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					CMS Bulletin

    Bulletin of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

   21 July 1993                                                                                                   No. 4

The fact that nine months have passed since the                                 Agreement update ....................................................6
publication of the last issue of the CMS Bulletin
does not mean there has been little news to report.                             Recent meetings attended .......................................8
On the contrary, the period has been marked by
progress on several fronts. For its part, the                                   Depositary matters ................................................10
Secretariat has been busy developing Agreements,
organizing meetings and promoting the Convention ─                              Forthcoming meetings of interest ........................11
leaving little time to inform readers of the latest
developments. We hope this issue of the Bulletin
will make up for the unexpectedly long silence.
                                                                                Special supplement:
In this issue:                                                                  The Siberian crane: a status report
                                                                                by Dr. George Archibald,
                                                                                Director of the International Crane Foundation
Secretariat news........................................................ 1

New Parties ............................................................... 2

CMS booklet ............................................................. 2

Standing Committee activities ............................... 2

Scientific Council activities ..................................... 3

New agreement on Siberian cranes ....................... 5
  Produced by the Secretariat of the Convention.
                                                                as possible. Further details are given elsewhere in the
  For more information, please contact:                         Bulletin.

               UNEP/CMS Secretariat                             Work on Agreements
                Mallwitzstrasse 1-3
                 D-53177 BONN                                   Another major preoccupation of the Secretariat has
                     Germany                                    been the development and promotion of new
                                                                Agreements under the Convention's auspices.
  Telephone: (+49 228) 954 3501 / 2 / 3 / 4
                                                                Attention has been focused in particular on two broad
  Telefax: (+49 228) 954 3500
  Telex:        885 556 bfn d
                                                                Agreements for migratory waterbirds ─ one covering
                                                                the region of Africa-Eurasia and the other for the
            Aussi disponible en français.                       Asia-Pacific region.       In addition, a period of
           Disponible también en español.                       concentrated work in the month of May led to the
                                                                successful conclusion of a memorandum of
                                                                understanding intended to promote urgent
                                                                conservation measures for the western and central
                                                                populations of the Siberian crane. These and other
                                                                initiatives are described in the sections that follow.

                                                                Conference proceedings
           Secretariat News                                     The proceedings of the third meeting of the
                                                                Conference of the Parties (Geneva, 1991) are now
                                                                with the printers, and should be available for
                                                                distribution very soon.
New staff                                                       New postal code
At the beginning of June of this year, the Secretariat
                                                                Finally, the Secretariat would like to draw attention
added a third professional staff member. Dr.
                                                                to the fact that the postal code for the area in Bonn
Eugeniusz Nowak, whom many readers will know as
                                                                where it is located has changed. With effect from 1
a member of the Scientific Council, has been
                                                                July 1993, the postal code is D-53177 BONN; the old
seconded to the Secretariat by the German
                                                                code, D-5300 BONN 2, should no longer be used.
Government for a period of two years. He will
                                                                (Please refer to the box on the first page for the full
continue to serve on the Scientific Council and will
                                                                address of the UNEP/CMS Secretariat.)               O
devote a portion of his time to the Council's activities.

In April, Ms. Beth Rule began her functions as
secretary (full-time), replacing Ms. Marilyn Wagner
who left the Secretariat at the end of February after                          New Parties
completing nearly two years of service as a part-time

                                                                The Secretariat is pleased to announce the addition of
This year the Secretariat devoted a considerable                two new Parties to CMS, bringing the current
amount of time and effort in organizing two                     membership to 41 States. The Convention entered
important CMS meetings. The Standing Committee                  into force for Monaco on 1 June 1993 ─ a timely
met in Bonn in February, and this was followed by a             development in the light of the proposed Agreement
meeting of the Scientific Council in May. Both                  on the conservation of small cetaceans in the
meetings were well-attended and have given renewed              Mediterranean and Black Seas.
impetus to many initiatives under the Convention. As
far as time has allowed, staff members have also                The Republic of Guinea has deposited its instrument
participated in a number of regional and international          of accession, and the Convention will enter into force
meetings to try to promote the Convention as widely             for that country on 1 August 1993. As Guinea shares

a common border with two other CMS Parties (Mali
and Senegal) and one signatory (Côte d'Ivoire), the
prospects for regional co-operation on conservation
matters can only be enhanced by this latest accession.        Representatives from all geographic regions
                                                              participated in the meeting of the CMS Standing
The Secretariat has been informed that the Senate of          Committee held in Bonn from 24-25 February. (The
the Philippines adopted a resolution on 30 March              alternate for Africa, Burkina Faso, attended in place
1993 concurring with that country's ratification of the       of the regular member, Niger.) Other CMS Parties
Bonn Convention, and that the procedures for                  from Africa, Europe and Latin America were present
ratification by Morocco are in their final phase. A           as observers, as was the Chairman of the Scientific
number of other non-Party States in Europe and Latin          Council.
America are also thought to be close to joining the
Convention.                                                   Apart from the normal business of the Committee ─
                                                              including a review of Convention finances and
The Secretariat has written to all non-Parties to             progress on Agreements ─ the Committee's
encourage them to join the Convention. A special              discussions focused on the first draft of a strategy
approach has been made to the Government of                   paper on the future development of the Convention,
Kenya, with a view to encouraging that country to             arrangements for the next meeting of the Conference
become a full member of the Convention before the             of the Parties and other activities to be completed in
next meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which          time for that meeting.
will be held in the Kenyan capital in June 1994.
                                                              Although far from complete, the draft strategy paper
Some central and eastern European countries,                  was well-received by the Committee. The next draft
responding to an invitation made last November to             will incorporate inter alia an executive summary, an
join CMS, have noted that the obligation to pay               action plan outlining implementation of the strategy
contributions will impede accession in the near future        over the next triennium, an elaboration of the
due to the currently difficult economic situation of          possible relationship between CMS and the
their countries.                                    O         Convention on Biological Diversity, and an
                                                              examination of the potential for alternative sources of
                                                              funding for migratory species conservation.

              CMS Booklet
                                                              Conference of the Parties

                                                              The Committee concluded that the next meeting of
                                                              the Conference of the Parties would be held at UNEP
The Secretariat has produced a new booklet in                 headquarters in Nairobi in 1994. While a preference
English, French and Spanish to explain the aims and           was expressed that the meeting be held in the second
operation of the Convention to people interested in           quarter, the Committee gave the Secretariat flexibility
the conservation of migratory species. Production of          to investigate the various options available and to
the booklet was made possible through financial               decide on the final programme in consultation with
assistance provided by the U.K. Department of the             the Chairman.
Environment.      The German Government has
expressed interest in producing a German language             Following recent consultations, it now appears likely
version in the coming months.                                 that a five-day meeting of the Parties will be held in
                                                              the first two weeks of June 1994, to be preceded by a
Parties and others who wish to have extra copies of           one-day scientific symposium and a 1 1/2 day
the booklet for their use are requested to advise the         meeting of the Scientific Council. The possibility of
Secretariat of their needs.                        O          organizing a short meeting, in conjunction with the
                                                              conference, to discuss and/or conclude an Agreement
                                                              on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory
                                                              Waterbirds has been left open as an option.

       Standing Committee                                     Next meeting

The Committee unanimously supported a proposal to
hold its next meeting in Buenos Aires in January             As of 16 July 1993, only seven CMS Parties were not
1994, in association with the meeting of the General         represented on the Council: Argentina, Benin,
Assembly of IUCN ─ the World Conservation Union.             Panama, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Zaire.
 The Director-General of IUCN, Dr. Martin Holdgate,
has responded favourably to the idea, and the
Secretariat has forwarded the Committee's request to
the authorities in Argentina.                                Meeting in Bonn
For planning purposes, members of the Committee              A full meeting of the Council was held in Bonn from
(Australia, Germany, India, Niger, Panama, and the           17-19 May. In addition to the 24 Councillors present,
United Kingdom) and representatives of Parties that          observers from four CMS Parties participated,
may wish to attend as observers should block the             making it the best-attended of any Scientific Council
dates of 16 and 17 January in their calendars. Further       meeting held to date.
information, including precise dates, will be provided
in the next issue of the Bulletin.                  O        A wide range of issues was discussed. Priorities for
                                                             development of Agreements were drawn up and a
                                                             provisional list of species or groups that might be
                                                             candidates for Agreements in all regions was
         Scientific Council                                  elaborated. The groundwork was laid to begin a
                                                             thorough review of the Appendices to ensure that
                                                             they provide a sound basis for the Convention's
                                                             activities. To this end, several taxonomic groups
                                                             were identified as requiring investigation to
                                                             determine whether or not the species they contain are
New members                                                  migratory or non-migratory and to assess the extent to
                                                             which they are threatened.
There have been numerous changes in the
membership of the Scientific Council since the last
issue of the Bulletin. The following new members
have been appointed by Parties to the Convention,
                                                             Action for Appendix I species
bringing to 37 the number of experts serving on the
                                                             Councillors presented information gathered so far on
                                                             species identified at the last conference as requiring
                                                             urgent attention, and drew up plans for finalizing the
Australia:Ms. Karen Weaver (replacing Dr. Bill
                                                             review reports for the next meeting. The Council
                                                             emphasized the need to promote and assist concerted
                                                             action for Appendix I species.          To that end,
Belgium:Dr. Roseline Beudels
                                                             consideration was given to four species on which to
                                                             focus attention during the next triennium: the Monk
Denmark:Dr. Jesper Madsen
                                                             seal (Monachus monachus), Dama gazelle (Gazella
                                                             dama),      Ruddy-headed        goose    (Chloephaga
Guinea:Mr. Abdel Kader Bangoura (pending entry
                                                             rubidiceps) and Siberian crane (Grus leucogeranus).
              into force of the Convention on 1
                                                             Four other species were also identified, subject to
              August 1993)
                                                             their inclusion in Appendix I: the Great bustard (Otis
                                                             tarda), Scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), the
India:Mr. Shri S.C. Dey (replacing Mr. Shri S. Deb
                                                             entire species of Houbara bustard (Chamydotis
                                                             undulata) and White-headed duck (Oxyura
Monaco:Dr. Marie-Christine Grillo

Norway:Ms. Gunn Paulsen (replacing Mr. Steinar
             Eldøy)                                          Amendment of the Appendices

South Africa:Dr. Michael Cohen                               The Council considered a draft proposal prepared by
                                                             the International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research
                                                             Bureau and The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust to list

Oxyura leucocephala in Appendix I. The total
population now numbers about 19,000 birds and is
highly fragmented. The species is threatened by                         New Agreement
hybridization with an introduced species ─ the Ruddy
duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) ─ whose range has been
expanding. It is hoped that the European Economic
Community will formally sponsor the proposal for
listing Oxyura leucocephala at the next meeting of
the Parties.                                                 Memorandum of understanding on the
                                                             Siberian crane
In this context, Parties to the Convention are
reminded that proposals for amending the CMS                 The Siberian crane (Grus leucogeranus) has the
Appendices must be submitted to the Secretariat              longest migration route of all crane species, ranging
at least 150 days before the start of the meeting.           thousands of kilometers from its breeding areas in the
As the conference is provisionally scheduled to take         Asian Arctic to wintering grounds in south and west
place in June 1994, proposals should be ready by             Asia. It depends on natural wetlands and favourable
January 1994 at the latest.                                  conditions in the breeding areas and in the wintering
                                                             grounds, as well as in key stop-over sites during
Working groups
                                                             These western and central populations of the species
The Council established three small working groups           are on the brink of extinction, having been reduced to
in order to carry out specific tasks prior to its next       fewer than an estimated twenty birds. Little is known
meeting. One is charged with elaborating an Action           about the cranes' migration routes or of the factors
Plan for sahelo-saharan mammals, investigating the           which have led to the present critical situation.
potential for developing a CMS Agreement in the              However it is thought that hunting and destruction of
region, and preparing proposals for listing sahelo-          wetlands have been responsible for the drastic decline
saharan mammals in the Appendices.                           in their numbers.

A second working group is to prepare national status         During the recent meeting of the Contracting Parties
reports on the Houbara bustard and to take further           to the Ramsar Convention (9-16 June), the CMS
measures as may be necessary concerning the listing          Secretariat convened a series of meetings which led
of the species in the Appendices. It is hoped this           to the conclusion of a Memorandum of
work will lead to the development of an Agreement            Understanding concerning conservation measures for
for the long-term conservation of the species, which         the western and central populations of the species.
has been hunted intensively for many years. Pakistan
represents an important wintering area for the               The most recent attempt to develop an agreement
population that breeds in Asia.                              among the Range States concerned for co-operative
                                                             conservation actions arose during a wetland
A third working group will prepare for the Council's         symposium held in Karachi, Pakistan, in December
consideration at its next meeting a document on the          1991. After that meeting, the International Crane
contentious issue of the revision of the IUCN                Foundation (ICF) prepared a first draft of a formal
"Categories of threat" and the implications of this          Agreement under the Bonn Convention. However, it
work for CMS.                                                was considered that a less formal Memorandum of
                                                             Understanding (MoU) among the Range States
                                                             (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Islamic Republic of
           * * * * * * * * * *                               Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russian Federation,
                                                             Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) would be a more
                                                             practical way of promoting short-term actions.
The next meeting of the Council will be held in June
1994, in Nairobi, before the meeting of the                  A draft MoU was developed by a small working
Conference of the Parties.                        O          group and the Secretariat during the Scientific
                                                             Council meeting held in Bonn from 17-19 May 1993.
                                                              The document was further refined in Kushiro during
                                                             a series of meetings attended by government

representatives and interested non-governmental
organizations. It was signed on 16 June 1993 by               European Bats Agreement
representatives of Pakistan, the Russian Federation,
the Wild Bird Society of Japan and the UNEP/CMS               Entry into force of the AGREEMENT on the
Secretariat. The International Crane Foundation               conservation of bats in Europe is now just a few
made arrangements to sign at a later date as a                months away. The AGREEMENT has been signed
representative could not be present on that day.              by nine Range States, of which six (Ireland,
Unfortunately, due to shortness of time, it was not           Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the
possible for the Indian delegation to secure                  United Kingdom) have taken the necessary legislative
authorization to sign, however the Government of              steps to be formally bound by its provisions.
India has indicated to the Secretariat that it will
accord the MoU the highest attention. None of the             The ratifications of Ireland and Luxembourg are so
other six Range States was present in Kushiro.                recent that the legal instruments have yet to be
                                                              presented to the Government of the United Kingdom,
The MoU provides for actions to be taken                      which serves as depositary. The deposit of either
collectively by all of the Range States concerned, as         instrument will cause the AGREEMENT to enter into
well as specific measures to be implemented in each           force 90 days from that date, since the necessary five
country.       A more comprehensive Species                   ratifications will have been attained. Thus, the
Conservation Plan is to be developed within one year          AGREEMENT will likely come into effect some
by the Russian Federation, in close collaboration with        time in October or November of this year. The
the other Range States.                                       Secretariat has been informed that the German
                                                              parliament has also ratified the AGREEMENT but
The conclusion of the memorandum in such a short              that the deposit of the instrument of ratification is
time emphasizes the urgency of the actions to be              awaiting publication of the text in the official gazette.
taken. It is the first instrument of its kind to be
considered an agreement under Article IV(4) of the            The interim secretariat for the AGREEMENT, the
Bonn Convention and the first Agreement to be                 U.K. Department of the Environment, publishes an
signed by a State that is not yet a Party to the parent       informative newsletter ─ "Eurobat Chat" ─ to keep
Convention (i.e., the Russian Federation). The                bat fanciers abreast of news of interest. It has also
memorandum will take effect on 1 July 1993 and will           produced a poster to help promote the
remain in force for three years, after which time it          AGREEMENT, which is now available free of
may be renewed automatically.                                 charge in English, French and German. For copies,
                                                              please write to Mrs. Melanie Johns, Department of
The immediate priority is to obtain the signatures of         the Environment, Wildlife Division, Room 902,
the other Range States concerned. The Secretariat             Tollgate House, Houlton Street, BRISTOL BS2 9DJ,
will also be seeking the approval of the Government           United Kingdom (FAX: +44 272 218182).              O
of India to convene a meeting of technical experts in
India in late 1993 or January 1994 to discuss details
of implementation of the memorandum. In the                   Baltic-North          Sea       small       cetaceans
meantime, efforts will be made to begin taking action         agreement
on some of the measures agreed upon in the Action
Plan.                                                         The Agreement on the Conservation of Small
                                                              Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Seas
For readers who are interested in more information            (ASCOBANS) has now obtained four of the six
on the Siberian crane, this issue of the CMS                  ratifications needed for entry into force. Belgium and
Bulletin contains a special report prepared by Dr.            the United Kingdom ratified the agreement on 14
George Archibald, Director of the International Crane         May 1993 and 13 July 1993, respectively, joining the
Foundation (United States).                        O          Netherlands and Sweden which signed in 1992. The
                                                              German ratification will be finalized in July after
                                                              publication of the text of the agreement in the official
                                                              gazette. The Secretariat has been informed that the
         Agreement Update                                     Danish parliament will consider ratification of the
                                                              agreement later this year. All of the above bodes well
                                                              for the agreement entering into force early next year.

There have been several other positive developments            be revised. At the request of the Chairman of       the
to report in relation to ASCOBANS.                The          Standing Committee, the EEC Commissioner for        the
Government of Ireland has expressed interest in                Environment suggested in February 1993 that         the
having the agreement extended to cover at least the            UNEP/CMS Secretariat take the lead to develop       the
Irish Sea, and the United Kingdom has indicated that           Agreement and promised EEC financial support.
it will apply the spirit of the agreement in all of its
coastal waters, including northern and western waters          In January 1993, the Secretariat contracted the
which do not form part of the agreement area.                  International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research
                                                               Bureau (IWRB) to update the draft Agreement, in
A comprehensive survey of small cetaceans in the               order to include migratory African waterbirds, to
North Sea and southern Baltic Sea ─ the first of its           ensure complementarity and harmonization with the
kind in the region to be co-ordinated on an                    draft Asia-Pacific Waterbird Agreement and to allude
international scale ─ is being planned for 1994.               to the principal conclusions of the Earth Summit (Rio
Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the                 de Janeiro, 1992) with regard to sustainable
United Kingdom and the European Community have                 development. At the same time, the Management
already committed funding to the ECU 1.4 million               Plan and Action Plan were updated and a new Action
(US$ 1.7 million) project, which the conclusion of             Plan for African storks, ibises and spoonbills was
ASCOBANS helped to initiate.                                   elaborated. This work ─ sponsored by the Royal
                                                               Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) ─ was
The interim secretariat, provided by the Sea Mammal            completed at the end of April 1993.
Research Unit (Cambridge, U.K.), represented
ASCOBANS at the meeting of the Scientific                      The Secretariat now intends to finalize the draft by
Committee of the International Whaling Commission,             the end of July and to circulate it in August 1993 to
held in Kyoto earlier this year. It has also been              the governments of the Range States and several
investigating the possibility of holding a session later       international organizations for comment. Provided
this year, in conjunction with another meeting, to             financial and material support is forthcoming, a
discuss matters concerning the agreement before it             meeting of the Range States will be held next year.
enters into force.                                    O
                                                               The Netherland's Ministry for Agriculture, Nature
African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement                           Management and Fisheries has reiterated to the
(formerly Western Palearctic Waterfowl                         Secretariat the offer of the Netherlands to act as
                                                               depositary for the Agreement, to finance the
                                                               Agreement secretariat for an initial period of three
                                                               years, and to organize the first meeting of the Parties.
The Secretariat is in the final phase of updating the
                                                               It has also expressed its readiness to support further
draft Agreement on the Conservation of African-
                                                               development of the draft text.                        O
Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) ─ the new
name for the Agreement being developed under
Article IV(3) of the Bonn Convention. The proposed
Agreement aims to conserve Western Palearctic                  Asia-Pacific Waterbird Agreement
Anatidae, in particular, over their entire range from
western Siberia and the arctic regions of Scandinavia,         The initiative to develop an Agreement on the
Greenland, Iceland and northeast Canada, through the           Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds of the Asia-
whole of Europe and Africa.                                    Pacific Region (APWA) will soon be put to the
                                                               relevant governments for comment. Formerly the
The draft Agreement was elaborated by the                      "Asian/Australasian Waterfowl Agreement", the
Government of the Netherlands between 1988 and                 proposed Agreement was first considered by a
June 1991, and it was intended to be negotiated and            working group of the Scientific Council in Karachi,
adopted shortly thereafter under the sponsorship of            Pakistan, in December 1991. A second series of
the European Economic Community (EEC).                         meetings, held in Otsu and Kushiro, Japan, in
However, no further progress was made. After                   October 1992 reviewed a Management Plan prepared
consultations in the autumn of 1992 with a number of           by the International Waterfowl and Wetlands
Scientific Councillors, other experts and the                  Research Bureau (IWRB) under contract to the
Chairman of the CMS Standing Committee, the                    UNEP/CMS Secretariat. The meetings were attended
Secretariat concluded that the Agreement needed to             by members of the working group participating in a
                                                               related Asian Wetland Symposium, and observers

from 12 governments and from various inter-
governmental and non-governmental organizations.
A third draft of the Agreement, including an Action                    Recent meetings
Plan for waterbirds, was circulated and discussed in
June 1993, at the time of the Ramsar conference held
in Kushiro, Japan.

The present title is thought to reflect better the
geographic and taxonomic scope of the Agreement.             Seminar on African-European                       Co-
The Secretariat is now revising the Agreement text           operation in Nature Conservation
with a view to ensuring that its provisions are
compatible with those of the draft African-Eurasian          The Department of National Parks and the Ministry
Waterbird Agreement being developed concurrently.            of the Environment of Senegal hosted a seminar in
The revised Agreement text, Action Plan and                  Dakar, from 21-24 June 1993, on co-operation
Management Plan will be circulated in the coming             between countries of Europe and north and north-
months to all Range States and to other organizations        eastern Africa. The seminar was organized by the
concerned.                                         O         secretariat of the Bern Convention and was attended
                                                             by representatives of several French-speaking African
                                                             countries (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Senegal
Draft Agreement on the Conservation of                       and Tunisia) and by representatives of Belgium,
                                                             France, Spain and Switzerland. Of interest to CMS
Small Cetaceans in the Mediterranean and
                                                             were the reports provided by African representatives
Black Seas                                                   on the state of nature conservation in their countries.
An intergovernmental meeting was held in Athens in           Regional and global nature conservation conventions
October 1992 to discuss the text of this draft               ─ including CMS ─ were presented and discussed. In
Agreement. Many useful comments and suggestions              this context, it was noted that the Bern Convention
for improvement were received during and after the           has a limited mandate and does not have the means to
meeting, which was attended by the national focal            co-operate on matters related to conservation
points for Specially Protected Areas of the Barcelona        throughout Africa. The Bonn Convention was
Convention,      and    representatives    of    other       recommended as the most appropriate framework for
governments and non-governmental organizations.              coordination of matters concerning conservation of
Unfortunately, due to other commitments, the CMS             migratory species.
Secretariat has not been in a position to produce a
revised draft as soon as it would have liked.                The Co-ordinator informed the participants about the
However, it expects to be able to prepare a second           activities of CMS, in particular the draft African-
draft of the Agreement for circulation to all Range          Eurasian Waterbird Agreement.         This project
States and other interested organizations in the third       generated considerable interest among the delegates,
quarter of this year.                               O        some of whom promised to give the greatest possible
                                                             support to its further development.               O

                                                             Ramsar conference

                                                             The fifth meeting of the Contracting Parties to the
                                                             Ramsar Convention was held in Kushiro, Japan, from
                                                             8-16 June 1993. Attendance was excellent, with over
                                                             70 Parties and 23 observer States participating.
                                                             There was, of course, a very large contingent from
                                                             Japan including representation from several levels of
                                                             government, non-governmental organizations and the
                                                             press. In all, there were over 1,200 registered

                                                             The meeting adopted a number of resolutions aimed

at furthering the objectives of the Ramsar                    concerning migratory species.                       O
Convention. They dealt with such matters as further
guidance on the implementation of the "wise use"
concept, formalization of a review process for sites          International Whaling Commission
subject to change in ecological character, guidelines
on management planning for Ramsar sites and other             The annual meeting of the International Whaling
wetlands, and the establishment of a "Scientific and          Commission (IWC) was held in Kyoto, Japan, from
Technical Review Panel". The meeting also adopted             10-14 May 1993. The meeting passed a number of
a recommendation of interest to CMS concerning the            resolutions of interest to CMS. One resolution,
relationship between the Ramsar Convention, the               which acknowledged the relevance of ASCOBANS
Global Environment Facility and the Convention on             for the protection of harbour porpoises, requested
Biological Diversity.                                         Range States to carry out further research and
                                                              recommended a reduction of by-catches. A second
Australia formally offered to host the sixth meeting          resolution called for the IWC's small cetacean
of the Parties to Ramsar in 1996. The budget for the          working group to continue to investigate the question
1994-1996 triennium was adopted virtually as                  of how to address small cetacean issues within the
presented, but not without extensive discussions              IWC, including an examination of the role of other
behind the scenes after reservations were voiced the          international and regional organizations. A third
during plenary session.                                       resolution invited Governments to carry out a study
                                                              of whalewatching activities, requested the IWC
The CMS Secretariat took advantage of the presence            Secretariat to prepare a consolidated report on the
of the large number of governmental and non-                  subject, and established a working group to make
governmental representatives in Kushiro to promote            recommendations to the next meeting of the IWC.
the Bonn Convention and to convene several
meetings of direct relevance to CMS. Over 250                 The Chairman of the Standing Committee, Robert
copies of the new CMS booklet were distributed.               Hepworth, who represented CMS at the meeting,
                                                              adds the following comment:
As reported elsewhere in the Bulletin, a
memorandum of understanding on conservation                   "Whilst in Kyoto, the Vice-Chairman of the Standing
measures for the western and central populations of           Committee (Dr. Peter Bridgewater of Australia) and I
the Siberian crane was concluded, and a meeting was           took the opportunity to convene a meeting of non-
held to discuss the latest draft of the proposed Asia-        government bodies to hear their views on the future
Pacific Waterbird Agreement.                                  of CMS.

The Secretariat also convened an informal meeting             "There was a lively debate, and we have noted a
with a number of international and national NGOs,             number of points for consideration in the next draft of
assisted by the Vice-Chairman of the Standing                 the strategic review to be presented by the Standing
Committee, Dr. Peter Bridgewater. It was organized            Committee to the next meeting of CMS parties in
as a follow-up to a similar meeting arranged by the           1994. A central message was that CMS needs to
Chairman of the Standing Committee during the                 present a clearer image of its objectives in order to
recent meeting of the International Whaling                   attract more support and additional Parties. NGOs
Commission. The purpose of the session was to give            also recognised that they could play an important role
some information about recent Bonn Convention                 in trying to get support for CMS in individual states.
activities ─ in particular, the strategy paper on the
future development of the Convention ─ and to obtain          "The idea of a special project fund aimed at
feedback from NGOs on the initiatives that are being          developing countries was also welcomed, although
considered by the Standing Committee.                         NGOs are aware of possible financial and political
                                                              obstacles.  They also thought that Article IV
Finally, the Secretariat and Dr. Roberto Schlatter (the       Agreements should be produced more speedily.
Conference-appointed Scientific Councillor from
Chile) hosted an informal session with government             "We were able to distribute the new CMS booklet at
officials from several Latin American countries and a         Kyoto ─ this was well received. I hope the
few key non-governmental organizations from the               Secretariat will be able to organise a similar meeting
region. Many were eager to learn more about CMS               at the forthcoming meeting of parties to the Ramsar
as a potential framework for regional initiatives             Convention in Kushiro.

                                                              habitats. Additionally IWRB laid the foundation for
"Once again much of the real work took place outside          a global scientific network by concluding a
the formal meeting sessions. I was able to speak              memorandum of agreement with the Asian Wetland
bilaterally to several delegations concerned with             Bureau (AWB) and Wetlands for the Americas
ASCOBANS, and I hope that further signatures will             (WA).                                            O
soon be forthcoming, allowing the agreement to come
into force by the end of this year. I was also able to
help secure a reference to the role of ASCOBANS in            Strengthening of International                  Legal
a resolution passed by IWC to promote the                     Instruments on Environment
conservation of the harbour porpoise."              O
                                                              Strengthening international legal instruments in the
                                                              field of the environment, in particular enhancing the
IWRB Executive Board Meeting                                  participation of more countries in multilateral treaties
                                                              and improving their implementation, was one of the
The Co-ordinator attended the 25th meeting of the             issues discussed at the pan-European Ministerial
Executive Board of the International Waterfowl and            Conference "Environment for Europe", held in
Wetlands Research Bureau (IWRB) in St. Petersburg,            Lucerne, Switzerland, 28-30 April 1993, and the 17th
Florida (12-14 November 1992).                                session of the UNEP Governing Council, held in
                                                              Nairobi in May 1993.
He informed participants from about 50 countries of
the progress that CMS has made during the past three
years and the plans for the next two years,                   "Environment for Europe"
particularly with respect to the conservation of
migratory waterbirds. During a workshop, Dr.                  Ministers of the Environment of 50 countries met in
Gerard Boere (Netherlands) gave a talk on the draft           Lucerne to look for ways and means to improve the
African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement.                         catastrophic ecological situation in the Central and
                                                              Eastern European countries. In this regard they
On several occasions, national delegates and speakers         considered it useful for CEE countries to join and
from international NGOs emphasized the importance             implement multilateral environmental treaties on an
of concluding the drafts of the African-Eurasian and          international and regional basis.
the Asian-Pacific waterbird Agreements; some
organizations, particularly IWRB, expressed their             The analysis of answers given to a questionnaire
wish to assist the UNEP/CMS Secretariat in further            showed that there are many difficulties and obstacles
development of proposals. The Co-ordinator met                that impede CEE countries from acceding or
with scientists and government representatives of             implementing international and regional conventions,
several CMS Parties and non-Party States, explaining          inter alia, lack of the necessary administrative
the importance of joining CMS and of playing an               infrastructure, support for environmental policies in
active role in the Convention in order to co-ordinate         general, information on the conventions and educated
conservation measures for migratory species.                  and trained personnel, as well as difficulties in
                                                              internal legislation.
The Board elected Dr. Chris Kalden as the new
President of IWRB. Dr. Kalden is well-informed                As part of the follow-up to the meeting, the UNEP
about CMS, having chaired the Scientific Committee            Regional Office for Europe plans to carry out a more
during the last meeting of the Conference of the              in-depth analysis of the issues raised, the results of
Parties. Moreover, in his former capacity as head of          which may be relevant to CMS as it seeks to attract a
the Directorate for Nature Management in the                  larger membership.
Ministry for Agriculture, Nature Management and
Fisheries, he was involved in the development of the
draft Western Palearctic Waterfowl Agreement.                 UNEP Governing Council
The Executive Board decided on a forward plan for
                                                              The Governing Council discussed at length the
IWRB for the next three years as well as a new
                                                              insufficient engagement of many countries worldwide
structure for its research groups, both of which
                                                              in environmental conventions and other international
emphasize more research, monitoring and
                                                              legal instruments. In its Decision No. 17/12 the
conservation efforts for waterbirds and their wetland

Governing Council "calls on Governments that have               States entitled to become parties to the Convention.
not yet done so to sign, ratify or accede to those
international conventions in the field of the                   Although verification of the Spanish text has yet to be
environment to which they are eligible to become                finalized, it is hoped that a similar procedure can be
parties". In his official speech, Germany's Deputy              carried out this year. The Depositary confirmed in
Minister for the Environment specifically urged the             February that the Convention texts in Arabic, Chinese
countries concerned to join and to implement the                and Russian were being revised, however there are no
Bonn Convention.                                                further developments to report in this regard. Work
                                                                to correct the German text has not yet begun.        O
For its part, UNEP's Environmental Law and
Institutions Unit has proposed co-ordination of
existing secretariats of environmental conventions
with a view to achieving wider participation of
countries.                                      O


The Standing Committee discussed the continuing
problem of the unavailability of official, correct texts
of the Convention in the working languages of the
Convention (English, French and Spanish). The
Committee recognized the importance of finalizing
the correction procedures as soon as possible in order
to avoid having the United Nations publish outdated
texts and for acceding countries to have access to
current texts in the official languages.

The Depositary agreed that work on the Convention
texts should be completed in time for the next
meeting of the Conference of the Parties and that, in
the meantime, it would request the United Nations
Secretariat to suspend publication of the versions
supplied in 1991 until the Depositary is in a position
to provide the corrected texts.

The Depositary has now proposed to circulate to all
Parties and Signataries for comment the French text
of the Convention incorporating the changes agreed
by the Conference of the Parties in Geneva in 1991,
together with a small number of additional
corrections proposed by the Government of France as
a consequence of its thorough examination of the
French text. If, after expiry of the comment period,
there are no further corrections to be made, the
Depositary will circulate the corrected text to all
Parties and

           Forthcoming meetings of interest to CMS

8-15 August         Maun, Botswana         African Crane and Wetlands Workshop. Contact: International
                                           Crane Foundation, E 11376 Shady Lane Road, BARABOO,
                                           WI 53913-9778, USA. FAX: (+1 608) 356 94 65.

22-27 August        Évora, Portugal        Sixth European Bat Research Symposium. Contact: Jorge
                                           Palmeirim and Luísa Rodrigues, Dept. de Zoologia, Faculdade de
                                           Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, P-1700 LISBOA, Portugal FAX:
                                           (+ 351 1) 759 77 16.

10 - 12 September   Reading, U.K.          1993 National Bat Conference. Contact: The Bat Conservation
                                           Trust, c/o The Conservation Foundation, 1 Kensington Gore,
                                           LONDON SW7 2AR, U.K. FAX: (+44 71) 823 96 90.

12-16 September     Langebaan,             Migration, Dispersal and Nomadism. Eighth Thematic
                    South Africa           Symposium of the Southern African Ornithological Society.
                                           Contact: Prof. Les Underhill, Avian Demography Unit, Department
                                           of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town, RONDEBOSCH,
                                           7700, South Africa. FAX: (+27 21) 650 39 18.

14-15 September     Stralsund, Germany     Ostseeküste international - Natur ohne Grenzen. Contact:
                                           Jochen Lamp, WWF-Projekt Ostseeschutz, Dänholmhaus 8, 18439
                                           STRALSUND. FAX: (+49 0 38 31) 29 70 18.

19-25 September     San José, Costa Rica   International Wildlife Management Congress. Contact: The
                                           Wildlife Society, IWMC Secretariat, 5410 Grosvenor Lane,
                                           BETHESDA, MD 20814-2197, USA. FAX: (+1 301) 530 24 71.

20-25 September     Palanga, Lithuania     Baltic Birds - 7th Conference on the Study and Conservation of
                                           Birds in the Baltic Region. Contact: Dr. Me…islovas ðalakevi…ius,
                                           Laboratory of Ornithology, Institute of Ecology, Akademijos St. 2,
                                           2600 VILNIUS, Lithuania. FAX: (+7 01 22) 35 92 57.

                                           "L'année européenne de la conservation de la nature". Contact:
21-22 September     Strasbourg, France     Mlle. M-F Glatz, Conseil de l'Europe, Direction de l'Environnement
                                           et des Pouvoirs Locaux, Centre Naturopa,
                                           F-67075 STRASBOURG CEDEX. FAX: (+33 88) 41 27 15.

                                           Eighth International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium on
29 September -      Esbjerg, Denmark       Birds and their Ecology in the Wadden Sea. Contact: Karsten
2 October                                  Dahl, The National Forest and Nature Agency, Slotsmarken 13,
                                           DK-2970 HØRSHOLM. FAX: (+45 45) 76 54 77.

                                           Intergovernmental conference on the Convention on Biological
11-15 October       Geneva, Switzerland    Diversity. Contact: Dr. Elizabeth Dickson, Interim Secretariat for
                                           the Convention on Biological Diversity, 15, Chemin des Anémones,
                                           CH-1219 CHATELAINE GENEVA, Switzerland. FAX: (+41 22)
                                           727 25 12.

                                           Eighth Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the
12-15 October       Antalya, Turkey        Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against

                                     Pollution (Barcelona Convention). Contact: UNEP/Co-ordinating
                                     Unit for the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), P.O. Box 18019,
                                     48, Vassileos Konstantinou Avenue,
                                     GR-116 10 ATHENS, Greece. FAX: (+30 1) 729 11 60.

18-24 October   Odessa, Ukraine      Black Sea Basin Wetlands Workshop. Contact: IWRB,
                                     SLIMBRIDGE, Gloucester GL2 7BX, U.K. FAX: (+44 453) 89 06

9-12 November   Maastricht,          Conserving Europe's Natural Heritage. Towards a European
                The Netherlands      Ecological Network. Contact: Dr. Graham Bennett, Institute for
                                     European Environmental Policy, Jansbuitensingel 14, NL-6811 AB
                                     ARNHEM, The Netherlands. FAX: (+31 85) 45 32 10.

29 November -   Strasbourg, France   Bern Convention: 13th Annual Standing Committee meeting.
3 December                           Contact: Bern Convention Secretariat, Council of Europe, B.P. 431
                                     R6, F-67000 STRASBOURG CEDEX. Fax: (+33 88) 41 27

     SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO CMS Bulletin No. 4 (21 July 1993)

                       The Siberian Crane: a status report
                by Dr. George Archibald, Director, International Crane Foundation

Among the 13 crane species of the sub-family Gruinae, the Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) has the
distinction of being the most genetically distinct as evidenced by the structure of its DNA, its physical
features and unusual behavior. The bone structure of the Siberian Crane is highly distinct, and its
enormous beak outdistances all other cranes to give it a more stork-like visage. Whereas most other
cranes have a trumpet-like voice that carries for great distances, the voice of the Siberian Crane is soft
and flute-like, a character which when combined with gleaming white plumage, bright red face and
salmon legs, endears the species to many as the "Lily of Birds." Unfortunately, although outranked in
rarity by the Whooping Crane and the Red-crowned Crane, the Siberian is perhaps the most endangered
of cranes as a consequence of its inflexible dependence on wetlands along three migration corridors that
span the Asian continent.

Western and central flocks: on the brink of extinction

The Siberian Crane uses its enormous beak to dig in wet mud, where it predominantly forages on the
tubers of sedges and the fleshy roots of other aquatic plants. If the mud is dry, it is difficult for the
Siberians to penetrate the substrate. Consequently, these cranes require wide expanses of shallow water
where tubers and roots are plentiful. With the explosion of the human population in southern Asia and
the associated conversion of wetlands to croplands, the Siberian Cranes have declined from what once
may have been many thousands of birds wintering on the Caspian lowlands, the Gangetic Plains of
northern India and the lowlands of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. In December 1992, there
were a minimum of 10 cranes left on the Caspian lowlands, perhaps as few as 5 on the Gangetic Plains
of India and perhaps as many as 3000 on the lower Yangtze floodplain. The western and central flocks
are on the brink of extinction. The eastern population is now threatened by the proposed Three Gorges
Dam on the Yangtze River that many fear will greatly alter the fragile hydrology of the crane's winter
habitats downstream.

In contrast to the disturbed habitats cranes encounter on their wintering areas, their breeding grounds are
pristine wilderness wetlands of the northern taiga and open tundra of the Russian Federation. Two
breeding areas are known: the tundra and taiga region between the Indigirka and Kolyma Rivers in
eastern Siberia, and the taiga wetlands just east of the Ob River in western Siberia. The eastern group
migrates to China. We suspect that the Ob River group is the flock that winters in India because there
have been parallel declines at both ends of the range. In addition, in 1992 the migration of a juvenile
Siberian Crane was monitored by satellite from the Ob River breeding grounds on a southeast route
across Kazakhstan to the Amu Darya River lowlands along the border between Turkmenistan and
Afghanistan, a route seemingly headed towards India. Some consider that the breeding grounds of the
flock that winters in Iran have yet to be discovered.

Obstacles to conservation

Politics and wars have encumbered co-operative international efforts to help these cranes. The remote
nesting areas are difficult to reach. Helicopters must be used to survey nests, and costs are exorbitant.
The wintering grounds of the western flock in Iran were discovered in 1978, but conservation programs
in that country have had to accommodate social change and the damaging effects of a lengthy war with
Iraq. The war in Afghanistan has rendered conservation an impossibility at Lake Ab-i-Estada where the
central flock rests in both autumn and spring migration. Not until the end of the Cultural Revolution in
the 1970's were Chinese ornithologists able to search for the cranes wintering in China. In 1981, they
found the now famous wintering area for cranes at Poyang Lake.

Efforts to save the species

As a safeguard against extinction of the species, Russian, American and German colleagues have
collaborated in creating three captive flocks of Siberian Cranes. Today there are 28 birds at the Oka
Nature Reserve in the Russian Federation, 29 at the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in the United
States and 9 at Vogelpark Walsrode in Germany. Using artificial lights to simulate the continual light to
which wild cranes are exposed on their breeding grounds, the captive cranes eventually were induced to
breed. Unfortunately, because the age of first breeding for females occurs between 4 and 9 years,
productivity in captivity has been slow.

A researcher at ICF, Dr. Robert Horwich, devised an unusual rearing technique whereby caged chicks
are reared in visual and vocal isolation from humans. They are taught to feed with the use of hand
puppets that resemble the head and neck of an adult crane. A crane-costumed human leads the juveniles
into wetlands where they exercise and learn to forage on natural items. Sandhill Cranes, experimentally
reared in this manner, have joined the wild cranes, have migrated and when mature have paired and
reproduced with wild cranes. Efforts are now underway to use this technique to bolster numbers of the
central flock of Siberian Cranes.

In recent years satellites have been used to monitor the migration of cranes. Tiny yet powerful radio
transmitters harnessed to the cranes communicate with an orbiting satellite. The radios can reveal
movements of the cranes that would be almost impossible to evaluate through ground studies, given the
political and physical barriers to human travel across west Asian latitudes. In 1992, a joint Finnish-
Russian-Iranian team unsuccessfully attempted to capture an adult Siberian Crane from the western
flock. They hoped to attach a transmitter and monitor its migration to the breeding grounds. Perhaps
efforts will resume during the winter of 1993-94.

The Iranian Department of the Environment strictly protects the cranes that winter on flooded rice
paddies near the village of Fereydoon Kenar. Although thousands of wild ducks are trapped in that area,
the hunters have traditionally protected the white cranes. When rediscovered 15 years ago there were a
minimum of 15 birds, and since then their number has fluctuated between 10 and 11. By way of
comparison, the North American Whooping Crane flock was reduced to 15 birds in 1941, and by careful
protection throughout a range that stretches from breeding grounds in sub-arctic Canada to their winter
area along the Gulf of Mexico, the population has slowly increased to 136 in the winter of 1992-93.
Likewise, if protected throughout its range, the western flock of Siberian Cranes should increase.
Perhaps by using satellite radios to determine the migration route, ground studies can be done and
conservation measures enacted to reduce mortality.

The central flock wintering at the famous Keola Deo bird sanctuary near Bharatpur, India, is the most
studied and the most threatened of the three populations. Comprehensive studies of the ecology and
behaviour of this flock have been underway since 1974. Since counts were initiated in the 1960s, the
numbers of cranes at Bharatpur progressively declined from 125 to 5 birds during the winter of 1992-93.
 In 1982 buffalo grazing and grass cutting were banned in the sanctuary, and subsequently the quality of
crane habitat has been degraded by the invasion of aggressive grasses, raising the suspicion that some of
the birds may have shifted their wintering area to some unknown location. However, ground searches to
locate Siberian Cranes at other wetlands in northern India have thus far proved unfruitful. In January
1990 and in February 1991, limited aerial surveys were conducted. During the winter of those years,
one and two Siberian cranes, respectively, were located outside the known wintering grounds at Keola
Deo National Park - giving hope that an expanded survey might locate more birds.

In 1991, and again in 1992, a Russian-Indian team isolation-reared and released a total of four Siberian
Crane juveniles on the breeding grounds of the central population. Three birds reared in 1991 failed to
join the wild cranes because of inadequate time for the development of social bonds between meeting
the wild birds and the migration of the latter. The single bird reared in 1992 is believed to have joined
and migrated with Common Cranes. In addition, during the winter of 1992-93, two Siberian Cranes
captive-reared in Russia were released with the wild cranes on their wintering grounds in India. The
captive-reared birds thrived in the wild, but once again there was inadequate time for the development of
social bonds between the captive-reared and wild cranes. Efforts to release birds on the breeding
grounds are being repeated in 1993, and during the winter of 1993-94, efforts will be made to release
more captive-reared cranes on the wintering grounds in India.

In March 1993, three Eurasian Common Cranes were fitted with satellite transmitters at Keola Deo
National Park. Two of these cranes provided very valuable information on migration and revealed for
the first time the exact migration route of at least some of the cranes that winter in India. Some
important stopover areas were also made evident that had not been documented previously. These two
Eurasian Cranes are currently at their breeding area in southern Siberia, near the headwaters of the Ob
River. As the population of Siberian Cranes wintering in India is on the verge of extinction, it might
become necessary to use the more abundant Eurasian Cranes as guide birds for the juvenile Siberian
Cranes released in Siberia, since migration in cranes is a learned behaviour. Eurasian Cranes in and
around Keola Deo National Park are expected to be fitted with satellite transmitters for the next three
years at least, thus leading to a more comprehensive recovery program for Siberian Cranes.

It is believed that in the passes of the Hindu Kush mountains which span Afghanistan and Pakistan,
crane hunters are probably most responsible for the demise of the central flock. Afghans shoot
migrating birds and sell them for meat in the bazaars. In the early 1960s, three Siberian Cranes were
seen dead and hanging by their necks in a market in Kabul. The war in Afghanistan and subsequent
instability have negated any conservation initiative.

More than 900 crane hunters in Pakistan use live decoy Common Cranes and Demoiselle Cranes to lure
migration cranes to their traps and guns. However, wildlife researchers and conservationists in Pakistan
have waged a vigorous effort to better manage crane hunting, to reduce the use of guns and to teach
hunters not to harm white cranes. Efforts continue in Pakistan, and we hope the Pakistani
conservationists can soon spread this good work to Afghanistan.

The eastern population

In the far east, enormous flocks of Siberian Cranes probe the winter shallows of Poyang Lake. In
summer when the Yangtze swells, Poyang Lake likewise fills partly from the flooding of five small
rivers that enter the lake and partly from Yangtze floodwaters. In autumn, when flow in the rivers is
reduced, the waters of Poyang Lake drop. At first, grass-covered areas emerge, and then vast areas of
mud are exposed. Shallow depressions in the mud flats create "winter lakes" whose boundaries often
change as the strong winds move the lakes in various directions over the mud. Beneath the mud is an
abundance of tubers of wild celery. At the borders of these winter lakes, great flocks of Siberian Cranes
probe for tubers in the mud. They are joined by thousands of Swan Geese and White-naped Cranes. By
late winter, the winter lakes are almost gone, and the cranes migrate north to several staging areas in
northern China, and from there to their breeding grounds in the Russian arctic.
There are plans in China to construct the world's largest hydropower dam upstream from Poyang Lake at
Three Gorges. This dam threatens to block flood waters that are partially responsible for the seasonal
filling of Poyang Lake. Altering the fragile hydrology of Poyang Lake may threaten the quality of the
habitat for wintering Siberian Cranes.

A tenuous existence: the need for urgent action

The Siberian Crane's conspicuous appearance, long migrations, inflexible foraging habits and wintering
in populous areas all explain why the bird is endangered. While the eastern populations appear stable
for the time being, saving the western populations requires immediate and forceful action. Given the
critical status of the population wintering in India, steps have to be taken now, despite the lack of
detailed information on the migration route. Strategies and materials for public education have to be
developed. Mechanisms for action have to be developed, and personnel have to be hired or trained.
Afghanistan's Lake Ab-i-Estada is a key area, but people over a wider area have to be notified of the
critical importance of saving this species.

If we can succeed in determining the migration route in the near future, then these mechanisms for
preservation can focus their energies. If we cannot determine the route, then at least there will be some
action on a broader scale that may help tip the balance in favor of survival. We must do our utmost to
save the western flocks because if this magnificent species is extirpated from western Asia, the
knowledge of their long migration route will be lost, and it will be extremely difficult to reintroduce
Siberian Cranes in the future. The conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between the
countries frequented by these magnificent birds offers real hope that action will be taken to reverse the
drastic decline in their numbers in recent years.