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Status of Waterbirds in Asia: Results of the Asian Waterbird Census 1987-2007

The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC), conducted each year in January, is a waterbird and wetland-monitoring programme initiated in 1987 within the framework of the International Waterbird Census. This report summarises the results of the AWC from 1987 to 2007, comprising counts at 6,705 sites in 27 countries.

Action Description:

The census is primarily carried out by volunteers from a variety of backgrounds such as: university and school staff and students, nature club members, amateur and professional ornithologists and government and non-governmental agencies in forestry, wildlife or wetland conservation. Sites covered many different habitats including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, tanks, swamps, coastal sites, mangrove forests and mudflats, reefs and sandy beaches. Count data is entered onto standardized count forms.


Annually since 1987


The census has three major objectives:

  • To obtain, on an annual basis, information on waterbird populations for most species, at wetlands in the region during the non-breeding period (January) as a basis for long term evaluation of sites and monitoring of populations;
  • To monitor on an annual basis the status and condition of wetlands; and
  • To encourage greater interest in waterbirds and wetlands amongst people, and thereby promote the conservation of wetlands and waterbirds in the region.

 Main achievements in 2007:

  • Coordination of Asian Waterbird Census program in Mainland China.
  • Collection of data on waterbird surveys for each province.
  • Organization of training workshop for AWC volunteers
  • Encouraging more participants to become involved in the AWC program
  • Development of an internal coordination network for AWC in China

Action Partners:

Funding Agency: The Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund of Japan and The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Beijing