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Mapping waterbird distribution and migration in South America

Knowledge about the distribution and migration of waterfowl in South America is scarce. A considerable amount of information was produced over the past 15 years, although in general it is unpublished, disperse, and not easily accessible to technicians and decision makers who work in wildlife management and in particular in the monitoring of avian influenza in our region.

Action Description:

The objective of this action was to contribute to Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance (GAINS), with updated information on the distribution and migration of waterfowl in South America, through the mapping of 25 key species.

For that purpose, first we selected 25 species of waterbird, whose ecological and behavioral characteristics make them likely to sick and spread the disease (high-risk species). To compile information on these species we gathered information from countings, mainly based on the Neotropical Waterbird Census (1990-2006), but also incorporating other sources of information, such as literature, unpublished reports, specialist consultations, country lists, etc. Finally, the information collected was standardized and then used for mapping the distribution and abundance, seasonality and migration.

More information about the drawing up the maps process can be found in the Introductory Report.

The maps and factsheets of species are available in English, will soon be in Spanish. To access them you can use the following links:

Species factsheets and maps

01) Becasa de mar / Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica)

02) Biguá / Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax olivaceus)

03) Cauquén común / Upland Goose (Chloephaga picta)

04) Chorlito doble collar / Two-banded Plover (Charadrius falklandicus)

05) Chorlo pampa / American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica)

06) Cisne cuello negro / Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melanocorypha)

07) Falaropo de Wilson / Wilson´s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor)

08) Gaviota capucho café / Brown-hooded Gull (Larus maculipennis)

09) Gaviota capucho gris / Grey-headed Gull (Larus cirrocephalus)

10) Gaviotín golondrina / Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

11) Pato barcino / Speckled Teal (Anas flavirostris)

12) Pato capuchino / Silver Teal (Anas versicolor)

13) Pato cuchara / Red Shoveler (Anas platalea)

14) Pato maicero / Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica)

15) Pato overo / Southern Wigeon (Anas sibilatrix)

16) Pato picazo / Rosy-billed Pochard (Netta peposaca)

17) Playerito canela / Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis)

18) Playerito pectoral / Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)

19) Playerito rabadilla blanca / White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis)

20) Playero menor patas amarillas / Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)

21) Playero rojizo / Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa)

22) Rayador / Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger)

23) Siriri colorado / Fulvous Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor)

24) Siriri pampa / White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata)

25) Vuelvepiedras / Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)


Publications on Avian Influenza

Potential spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 by wildfowl: dispersal ranges and rates determined from large-scale satellite telemetry - by Gaidet et al. (including our own Taej Mundkur) in Journal of Applied Ecology


Assessing the risks of the spread of avian influenza through long-distance bird migration - by Gaidet et al. (including our own Taej Mundkur) in Journal of Applied Ecology


Map Highlight




Action Partners:

Wildlife Conservation Society



Donor: GAINS program / USAID







More Action Details