AWC Discussion Group

The AWC has an active and lively discussion group  that facilitates discussions between country coordinators and volunteers of the AWC and individuals interested in the Asian Waterbird Census programme. To join or find out more about the group click here 

 

Contact details

For more information on the

AWC, please email

awc@wetlands.org

Summary of AWC 2017 in Sri Lanka - Thursday, June 22, 2017

The annual waterbird census was conducted in the first two weeks of February 2017.  A total of c. 118,000 birds was counted. Reports for the three most important regions follow. Those for the Mannar and the Southern Coastal Regions have been provided by members of the respective teams.

In the area previously demarcated as the South-East Coastal Region the destruction of the Hambantota Wetlands for a seaport has caused a drastic fall in the numbers of waterbirds. This has now been observed throughout several years in the waterbird census and at other times. It was thought that it is therefore better to extend its range westwards to Galle and its vicinity and to name this larger area the Southern Coastal Region.

JAFFNA REGION  10-13 Feb

Carried out by members Deepal Warakagoda, Kiran Kumaranayagam and U. Sirivardana.

Kayts Island, East coast: c. 19,500 birds. 4,060 Greater Flamingo. 2,500 Great Black-headed and 1,000 Brown-headed Gulls, 1,000 unidentified gulls; notably, no Heuglin’s recorded. Ducks: 3,110 Pintail, 1,930 Wigeon, 1,438 Shoveller, again Common Teal abundant, with 1,300, now Spot-billed Duck numerous, with 61, and only 22 Garganey. 1,100 Common Coot, 400 Eurasian Spoonbill. Rarities: 4 Temminck’s Stint.

Punkudutivu Lagoon: 18,030 birds. 1,050 Greater Flamingo. Ducks: 3,120 Wigeon, 1,080 Shoveller, 600 Pintail, 260 Garganey, 220 Common Teal, and 14 Spot-billed Duck. 111 Little Grebe. Shorebirds included: 5,100 Lesser Sand Plover, 2,500 Curlew Sandpiper, 1,000 Little Stint and 547 Marsh Sandpiper. Among gulls and terns: 460 Brown-headed Gulls and 206 Caspian Terns. 2 Indian Reef Herons. Usual distribution of other species.

Vadamaradchi Lagoon: 9,780 birds, distributed 5:1 between its N. and S-E. areas. 6,620 Wigeon, 1,570 Pintail, 702 Garganey, 438 Shoveller.

Karaitiva Causeway: 9,700 birds. Extensive prawn fencing now keeps waterbirds out of the usual areas. 2,800 Caspian Terns, 2,670 Brown-headed Gulls, 2,000 small shorebirds, and 1,400 Wigeon.

About 63,000 birds counted. Spot-billed Duck widely distributed in the western Peninsula, and Islands. Glossy Ibis throughout the Peninsula and in Kayts. Eurasian Curlew continue to be more numerous here than elsewhere in Sri Lanka, with a maximum of 46 together, at Mandaitivu. Rarities: 6 Avocet and 6 Red-necked Phalarope at Elephant Pass, 376 Slender-billed Gull at Sangupiddi Causeway North, 6 Ruff seen N. of Jaffna town.

MANNAR REGION  03-06 Feb

With member Hasitha Perera.

Mannar Island had rain in the last week of January, providing open feeding pans for shorebirds throughout the Island during this year’s count and attracted Kentish Plover and Lesser Sand Plover. The wet mud at Vankalai Sanctuary too was attractive for waterbirds, especially smaller shorebirds.

We observed high numbers of Little Stint (12,000) and Lesser Sand Plover (7000). Other species include the Greater Flamingo (2000), Marsh Sandpiper (2500), Kentish Plover (1500), Curlew Sandpiper (2000), Brown-headed Gull (6500), Indian Shag (2000), Little Cormorant (2000), Garganey (3000), Lesser Whistling Teal (3000), Pintail (2000), Shoveller (1350) and Wigeon (1500).

The usual high diversity of waterbirds in the Mannar region was not seen during the survey, with notable absentees (Spot-billed Duck, Crab Plover, Indian Courser, Red Knot, Great Knot and Broad-billed Sandpiper). Rarities counted were Comb Duck (15), Common Teal (4), Glossy Ibis (15), Blue-breasted Banded Rail (1), Avocet (1), Bar-tailed Godwit (34), Large Sand Plover (5), Oystercatcher (4) and Pallid Harrier (1).

Over the three days of counting we recorded 48,000 birds in this region.

The most significant aggregation of birds was at the eastern side of Vankalai Sanctuary and at the western Errukkilampiddi inlet with about 2000 Greater Flamingo. About 10,000 waterbirds were at a waterbody near the Tiruketeeswaram railway station. The Kora Kulam freshwater lake was, unusually, less productive. The beaches near fishing villages around Mannar Island, especially near Pesalai and Nadukuda produced fair number of Heuglin’s (1200) and Brown-headed Gulls (5000), and common tern species.

Up to the fourth island of the Adam’s Bridge islands were also surveyed during this count. The third island was more extensively surveyed, which produced the Blue-breasted Banded Rail, Eurasian Oystercatcher (2), Large Sand Plover (2), Great Stone Plover (2), Sanderling (25), and Terek Sandpipers (2).

- Sampath Seneviratne

 

SOUTHERN COASTAL REGION  10-17 Feb

With members Hemantha Seneviratne, Hasitha Perera and Moditha Kodikara Arachchi.

The total count in the region was disappointing, with only 4901* waterbirds of 61 species counted at 12 sites.

In general water levels were low in the main wetlands, resulting in fewer waterbirds being counted. At Kalametiya the seaward side of the main lagoon was dry, a condition which does not favour the presence of most waterbirds. There were relatively few species like Lesser Sand Plover, Common Redshank, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper or ducks, herons, storks ibises and rails.

Less common species recorded were: 2 Red-necked Phalarope, 2 Large Sand Plover, 2 Green Sandpiper, 5 Ruff, 1 Common Ringed Plover, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Comb Duck and 1 Lesser Adjutant. Raptors included 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Pallid Harrier and 1 Osprey.

The natural wetlands of the Hambantota and adjacent areas continue to be converted to human uses on a major scale, and this was identified as the main source of disturbance and threat to the waterbirds of the region.

- Sarath Seneviratne

 

*The total (in the report by S.S.) has been altered (here) to include the Palatupana Salterns visited by another team. At this site too the number was low (438), probably due to the saltpans having been cleared, inside and outside, and the ridges repaired.

 

Elsewhere in the country, sites censused included wetlands in the North Central Province and North West Province, Kandy Lake, Kotte wetlands, and the major tanks in the Lunugamvehera-Tissa area. Rarities: 1 Temminck’s Stint at Nuwarawewa (Anuradhapura). While many areas in the country were omitted as usual, it was more unfortunate that a major region, Puttalam-Chilaw could not be censused.

The following also participated in the census. CBC members: Bennie Abeyratne, Anura Ratnayake, Thushara Senanayake, Srinath Seneviratna, Tara Wikramanayake. Affiliates: Errol Anthonisz, Yasandu Seneviratne. Non-members: John Bundock, Isuru de Silva, Ajith Gamage, Ram Nair, Tanya Perera, Damayanthi Warakagoda and Himesha Warakagoda.

 
News from the 2017 census - Monday, January 9, 2017
Asian Waterbird Census 2017 - Friday, December 23, 2016

Please participate in the Asian Waterbird Census 2017

 

The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is part of the global International Waterbird Census (IWC). This citizen-science programme is supporting conservation and management of wetlands and waterbirds worldwide. The information helps to promote the designation and management of internationally important sites such as nationally protected areas, Ramsar Sites, and Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) as well as helps in identifying and protecting new sites of importance for waterbirds. The result of the census and information are also used to promote national waterbird and wetland conservation and international cooperation along the Central Asian Flyway.

 

The recommended dates for the AWC 2017 counts are Saturday 7 to Sunday 22, January 2017, covering two weeks and three weekends, when we should encourage you to count waterbirds. These dates are for guidance only and counts from any date in January are very welcome. With the completion of 50th anniversary of IWC in January 2017, we celebrate this with a special Indian Ocean Coastal Waterbird Count 2017

 

If you have not participated in the census before, information and AWC count forms and guidelines are uploaded on the AWC website here. The Count Forms are available in Excel and Word. The standard IWC Count Methodology is available here.   If you have participated in a previous count for a particular site, kindly cover the site this year and report on it using the latest 2017 forms. Do so even if there are few or no birds as this is important information too. We encourage you to cover as many sites as possible and encourage more participation. Submission of forms should be done by end February 2017 at the latest.

 

Across Asia-Australasia - kindly use the appropriate AWC Site and Count forms to report your observations and provide these through your country/regional coordinators, contact details here. If there is no coordinator, kindly send your forms to awc@wetlands.org or if submissions are to be made by post, forms should be sent to Wetlands International – South Asia office, A-25, Second Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi-110024.

 

In India, the AWC is jointly coordinated by the Bombay Natural History Society and Wetlands International. Do be aware of the following:

  • A reference list of internationally important AWC sites and wetland IBAs in India that we encourage you to cover during these counts is accessible here.
  • Your AWC 2017 data submission can be in one of three ways (as in 2016):
    1. AWC Data Entry Form 2017 (in Excel) with updated taxonomy and site list.
    2. AWC Data Entry Form 2016 (Word version),

The latest AWC Site and Count forms (available in Excel or Word) with guidance for completion may be downloaded here. Kindly provide completed forms through your State Coordinators here and copy to awc@wetlands.org and ibabnhs@gmail.com. If there is no State Coordinator, kindly send direct to awc@wetlands.org and ibabnhs@gmail.com. If submissions are to be made by post, forms should be sent to Wetlands International – South Asia, A-25, Second Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi-110024.

  1. eBird India platform + AWC eBird 2017 Site Form

For those familiar with eBird (and its mobile application), since AWC 2016, we have introduced an online data submission through the eBird India platform developed in collaboration with Bird CountIndia and Bombay Natural History Society. For each wetland covered, upload your counts to eBird and fill out the Google AWC eBird Site information form (for details see here).

Do note that only eBird submissions accompanied by an AWC India-eBird Site Information will be accepted and included in the national and regional AWC overviews. So kindly complete the regular eBird count and this Site form for each site separately. Participants are requested to submit both by end of January 2017. If you have any questions, please contact birdcountindia@gmail.com and awc@wetlands.org.

 

We invite your participation to make this special year count for waterbird and wetland conservation on the ground!

 
AWC newsletter September 2016 - Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Asian waterbird census data causes mixed feelings - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This article reports on an evaluation of AWC data in Kerala, India, which finds varied fortunes for the wetlands and waterbirds of this state. Thoough some species have become increasingly common, others (and particularly terns) have decreased alarmmingly. Click here to read more.

 
Waterbird trends in Manila Bay - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A new article detailing the status of waterbirds in Manila Bay, the Philippines has been published by Arne Jensen in the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines special jounal marking the 10th Philippine Bird Festival Bataan. Attached you can read Arne's article in full.

 read more ...
News from the 2016 census - Tuesday, January 12, 2016
A very happy New Year to you all and "Let's Make It Count" - Friday, January 1, 2016

   This January we will conduct the 50th count of the International Waterbird Census (IWC). It is also the 30th count of the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC).
   The recommended dates for the AWC 2016 counts are Saturday 9 to Sunday 24, January 2016, covering 2 weeks and three weekends, when we should encourage you to count waterbirds. These dates are for guidance only and counts from any date in January are very welcome.
How can you help?
• Support your national and local networks: join the counts, help train new counters or provide funding or logistical support to ensure the counts can go ahead.
• Make connections throughout the flyways: cover transboundary sites with teams from neighbouring countries and produce regional analyses, build bilateral relationships with countries in need of technical and financial support along the flyways.
• Protect critical sites: promote the designation of internationally important sites as Ramsar Sites and nationally protected areas and join efforts to conserve them.
• Raise awareness: engage with the private sector, students, hunters, and the wider public, show the importance of waterbird monitoring for the sustainable management of your sites. Let’s celebrate together!
We would like to hear from you how you celebrated the 50th anniversary of the IWC. Please send us short notes, photos, videos about your 50th anniversary activities. You and your networks can also share your messages through social media - please use the hashtags #waterbirdscount and #IWC50 to help us collate and share your stories!
 
GUIDANCE FOR AWC 2016
Regional - As a priority, we request you to cover the most important waterbird sites (including wetland sanctuaries, Ramsar sites, Flyway Network Sites and Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, IBAs), especially those that have been covered in previous years.
  The standard Count and Site forms for the AWC 2016 are downloadable on the AWC website. Contact your national/regional/state coordinator to confirm if there are any standard forms being used in your area; details here.  We introduce an online data submission in India through the eBird India platform developed in collaboration with Bird Count India and Bombay Natural History Society (see below)
India -  As a priority, we request you to cover the most important waterbird sites (including wetland sanctuaries, Ramsar sites and IBAs), especially those that have been covered in previous years. A reference list of internationally important AWC sites and wetland IBAs that we encourage you to cover during the counts is accessible here
  An updated AWC Count Excel Form for 2016 for offline data entry is now downloadable here. As always, kindly submit the completed form to your state coordinator by end February 2016 to be included in the national and regional overviews.
  Additionally, we introduce an online data submission through the eBird India platform. While the counts can be entered on the eBird platform, important information on the status, uses and threats to the wetland you have covered during the AWC 2016 count cannot be entered here. Hence we have designed an additional form, prototype AWC India-ebird Site Form for your use. This data complements count information you have submitted via eBird and provides a strong basis for conservation of wetlands and waterbirds – which is a priority for the IWC.
   Important to note that only submissions through eBird along with AWC India-eBird Site Information shall be accepted and included in the national and regional overviews, so kindly submit both by end of January 2016. Guidance for filling and submission of forms is accessible here.
 
WEBSITES WITH AWC 2016 ANNOUNCEMENTS 
The AWC 2016 has already been announced on several websites, including in China, Malaysia, and Thailand. If you have AWC announcements on your websites, kindly let us know.
 
SPECIES OF SPECIAL CONCERN
Across the region, initiatives linked to the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership and the Convention on Migratory Species are encouraging collection of information on several globally threatened and near threatened species as well as species at risk. Threatened species include the Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor, Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus, Baer’s Pochard Aythya baeri, Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris, Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea, and Saunder’s Gull Saundersilarus saundersi as well as the recently listed Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis and Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris. In addition, the Garganey Spatula querquedula that appears to be declining in parts of its range and more information is needed. We encourage to pay special attention to identification of these species in your counts.

 
AWC Newsletter published - Friday, September 25, 2015

The September 2015 newsletter of the Asian Waterbird Census presents news on the AWC dates 2016 and announces the IWC 50th count; provides a regional update as well as on the Online IWC database development. It provides updates from Australia, Bhutan, Japan, India and Sri Lanka. Birds focussed on include Baer's Pochard, Chinese Crested Tern, Philippine Duck, Scaly-sided Merganser and migratory shorebirds. We also introduce our new Strategic Intent 2015-2025.

 read more ...
Report on the the 2015 AWC in Sri Lanka - Thursday, September 24, 2015

U. Sirivardana, AWC National Coordinator has kindly provided a brief report of the 2015 annual census that has been undertaken by members of the Ceylon Bird Club. The report is available on our waterbird forum.

 
Asian Waterbird Census dates 2016 - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

As always, the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) runs over the second and third weeks of January, which for 2016 are Saturday 9th to Sunday 24th. Counts from other dates are always welcome, but we strongly recommend using the official dates to avoid double counting birds.

Good luck with your preparations!

 
Candaba Marsh - a key site lost? - Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Candaba Marsh was an important waterbird site in the Philippines, regularly hosting large numbers of wintering waterbirds, residents such as the Philippine duck (Anas luzonica) and threatened species like Baer's pochard (Aythya baeri). Despite its importance for wildlife, the marsh was steadily converted into ricefields and has now all but gone. The transition of the last pond to rice fields was reported by Beth Roberts, working on the Philippine Duck Project, and you can read the full story on this blog. Keep an eye on the blog for more updates from this project, which seeks to identify important wetlands in the Philippines for the Philippine duck and promote their conservation.

 
News from the 2015 census - Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Asian Waterbird Census Newsletter (Dec 2014) available now - Friday, January 9, 2015

Click here to download

 
Asian Waterbird Census dates 2015 - Friday, January 9, 2015

The recommended dates for the AWC 2015 counts are Saturday 10 to Sunday 25, January 2015, covering 2 weeks and three weekends, when we should encourage you to count waterbirds. These dates are for guidance only and counts from any date in January are very welcome.

Kindly use the appropriate AWC Site and Count forms to report your observations and provide these through your national coordinators. In India, kindly submit your count information to your state coordinators.

 For all AWC communication, kindly use awc@wetlands.org

 
New data submissions - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Philippines

Carlo Custodio has provided January counts for 2008 and 2014

Cambodia

Hong Chamnan from the Wildlife Conservation Society has provided counts for 2014.

Japan

Kaori Tsujita from the Ministry of Environment has provided updated figures for 2008-2013.

Malaysia

Yeap Chin Aik from the Depart. of Wildlife & National Parks has provided information from the counts in 2010-2014.

 
 
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force Bulletin - 10 year anniversary edition - Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is the most critically endangered migratory waterbird species in the East Asian Australasian Flyway, with less than a few hundred birds alive.

Below is the link to the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force that has just published its latest news bulletin – and celebrates its 10th year of operation. They have good cause to celebrate, and report it well in this edition.

http://www.eaaflyway.net/wordpress/documents/tf/Sbs+Bull+12_%20Aug-2014_web%20version.pdf

 
HKBWS China Conservation Fund - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

In order to promote bird studies and bird watching activities in China mainland, Hong Kong Bird Watching Society has established the HKBWS China Conservation Fund since 1999.

The aim of the fund includes:

  • To promote bird watching activities;
  • To facilitate observation and publishing of bird records;
  • To support ornithological researches directly related to conservation.

Small grants of up to HK$10,000 are offered to projects related to bird studies and bird watching. Fund applications are considered once a year. The deadline for applications is September 15th 2014.

http://www.chinabirdnet.org/ccfund.html

 read more ...
New data submissions May 2014 - Monday, June 2, 2014

 

Australia

Golo Maurer from BirdLife Australia provided shorebird counts from 2008-2013.

China - Taiwan

Dr. Woei-horng Fang from the Chinese Wild Bird Federation (CWBF) provided January 2011 counts.

India

Dr. Balachandran provided count information for Tamil Nadu.

Arun Bharos from the Chhattisgrah Wildlife Society provided January 2014 counts.

Pakistan

Mehrban Ali Brohi from the Zoological Survey Department, Ministry of Climate Change provided January 2014 counts.

 

 

 
Chilika gets ‘Destination Flyways’ tag by UN - Thursday, January 23, 2014

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has selected Chilika, the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia, as one of the eight global sites for development of sustainable tourism as well as livelihood of the local community that would help maintain its status as a destination for the migratory birds. - See more at: http://www.odishatoday.com/viewnews.php?news_id=6229

 
News coverage of the AWC 2014 - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The annual waterbird monitoring programme provides great opportunity for local and national press coverage that highlight the beauty, diversity and abundance of waterbirds and wetlands, conservation challenges and opportunities. Attached are links to some of these articles:

Census reveals less diversity of migratory birds at Punjab's Kanjhli wetland http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/flora-fauna/Census-reveals-less-diversity-of-migratory-birds-at-Punjabs-Kanjhli-wetland/articleshow/29572211.cms

Hope floats to bring back birds to Ropar wetland, India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Hope-floats-to-bring-back-birds-to-Ropar-wetland/articleshow/29085266.cms

Mandarin Duck sighted in Manipur, India

http://kanglaonline.com/2014/01/rare-mandarin-duck-sighted-on-the-first-day-of-waterbird-census/

Rare species, new sites found in in Balasore and Mayurbhanj, India

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/Winged-Visitors-Find-New-Winter-Homes/2014/01/11/article1994784.ece#.UvIUTWJdWuI

Spot-billed pelican at Polachira, India

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/thiruvananthapuram/Spot-billed-Pelican-Makes-Appearance-at-Polachira-Wetlands/2014/01/13/article1997724.ece#.UvIUWmJdWuI

Flamingo population increases in Rajasthan, India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/flora-fauna/Flamingo-population-increases-in-Rajasthan-Report/articleshow/29073727.cms

Pallas’s Gull comes calling at Ramnad, India

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/pallass-gull-comes-calling-at-ramnad/article5594263.ece

Poor monsoon keeps birds away from Karikili sanctuary, India

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/poor-monsoon-keeps-birds-away-from-karikili-sanctuary/article5583339.ece 

http://epaper.jagran.com/ePaperArticle/12-jan-2014-edition-Noida-page_26-3099-6408-241.html (this article is in Hindi)

Numbers down in Aakulam, up in Punchakara, India

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/not-so-chirpy/article5553764.ece

Fall in numbers at Punchakkari and Vellayani, India

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/thiruvananthapuram/Fall-in-Migratory-Water-Birds-Visiting-Punchakkari-Vellayani/2014/01/08/article1988462.ece

Fewer migratory birds visit Delhi, India

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2014-01-06/environment/45917601_1_birds-yamuna-biodiversity-park-thrushes

Waterbird census shows flock size has come down in Coimbatore, India

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/waterbird-census-shows-flock-size-has-come-down/article5608765.ece

http://www.newindianexpress.com/education/student/Migratory-Birds-Few-This-Year-Say-Birdwatchers/2014/01/20/article2008940.ece

Waterbird monitoring: early steps to protect wetland habitat in Indonesia

http://www.mongabay.co.id/2014/01/21/pengamatan-burung-air-langkah-awal-lindungi-habitat-lahan-basah/ (this article is in Indonesian)

Big Bird Race in Mai Po Wetlands, Hong Kong

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/1411861/big-bird-race-marks-30-years-raising-funds-mai-po-wetlands

Announcement of  waterbird counts in South Korea

http://www.ecotiger.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=9124 (this article is in Korean)

Announcement of waterbird census in the Philippines

http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=771390543085

Asian Waterbirds Census in Balanga City begins, Philippines 

http://balita.ph/2014/01/20/asian-waterbirds-census-in-balanga-city-begins/

Special informative press releases from Thailand (in Thai)

 
AWC India Data Entry Form - New for 2014 - Monday, December 23, 2013

For the AWC 2014 in India, we will introduce and test a new Excel-based AWC Count & Site Form to assist participants and state coordinators to enter and collate their information. The form can be downloaded here. Based on feedback of this new tool, we may extend this to other countries in the future.

 read more ...
AWC 2013 Update and AWC 2014 Announcement - Monday, December 23, 2013

An update for 2013 - Regional coordination and data management developments  - Over the last year we have focussed on streamlining coordination of the AWC regionally through our office in India (Dr Ritesh Kumar and Kamal Dalakoti), with technical support from our office in the Netherlands (Tom Langendoen, Lammert Hilarides and myself).
   As a result, we have made progress in securing count information from most countries in Asia for the period 2008-2012 and also 2013 from many countries. A draft AWC 2008-2013 Annual Totals summary report has been prepared and sent to national coordinators for checking and submission of missing information. So if you have not sent your coordinator your counts for this period, here is a last chance! As national coordinators also take time to process data before they can send it to us, kindly send this soonest. We aim to finalise the report in early/mid 2014 and then make it available to you - thanks for your patience.
   For this year, we placed a focus on strengthening coordination in India from we have had the largest historic coverage and coordination mainly at the state (province) level. National coordination is now being jointly implemented by the Bombay Natural History Society and Wetlands International (through in our Delhi office) and we foresee this to facilitate improved coordination and coverage in the coming years. Already, we have been able to secure a backlog of count information from several states and greatly appreciate feedback from state coordinators and participants.
   For the AWC 2014 in India, we will introduce and test a new Excel-based AWC Count & Site Form to assist both participants and state coordinators to enter, check and submit their information quicker and more efficiently with the added aim of reducing data entry errors from submission of paper count forms. This may be downloaded from the Documents page of the website. Based on the feedback of this new tool, we may extend this to other countries in the future, if you would like to do so.

   Wetlands International has also developed a new online data entry system for national coordinators for the International Waterbird Census format being currently trialled for the African-Eurasian region during the IWC 2014. Our aim is to develop a prototype and trial this in for the AWC next year, subject to new resources being generated to support its development. 

Website and contacts – Information for the census has continued to be updated on the AWC website www.wetlands.org/awc We welcome news, publications and other contributions to share through this website. A full list of AWC national coordinators (and state coordinators for India) is available on our website.
   We have streamlined all our communication through a single email address awc@wetlands.org  which is automatically communicated to us in our whole team. So do use this email for all your communication to us.
 

Coordination coverage - The coverage for our AWC coordination regionally and nationally has come from core Wetlands International funds this year. As our applications for external funding made in 2013 have not been successful, and as a result we have not been able to implement all the activities we would have planned to support the census. We urgently need to identify additional sources to enable us continue our work and we appeal to our network to work with us to jointly identify new sources of funds to assist us to strengthen these activities.  

News from the rest of the International Waterbird Census programme

The Annual AEWC National Count Totals: 2010 has just been published that summarises the totals per country per species of all waterbirds counted under the International Waterbird Census in the African-Eurasian region. The 2013 report includes counts from 77 countries between 2009 - 2012. This report is in English and French. To download this, check out http://www.wetlands.org/tabid/2582/aff/25/afv/topic/aft/109/Default.aspx

   Also, the latest African-Eurasian Waterbird Census (AEWC) Newsletter, December 2013 has just been published and provides updates for other regions, including the AWC.

 AWC 2014

The recommended dates for the AWC 2014 counts are Saturday 11 to Sunday 26, January 2014, covering two weeks and three weekends, when we should encourage you and your network to count waterbirds. These dates are for guidance only and counts from any date in January are very welcome. As always we encourage consistent counting of the sites on an annual basis.  

Kindly use the appropriate AWC Site and Count forms to report your observations and provide these through your national coordinators. In India, kindly submit your count information to your state coordinators.

It has been a great pleasure working with you all this year. We trust that you are able to make use of the AWC results to support your conservation actions. We look forward to extending and enhancing our cooperation to improve the monitoring of our waterbirds and their wetlands in the coming years.

On behalf of the AWC Coordination Team seasons greetings and happy holidays to you all, merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and of course, a great 2014 to you and your families.

With best regards,

Taej Mundkur

 
AWC Newsletter 19 (Dec 2012) - Friday, December 21, 2012

The AWC Newsletter #19, of Dec 2012 brings you up to date on progress of the AWC network over 2012 and looks ahead at 2013.   Download here.

 
WI Launches 5th edition & 1st Interactive Online Database on Waterbird Population Estimates - Monday, September 3, 2012

 The condition of global waterbird populations is slightly improving, but is still in decline. The situation in Asia is alarming where 50% of all waterbird populations are in decline. These are the two key findings of the fifth edition of the Waterbird Population Estimates that Wetlands International launched on 8 July 2012 at the 11th Conference of Parties of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP11) in Bucharest, Romania.

The fifth edition is released as a user-friendly interactive online database . This provides universal access to all five Waterbird Population Estimates editions as well as the Conservation Status Review editions produced for the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement, as part of Wetlands International’s continuing commitment to supporting the Ramsar Convention and all those concerned with wetland and waterbird conservation and wise use.

This work has been made possible through the generous support of Environment Canada and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and technical collaboration with BirdLife International and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership.

Links:

WPE interactive database: wpe.wetlands.org

WPE launch press release: http://www.wetlands.org/News/tabid/66/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/3011/Default.aspx

 
Successful counting mission in Nepal - Monday, September 3, 2012

Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands in Nepal (CSUWN) and Himalayan Nature teamed together to organize a Press meet to share the findings of the Midwinter Water-bird Count 2012 on 23rd March at Forestry Complex, Babarmahal. During the meet, the objective of the event was highlighted by Top B. Khatri, NPM, CSUWN. Findings of the Mid-winter Water Bird Count were presented by Dr. Hem Sagar Baral, National Coordinator of the count.The result showed a total of 81 species with a total population of 37154. The highest population of water birds were sighted in Chitwan (10721) followed by Jagadishpur (9150), Koshi Tappu (6395) and other sites like Lumbini, Pokhara, Ghodaghodi, Karnali etc. As per the individual bird species, Ruddy Shelduck duck (7552) was the highest among others including Coot (5857), Lesser Whistling Teal (5274), Common Teal (2354), Greater Cormorant (1692) and others like Pratincole, Gadwall, Cattle Egret and Moorhen.


The result when compared with last year site wise, this year in sites like Chitwan, Jagadishpur showed a remarkable increase while individual bird like Ruddy Shelduck, Coot, Lesser Whistling Duck also showed an increase. Similarly, decline in sites like Pokhara, Sukla Phanta & Koshi were observed while stable population was observed in Ghodaghodi, Badhaiya and Karnali. There was also a decrease in species like Little Pratincole, Gadwall and Comb Duck in this year count.


This count took place from 8 to 23 January 2012 covering five Protected Areas, Five Ramsar Sites spreading across fifty five sites of Nepal and is one of the largest participatory annual monitoring involving more than 200 volunteers. The count was supported by various organizations including the DNPWC, DoF, NTNC, CSUWN, BES, Tiger Mountain Group of Companies, BCN, Himalayan Nature and several community based grass root organizations.

Links:

CSUWN: http://www.wetlands.org.np/

Himalayan Nature: http://www.himalayannature.org/

 
Latest EAAFP newsletter now available! - Monday, September 3, 2012

 The latest edition of the East Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership is now available on the EAAFP website. You can subscribe to the newsletter by emailing Minseon Kim, Public Information Officer.

Links:

EAAFP newsletter: http://www.eaaflyway.net/newsletter.php

Public Information Officer email: min-seon.kim@eaaflyway.net