On November 4, 2022,“ Central Asian Flyway Situational Analysis” workshop was held at SAP, Falcha Babarmahal, Kathmandu. Representatives from National Lake Conservation Development Committee, Wildlife Conservation Nepal, Conservation Development Foundation, Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation, Pokhara Bird Society, Koshi Bird Society, Jatayu Restaurant Management Committee, Bardia Nature Conservation Club, Bird Education Society, and Birders attended the event. All the participants discussed on the current extent of knowledge, ongoing actions, and priorities for action to conserve migratory species and their important sites. The event was supported by BirdLIfe International.
The Central Asian Flyway (CAF) covers a large continental area of Eurasia between the Arctic and Indian Oceans and the associated island chains. The Flyway comprises several important migration routes of waterbirds, most of which extend from the northernmost breeding grounds in the Russian Federation (Siberia) to the southernmost non-breeding (wintering) grounds in West and South Asia, the Maldives and the British Indian Ocean Territory. The birds on their annual migration cross the borders of several countries. Geographically the flyway region covers 30 countries of North, Central and South Asia and Trans-Caucasus.
The CAF covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory waterbird species, including 29 globally threatened and near-threatened species, which breed, migrate and winter within the region. Of those populations, over 50 per cent (145 populations) are covered by AEWA. Many waterbird populations are declining rapidly and the wetlands, grasslands and other habitats upon which they depend are seriously threatened along the CAF due to uncontrolled hunting, habitat degradation, unsustainable water management, and lack of law enforcement and conservation capacity.
CAF migration routes include the steppes and cold deserts of Central Eurasia, and much of the Himalayan chain, where unique, high-altitude migrations such as those of the Bar-headed Goose, Anser indicus, take place. Other Central Asian species for which the new CAF Action Plan should have the greatest significance are: Asiatic Dowitcher (Limnodromus semipalmatus), Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis), Indian Skimmer (Rynchops albicollis), Ibisbill (Ibidorhyncha struthersii), Brown-headed Gull (Larus brunnicephalus), Siberian Crane (Leucogeranus leucogeranus), Sociable lapwing (Vanellus gregarius), Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), Relict Gull (Larus relictus), Black-winged Pratincole (Glareola nordmannii) and Caspian Plover (Charadrius asiaticus).