Thursday, October 21, 2010

State of the World’s Waterbirds: trouble in Asia, recovering in ‘the West’

The rate of decline of waterbird populations has slightly declined over the last three decades. However, 47% of the waterbird populations are still declining and only 16% are increasing. The status of waterbirds improves mainly in North America and Europe, while it is the worse in Asia. Especially long distance migrants appear to be vulnerable.

These are the key findings of the State of the World’s Waterbirds 2010 launched by Wetlands International on 21st October at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan. This publication analyses the changes in the status of waterbird populations between 1976 and 2005 using the data collected for the four editions of Waterbird Population Estimates published by the organisation since 1994.

Dependent on economical activity and conservation measures the status of waterbird populations is improving in regions where strong conservation legislation is implemented, such as North America and Europe. However, the rate of decline of waterbird populations is increasing in all other regions without such instruments. The situation is especially alarming in Asia where 62% of waterbird populations are decreasing or even extinct. The combination of a rapid economical growth and weak conservation efforts appears to be lethal. Waterbird populations are exposed to a wide range of threats such as the loss and degradation of marshes and lakes, water regulation, agricultural intensification, hunting and climate change.

Download the Book here (5.9MB).

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