The International Waterbird Census (IWC) is a monitoring programme at the site scale of waterbird numbers, coordinated since 1967 by Wetlands International, originally known as the International Waterfowl and Wetlands research Bureau (IWRB).

The objectives of IWC are to:
  • Estimate the size of waterbird populations
  • describe changes in the numbers and distribution of waterbirds
  • Assess the importance of individual sites for waterbirds
  • Provide the necessary information for the management and the protection of waterbird populations through international conventions, national legislation, etc.

The counts take place in January every year all over the world (in more than 100 countries), involving over 15 thousand volunteers. Between 30 and 40 million waterbirds are counted each year around the world. The IWC represent one of the programs for monitoring biodiversity largest and oldest in the world.

For more information on IWC programme, please visit the African-Eurasian Waterbird website Census of Wetlands International and download the guidance on methodology
This guidance is also available in Arabic : بروتوكول حقلي لعد الطيور امائية.

You can also download the count form of the "Waterbirds Mediterranean" network and adapt it for your own your country.
NEW: The new article about the projetc and the montoring led by the Medawaterbirds network, is now published on the Biological Conservation Journal. The article is now on line and the free access is available until February 07, 2017 :"The first coordinated trans-North African mid-winter waterbird census: The contribution of the International Waterbird Census to the conservation of waterbirds and wetlands at a biogeographical level".
We'd like to congratulate the team and all the people involved in this monitoring for their contribution in each step of this achievement.

© T. Galewski
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