Dalmatian Pelican © Sergey Dereliev, www.dereliev-photography.com; Cape Gannet © Sylvain Cordier; African Black Oystercatcher © Martin Taylor; Black-legged Kittiwake © Andreas Trepte (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons; Maccoa Duck © Sergio Bianchi
Plummeting populations have led to the status of three AEWA waterbird species being upgraded, according to the revised IUCN Red List of Endangered Species published in December. Prey depletion triggered by overfishing has caused severe population declines of the Black-legged Kittiwake and the Cape Gannet. Pollution caused by domestic and urban waste water and agricultural run offs is a major problem for the Maccoa Duck. However, the outlook for another two AEWA species – the African Oystercatcher and the Dalmatian Pelican - has taken a turn for the better. BirdLife International and Wetlands International have collated the data upon which the new assessments are based.