Waterbird Population Estimates

Shovelers-James-LeesThe Waterbird Population Estimates process underpins waterbird conservation by collating and disseminating the latest information on population size and trend. These estimates have numerous applications for conservation, such as the use of 1% thresholds to identify internationally important wetlands under the Ramsar Convention. They are updated approximately 3-yearly, with WPE6 now open for consultation.

Estimates for all migratory African and European waterbird populations are first updated for the AEWA Conservation Status Report, and these then feed into the subsequent WPE update. A review of these estimates has recently been completed, and will be made available following the AEWA Meeting of Parties in November 2015.

The consultation for WPE6, which includes all non-migratory duck populations and all migratory populations outside of the African-Eurasian flyway, is now underway. Specialist Group networks are a key source of expert input to this process and Wetlands International is therefore keen to collaborate with any DSG members in a position to help. In order to facilitate this they have established an online forum; further details about this can be found here. Draft population estimates will be available for registered users to review on the WPE online database. Please register through this link and then use the Search function on the WPE online home page to select “WPE6 draft” in the list of publications.

In addition to updating population estimates, Wetlands International are also developing flyway boundary maps for all duck populations. These already exist for Africa-Eurasia (see Scott & Rose 1996 and the Critical Sites Network Tool), but need to be developed for all other duck populations. The DSG has already drafted maps for most South American species, and these will be made available for consultation. An online system for consultation is currently being developed by Wetlands International, and details about this will be provided here in due course. It is anticipated that most maps will be finalised by the end of 2015.

If you have any queries, please contact the Secretariat or Taej Mundkur and Tom Langendoen at Wetlands International.