Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2023


    In News

    • The Asian Waterbird Census 2023 was conducted recently.


    • The census was initiated in 1987 in the Indian subcontinent, and has grown rapidly to cover 26 countries of South Asia, East Asia, South East Asia, Pacific, as well as Russia Far East.  
    • It is a citizen-science event that is a part of the global International Waterbird Census (IWC) coordinated by Wetlands International. 
    • The AWC is jointly coordinated by the Bombay Natural History Society and Wetlands International. It runs parallel to other international censuses of waterbirds in Africa, Europe and Neotropics.
    • Wetland sites: Sites include all types of natural and man-made wetlands, including, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, freshwater swamps, mangroves, mudflats, coral reefs, rice fields and sewage farms, etc.
    • Waterbird species: Waterbirds counted during the census include all types of waterbirds regularly encountered at wetlands. In addition, raptors, kingfishers and other wetland dependent birds are covered.

    Findings of the Census of 2023

    • A shift in migration patterns of waterbirds appears to be taking place in the northern parts of Alappuzha.
    • It showed that the populations of some migratory waterbirds, especially duck species, visiting the region are falling.
    • The most shocking aspect was that duck species like Northern Shoveler, Common teal and Eurasian wigeon, sighted in the previous surveys, were totally missing this time around. Climate change has affected the number of birds visiting the region.

    Wetlands International

    • It is the only global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wetlands. 
    • It works through a network of offices, partners and experts to achieve goals. Most of the work is financed on a project basis by governments and private donors. 
    • It is also supported by government and NGO membership.

    Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)

    • It is a pan-India wildlife research organization, has been promoting the cause of nature conservation since 1883.
    • Mission: Conservation of nature, primarily biological diversity through action based on research, education and public awareness.
    • BNHS has been designated as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and is the Partner of BirdLife International in India.
      • BirdLife International is a worldwide alliance of nongovernmental organizations that promotes the conservation of birds and their habitats.

    Source: TH