Waterbird Population Estimates, 4th edition

23/01/2007

Press Release

Study reveals worsening condition of waterbirds in Asia

Today, the NGO Wetlands International released the Fourth edition of their 'Waterbird Population Estimates', a publication based on annual monitoring of millions of waterbirds, that presents estimates and trends of 878 waterbird species. The new edition reveals a decrease in waterbird populations since the third edition of 2002. At a global level 44% of populations for which trend data is available are decreasing or have become extinct, 34% are stable, and 17% are increasing. Asia is the continent where concern is greatest.

In Asia, 62% of the populations are now decreasing or have become extinct, and only 10% show an increasing trend. In Oceania one in six species have already become extinct.

The most frequent known cause of population decrease is habitat destruction, often caused by unsustainable human activity. The frantic pace of economic development in Asia is clearly having adverse impacts on the environment, including numbers and population trends of waterbirds. Human impacts such as urban sprawl, reclamation of wetlands, increase of pollution and hunting pressure can develop rapidly and conservation considerationsare often not taken into account.

With this annual census coordinated by Wetlands International, waterbirds are among the most comprehensively studied group of animals worldwide. Waterbirds depend on a whole range of healthy wetlands along their migration routes. This makes them good indicators for assessing the status of wetlands globally. Regular tracking of the status of waterbirds helps to identify priorities for research and conservation of both waterbird species and wetlands of international importance.

The publication Waterbird Population Estimates Fourth Edition is the result of fieldwork carried out every year by 15,000 voluntary expert observers in more than 100 countries in Africa, Oceania, South America and Europe.

The book is for sale now at NHBS Environment Bookstore and can be ordered through www.nhbs.com (http://www.nhbs.com/title.php?tefno=35661)

For more information please contact:
Alex Kaat
Communication Manager
Wetlands International
tel: +31 65060 1917
e-mail: alex.kaat@wetlands.org

Publication announcement (PDF)


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