“State of the World’s Waterbirds 2010” launched at CBD COP10

29/10/2010

At the Convention on Biological Diversity’s COP10 in Nagoya, Japan, Wetlands International launched its new publication State of the World’s Waterbirds 2010.

Many waterbirds worldwide are known to be in decline, but this new analysis, based on data compiled in the four editions of Waterbird Population Estimates, provides for the first time an assessment of the changes in waterbird status since the mid-1970s. It makes a contribution to both the assessment of the world’s delivery of the 2010 biodiversity target to significantly reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity and Ramsar’s indicators of the effectiveness of the Convention.

Ramsar’s Deputy Secretary General Nick Davidson, one of the report’s compilers along with Szabolcs Nagy and Simon Delany of Wetlands International, said “It is particularly alarming that now 70% of shorebird populations are in decline, and taking urgent action to stem the continuing losses of their key migratory staging areas is essential if any post-2010 biodiversity target agreed by CBD COP10 is to be met”. The assessment confirms that even in the 1970s waterbirds were in trouble, with almost 53% of populations of known trend being extinct or in decline. Since then, globally there has been a slight improvement in status with now 47% of populations extinct or in decline, but only 16% increasing – although this appears largely due to an improving status of waterbird populations living in North America and Europe.

Elsewhere, waterbirds remain in a generally poor and deteriorating status, with populations in Asia and long-distance migrants worldwide being in particular difficulty, as are shorebirds, whilst intense conservation action has led to an improving status of the world’s cranes. The State of the World’s Waterbirds 2010 can be downloaded from Wetlands International’s web site here.

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