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UPSC Essentials: One word a day – Flyways

What is Flyway? How is it connected to Bonn Convention and Raptor MoU? Why is it relevant for India? Aspirants should know such terms as environment and ecology is a major area for UPSC-CSE. Also, do not miss to solve the MCQ below.

upsc, flyway, cms, bonn convention, raptor MoU, upsc essentials, one word a day, current affairs for upsc, upsc news, daily current affairs for upsc, upsc key, upsc prelims 2023, upsc mains 2022, sarkari naukri, government jobsWith the addition of these five wetlands, the number of Ramsar Sites in India has gone up to 54. (source: Pexels)

Take a look at the essential concepts, terms, and phenomena from the static and current parts of the UPSC-CSE. Also, check the answer to the previous MCQ.

Word: Flyways

Subject: Environment and Ecology

Relevance: Ramsar sites are in news. With the addition of these five wetlands, the number of Ramsar Sites in India has gone up to 54. While it is important to know about these new sites, it is also essential to know terms related to migratory birds because they are highly relevant from India’s point of view. UPSC can ask not just direct terms but also associated terms in the exam.

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Why in news?

— Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav Tuesday tweeted that five more Indian wetlands have got Ramsar recognition as “wetlands of international importance”.

— With the addition of these five wetlands, the number of Ramsar Sites in India has gone up to 54, the highest for any country in South Asia.

— It should be noted that wetlands in India act as foraging and resting grounds for many migratory birds during winter. Thus, it becomes important to know what are flyways.

What is Flyway?

— Flyways are the geographical area used by a single or group of migratory birds during their annual cycle.

— These include breeding areas, moulting, stop-overs, staging (birds gathering before migration) and wintering areas.

How many flyways pass through the Indian sub-continent?


— There are nine flyways in the world, and three of these flyways pass through the Indian Subcontinent.

1) Central Asian Flyway (CAF)

— This migration route covers over 30 countries for different waterbirds.

— It connects their northernmost breeding grounds in Siberia, Russia to the southernmost non-breeding grounds in West and South Asia, the Maldives and British Indian Ocean Territory.

— India provides important stopover sites to over 90% of the bird species passing through this route.

2) East Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF)


— It extends from Arctic Russia and North America to the southern limits of Australia and New Zealand.

— It covers large areas of East Asia, all of Southeast Asia. Importantly, it includes eastern India as well as Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

— This flyway region covers 30 countries of North, Central and South Asia and Trans-Caucasus.

— It covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory waterbird species, including 29 globally threatened and near-threatened species.

3) Asian East African Flyway (AEAF)

— It extends from Arctic Russia to South Africa and Madagascar in Africa.


— In the Indian subcontinent covers the area from west of Tibetan plateau and Himalayas including central Asia and West Asia. North-western India is also covered.

What is CMS?

— It is known as Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. It is also known as Bonn Convention.


— It is an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme.

— It provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.

— India is a party to the CMS.


— According to cms.int, “As the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes, CMS complements and co-operates with a number of other international organizations, NGOs and partners in the media as well as in the corporate sector.”

What is Raptor MoU?

— According to cms.int, the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia is also known as Raptor MoU. Raptors MoU is an agreement under CMS.

— Simply put, the aim of this MoU is to promote coordinated actions to maintain the favorable conservation status of migratory birds of prey (raptors).

— Important to know that India is a signatory to Raptor MoU but it is not legally binding.

What else should be known?

— Approximately one in five of the world’s 11,000 bird species migrate, some covering enormous distances.

— In October last year, India organised a two-day Online Meeting of Range countries was held with a resolve to strengthen the conservation actions for migratory birds and their habitats in the Central Asian Flyway.

— Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi during the opening ceremony of the 13th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP) to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), held at Gandhinagar in February 2020, noted that India was keen to take the conservation of migratory birds to a new paradigm with active cooperation of all the Central Asian Flyway Range Countries and would be happy to facilitate the preparation of Action Plan for other countries for the conservation of migratory birds along the Central Asian Flyway.

Point to ponder: Saving migratory birds means saving the wetlands, terrestrial habitats and saving of an ecosystem. Discuss.


Which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. All Ramsar Sites are notified as protected areas under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

2. India’s tally of 54 designated wetlands is the largest network of Ramsar Sites in South Asia.

3. The maximum number of Ramsar sites is in the state of Maharashtra.

a) 1 and 3                         b) 1 and 2
d) only 2                           d) None

Answer to the previous MCQ- UPSC Essentials: One word a day– SRI (a)

(sources: PIB, cms.int)

First published on: 28-07-2022 at 03:55:00 pm
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