German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) (1979)

Logo of the CMS-Convention

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

Contracting parties:

126 (as of February 2018); Germany has been a party since 1984.


To conserve migratory animal species across their entire range.


The CMS covers those species of migratory animals whose populations regularly migrate across or outside of national boundaries. The animal species are listed in two different appendices according to their threat status. Appendix I covers species which are threatened with extinction and require the protection of all states within whose boundaries habitats of the species in question are located. Conservation measures include the maintenance or restoration of habitats along migratory routes. Appendix II covers migratory species which have an unfavourable conservation status and which require international cooperation for their conservation. The contracting states are called upon to conclude regional "Agreements" to protect such species (e.g. EUROBATS for European bats, AEWA for African-Eurasian waterbirds).

In addition to these regional Agreements, which are legal instruments in their own right, there are less formal "Memoranda of Understanding" between the technical authorities of the range states (e.g. for the aquatic warbler and the great bustard). The Conference of the Parties (CoP) is the principal decision-making body of the convention. It meets every three years. In the intervening periods, the Standing Committee takes political and administrative decisions. The Scientific Council develops technical recommendations. The Secretariat hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) performs organizational and coordinating functions for the convention.


UNEP/CMS Secretariat
United Nations Premises
Hermann-Ehlers-Str. 10
53113 Bonn, Deutschland
Tel.: +49 228 815 2401/02
Fax. +49 228 815 2449

BfN activities:

BfN promotes implementation of the CMS and its regional Agreements through, for example, research & development and testing & development projects. BfN advises the German Environment Ministry (BMU) on the further development of the CMS and cooperates for this purpose with the Secretariats of the regional Agreements.

Last Change: 09/04/2018