Thursday, January 25, 2007

Declining Waterbird Populations

BirdLife International released a new publication on the 23rd revealing the continued declines in many waterbird populations across the world. The report was based on annual field surveys by 15,000 voluntary expert observers across hundreds of sites worldwide, many of them Important Bird Areas (IBAs).

The report, the fourth edition of ‘Waterbird Population Estimates’, presents estimates and trends of 878 waterbird species spread around the world. Of these 44% of populations for which trend data were available were found to be decreasing or have become extinct since the last edition was released in 2002.

The new publication highlights how human impacts like reclamation of wetlands, increasing pollution and illegal hunting as well as expanding “urban-sprawl” are factors behind the reported population declines.

Asia continues to be the continent of most concern; 62% of waterbird populations were found to be decreasing or have become extinct.

The report is not free – thus if you wish to follow this up it means parting with some cash. The picture? - Spotted Greenshank - unfortunately not at Marshside.


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