Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2021


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.

Back2Basics: Waterbirds

  • 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.

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