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May 13, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, issued the following statement to mark World Migratory Bird Day on May 14.

“On World Migratory Bird Day, we celebrate the smallest hummingbirds to the majestic sandhill crane. Migratory bird species play an essential role in maintaining healthy and resilient ecosystems in our communities and planet. Birds are the chorus to nature’s biodiversity and they enrich the lives of Canadians.

“Despite their great adaptability, science shows significant decreases in many bird populations. There are three billion fewer birds in North America today than 50 years ago. Human activities cause many of these losses throughout the lifecycle of migratory birds.

“We must accelerate our efforts to halt and reverse this extraordinary loss. The Government of Canada is taking action by strengthening the protections for migratory birds and supporting work with many partners, including other governments, Indigenous peoples, and non-profit organizations.

“Together, we are protecting the habitat for migratory birds. We are making progress toward conserving a quarter of lands, freshwater, and oceans in Canada by 2025, and 30 percent by 2030. From 2020 to 2021, the Government of Canada, with the help of the provinces and territories, secured and restored at least 48,900 hectares of wetlands through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The Government of Canada has invested $2.3 billion to support habitat conservation goals, including funding to support Indigenous leadership in nature and wildlife conservation. There are currently 54 projects underway with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit to pursue the establishment of protected and conserved areas.

“As migratory birds spend a large part of their lifecycles outside of Canada, we are also joining forces with other countries to monitor populations of migratory birds and identify important migratory stopover sites to minimize potential threats. From 2018 to 2021, the Government of Canada committed $1.2 million to international conservation actions in 22 countries. By collaborating with over 85 partners internationally, we have witnessed 42,000 hectares of high-quality migratory bird habitat preserved, 3,500 kilometres of coastline conserved, and over 140,000 trees planted.

“Birds know no borders. Let’s mark this special day by continuing to work together to protect and conserve migratory bird populations.”

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