African Skimmers at the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda © Nature Uganda
Bonn, 7 February 2018 - Waterbird data in seven AEWA African Contracting Parties along the high-priority West-Asian/East African Flyway received a boost under a project supporting the International Waterbird Census (IWC). Over the period 2016 - 2017, waterbird counts were carried out at some 100 sites in Burundi, Chad, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat conducted this project in close collaboration with key partners of the African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership, including Wetlands International, the National Hunting and Wildlife Agency of France (ONCFS) and the Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology (SOVON). The project was made possible thanks to a generous financial contribution from the Government of Sweden, through the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
Activities under this IWC-related project not only included waterbird counts in the seven participating countries, but also some refresher training courses for local experts on waterbird identification and monitoring. The National IWC Coordinators in each of the countries guided the activities on the ground, in close collaboration with the AEWA implementing agencies and/or other national and international partners.
The sites survey included some Ramsar Sites as well as several wetlands identified within the Critical Sites Network (CSN) as being crucial for the conservation of migratory waterbird populations. Among them were, for example, the Rusizi National Park and Rwihinda Lake in Burundi, the Bahr Aouk and Salamat floodplains in Chad, Lake Kinkony, Mahavavy Delta, Mahajamba and Bombetoka Bays in Madagascar, the Rugezi-Burera-Ruhondo Ramsar Site in Rwanda, the Lutembe and Mabamba Wetlands, Murchison Falls and Musambwa Islands in Uganda and Lakes Natron, Victoria and Serengeti in the United Republic of Tanzania
The project helped to maintain and, in some cases, expand the IWC coverage in the West-Asian/East African Flyway, thus improving data and knowledge on waterbirds in the region. In addition, it enhanced capacity for waterbird identification and monitoring. The IWC data directly feed into the analysis of the status of migratory waterbirds covered under AEWA through the AEWA Conservation Status Report which is submitted to each Meeting of the Parties. They also feed into the Waterbird Population Estimates developed in the Framework of the Ramsar Convention.
This project has contributed to achieving result 3.1.1 of the AEWA Plan of Action for Africa 2012-2018 which requires improved quantity and quality of waterbird population data available from Africa.
The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat would like to thank all national and international partners that contributed to the success of this project in the African region.
Last updated on 15 February 2018