WPE4 data now available for download

20/07/2007

Latest edition of Waterbird Population Estimates data now available for download

Wetlands International's periodic global publication Waterbird Population Estimates (WPE) not only provides the best current knowledge of the population sizes and trends of the world's waterbirds, it is also recognised, through decisions of Ramsar COPs, as the authoritative source of 1% waterbird population thresholds for the application of Ramsar site designation Criterion 6.

The latest (4th) edition of WPE was published in book form in late 2006, and can be ordered from the Natural History Book Service [http://www.nhbs.com/title.php?tefno=35661] (price GB £ 25). For copyright reasons it is not possible to download the publication in book format from the Web. However, in order to make the information in WPE4 as widely available and usable as possible, Wetlands International has now prepared an Excel spreadsheet version of the data tables and reference sources, and this can now be downloaded from Wetlands International's Web site, http://www.wetlands.org/event.aspx?id=318e62d4-b171-4f99-b77f-fda289041f6a. Users need to complete a simple registration process to access the download.

There is a considerably increased number of waterbird populations in this latest edition for which 1% thresholds are provided: 1,816 populations (79% of all recognised waterbird populations). Wetlands International and its large global network of waterbird experts are to be congratulated on providing this enhanced tool supporting the implementation of the Ramsar Convention.

All those selecting wetlands for designation as Ramsar sites, and preparing Information Sheets on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS), should apply the 1% thresholds in this 4th edition of WPE, rather than those from earlier editions, which this supersedes.

-- Nick Davidson
Deputy Secretary General

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