounds as far south as Australia and New Zealand. It is a wondrous transcontinental annual migration along flight paths, or Asian flyways.

Unfortunately, the stop-over habitats, breeding grounds and the overwintering wetlands relied upon by these migrating birds are being rapidly drained and filled for urban, industrial, and agricultural uses, preventing the birds from reaching their eventual destinations. We are already witnessing the impacts: over 60% of the waterbird populations in Asia are now showing signs of decline or have gone extinct in just over two decades. As many bird species become endangered, human communities, too, are being threatened by exacerbating climate change impacts without the coastal wetlands which serve as natural barriers to coastal erosion, wave surges and floods.

What WWF is doing

Flyways are about both people and nature-birds require the wetlands as stepping stone corridors and people need the ecosystem services from the wetlands for survival. With community stewardship at the forefront, we are:

  • Identifying and conserving a network of ecologically connected wetlands across Asia
  • Developing and implementing species recovery plans for endangered and critically endangered
  • Engaging local communities and businesses in wetland management
  • Creating opportunities to generate regional collaboration, communication and participation in flyway wetland conservation, restoration, protection and management