PHOTO GALLERY: Migratory animals and birds face a new battle for survival

Some of nature's most majestic creatures are migratory, but their future in a changing world is far from certain, as a stunning new book of photographs makes clear

'Wild animals in their innumerable forms are an irreplaceable part of the Earth's natural system which must be conserved for the good of mankind.' These words are contained within the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

And yet despite this groundbreaking international treaty, ratified in Bonn in 1979 under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme, and so vital to protecting some of the world's most vulnerable insects, fish, birds and mammals, the dangers facing them are increasing as populations decline.

Overfishing and encroachment from a burgeoning human population, industrial agriculture and rampant industrialisation, manmade climate change and a warming world - this book of photographs documents the threats and challenges to species such as the Eurasian black vulture, the bottlenosed dolphin, the scimitar-horned oryx and loggerhead turtle, among many others.

But there are success stories too. In 2005, for example, CMS signatories ratified the 'Kyoto of the Great Apes' - the Kinshasa Declaration on the Conservation of Great Apes - binding the governments of 10 'range states' to conserving populations of all gorilla species within their borders.

Migratory species recognise no national boundaries; perhaps it's fitting that the key to their protection and the restoration of their habitats lies in our ability to move beyond them too.

Eifion Rees is the Ecologist's acting Green Living Editor

Survival: Saving endangered migratory species by Stanley Johnson and Robert Vagg is published by Stacey International (£29.95). For a special Ecologist discount of £5, click here and enter offer code Ecosur at the checkout. Online orders also receive a further 15 per cent discount


Campaigners launch 'last ditch' attempt to save Javan rhino from extinction
With fewer than 50 Javan rhino left in the wild immediate action is needed to save the species from extinction according to conservationists
Last Chance to See: Q & A with Mark Carwardine
'Last Chance to See', a new BBC series fronted by Stephen Fry and naturalist Mark Carwardine, seeks out six 'wacky and weird' endangered species
How to get involved in wildlife conservation
From joining campaigns groups to making your garden more wildlife friendly, there are many ways to get involved with saving the natural world. Read on for inspiration...
The Thin Green Line: park rangers risking their lives
After 10 years as a park ranger, Sean Willmore packed up his life and took to the road to record the experiences of his fellow rangers around the globe. The result is a revealing and inspiring documentary
Who needs Africa's land more: us or wildlife?
An explosive mix of animals, people and economics means that land in Africa is becoming more valuable - and more contested - than ever

More from this author