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Study reveals worsening condition of waterbirds in Asia

23-Jan-2007

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 considerations are 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 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 Asia, Africa, Oceania, South America and Europe.
The book is for sale now at NHBS Environment Bookstore.
Alex Kaat
Communication Manager Wetlands International
tel: +31 65060 1917
e-mail:alex.kaat@wetlands.org

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