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BNHS & Wetlands International to coordinate Asian Waterbird Census

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Winter is the season for migratory birds and we spot them all around. BNHS along with Wetlands International is coordinating the Asian Waterbirds Census to count the waterbirds all over India. This is a pan-India census to be done during 7-22nd January, but bird watchers can count waterbirds anytime during the entire month of January.
Count waterbirds this January
BNHS & Wetlands International to coordinate Asian Waterbird Census

Mumbai: 2nd January: Waterbirds act as key indicators about health of wetlands, highlighting the importance of these wetlands for both humans and birds. Asian Waterbird Census (AWC), pan-India initiative coordinated by BNHS and Wetlands International in India is a citizen science programme supporting management and conservation of waterbirds and wetlands. It is a part of the global International Waterbird Census (IWC) which marks the completion of 50 years of monitoring waterbirds. This year AWC is scheduled between 7th to 22nd January.

The AWC encourages people to count waterbirds in wetlands around them and collect information that will help to promote the designation and management of internationally important sites such as nationally protected areas, Ramsar sites and Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs). The data collected through AWC will also help in identifying and protecting new sites of importance for waterbirds. Birders can participate in AWC anytime in January apart from the mentioned dates and counts from any day in January will be welcome. A special Indian Ocean Coastal Waterbird Count will mark the 50th anniversary of IWC in January 2017. This will encourage the inclusion of coastal areas along with waterbirds for the census.

How to participate:
Download AWC count forms from AWC website http://south-asia.wetlands.org/WhatWeDo/AsianWaterbirdCensus/AWCDocuments/tabid/2895/Default.aspx.
Venture for bird watching and count waterbirds around wetlands or IBAs around you during 7-22nd January or any time in the month of January.
If you have participated in AWC earlier, visit the same site along with any new sites you wish to cover. We encourage birders to cover as many sites as possible.
The Count forms can be submitted through state coordinators, to know contact details: https://www.wetlands.org/employee/india/, with a copy to awc@wetlands.org and ibabnhs@gmail.com.
If there is no coordinator, forms can be submitted to awc@wetlands.org and ibabnhs@gmail.com or if submissions are to be made by post, forms should be sent to Wetlands International – South Asia office, A21 Defence Colony, New Delhi, India.
Count forms can be submitted in word or excel format or through the eBird India platform + AWC eBird 2017 site form.
Forms should be submitted by end of February 2017.

Dr Raju Kasambe, Project Manager, IBA – BNHS says “Monitoring of waterbird numbers and wetlands has played an importance role in understanding the threats to and the decline of waterbirds around the world. I request bird watchers to continue monitoring same sites along with new ones as part of AWC. Every birdwatcher thus can contribute to the global data of waterbird numbers and help in decision making, management and conservation efforts. BNHS has played a very important role in coordinating this activity in India as the national nodal agency.”

Contact for further details: Dr Raju Kasambe, ibabnhs@gmail.com

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