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The Critical Site Network Tool

 The Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool is an award winning online resource that provides information on 294 waterbird species and the important wetlands upon which they depend in Africa and Western Eurasia. This tool provides users with direct access to both International Waterbird Census and Important Bird Area counts, as well as a range of analytical and explorative tools.  

Action Description:


High proportions of the populations of many waterbird species congregate on a few wetlands. Thus these species are highly vulnerable to the loss or degradation of these sites. The necessity of providing proactive protection to such sites is well recognised globally by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and by various regional multilateral environmental agreements such as the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement, the Bern Convention on  Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats and the EU Wild Birds Directive.

Our activities

 Wetlands International and its partners developed the Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool to assist the site designation and protection processes under the above instruments. This online tool brings together and makes accessible in an integrated fashion the information that was formerly fragmented in different datasets. It is designed to help a range of different users from site managers to national authorities and international organisations.


The Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool presents information on the distribution of each waterbird species, the flyways, population sizes and trends of their populations, their key sites and provides access to the data collected during the International Waterbird Census.    


It is an important example of the added value of cooperation between non-governmental organisations, international treaties, governments, UN agencies and other donors.



The CSN Tool is now available for all to use. We hope that it well help to take well informed decisions regarding waterbird populations and their key sites.

Visit the

 Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool or use this link:


More information:

Taej Mundkur, Wetlands International


Action Partners:

The Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool was developed with BirdLife International, the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the Secretariats of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds Agrements with the support from the UNEP GEF, the German Federal Ministry of Environment and Nuclear Safety and many other donors.

More Action Details