Species Coverage

The CMS Family covers a great diversity of migratory species. The Appendices of CMS include many mammals, including land mammals, marine mammals and bats; birds; fish; reptiles and one insect. Among the instruments, AEWA covers 255 species of birds that are ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle. EUROBATS covers 52 species of bat, the Sharks MOU seven species of shark and the IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU six species of marine turtle (as of June 2013).

The Role of CMS

The CMS, which entered into force in 1983, is the only global and UN-based intergovernmental organization established exclusively for the conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range.

Rationale for Protecting Migratory Species

Migratory species of wild animals are part of the world’s natural heritage. They form a significant portion of its biodiversity and genetic resources and play a unique role as indicators of ecological change (e.g. climate and pollution). In addition, they provide numerous ecosystem services for instance by dispersing seeds and pollinating plants. They are a source of food for other animals and humans. Many have spiritual and cultural significance and are key elements of ecotourism.

Defining the CMS Family NFP

The term “CMS Family”, as used in this Manual, includes CMS itself as well as its instruments, that is to say, the Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) signed under its auspices.

The term “CMS Family NFPs” is used to refer to the person or persons designated by the government of a Member State to be responsible for dealing with issues relating to CMS and /or one or more of its instruments. CMS and some of its instruments have developed terms of reference for their own NFPs.