From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2021
Mains level : Wetland conservation in India
The two-day Asian Waterbird Census-2020 was recently held in Andhra Pradesh.
Anyone can participate!
By using eBird and filling an additional site form, one can take part in this multi-country effort to document the state of our wetlands and waterbirds. To take part one simply visits a wetland and count the birds he/she see there.
Asian Waterbird Census
- The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) takes place every January.
- The AWC was started in 1987, and many birders were initiated into bird counting and monitoring through this project.
- This citizen-science event is a part of the global International Waterbird Census (IWC) that supports the conservation and management of wetlands and waterbirds worldwide.
- The data collected each year is shared by Wetlands International with global conservation organisations such as IUCN and Ramsar Convention.
Why need such census?
- Waterbirds are one of the key indicators of wetlands health.
- Wetlands provide feeding, resting, roosting and foraging habitats for these charismatic species.
AWC in India
- In India, the AWC is annually coordinated by the Bombay Natural history Society (BNHS) and Wetlands International.
- BNHS is a non-government Organisation (NGO) founded in the year 1883.
- It engages itself in the conservation of nature and natural resources and also in the research and conservation of endangered species.
- Its mission is to conserve nature, primarily biological diversity through action based on research, education and public awareness.
- The term water bird, alternatively waterbird or aquatic bird is used to refer to birds that live on or around water.
- In some definitions, the term is especially applied to birds in freshwater habitats, though others make no distinction from birds that inhabit marine environments.
- Also, some water birds are more terrestrial or aquatic than others, and their adaptations will vary depending on their environment.
- These adaptations include webbed feet, bills, and legs adapted to feed in the water, and the ability to dive from the surface or the air to catch prey in water.