IWC workshop & waterbird meeting at the EBCC conference
The European Bird Census Council (EBCC) covers all European birds, and waterbird issues and monitoring were covered extensively during the last EBCC conference that was held in Cluj (Romania) from 17th to 20th September 2013. This included evening workshops on breeding ducks (led by Petr Musil from Czech University of Life Sciences and Richard Hearn from Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and Head of the WI-IUCN Duck Specialist Group) and monitoring of colonial waterbirds (facilitated by Szabolcs Nagy from Wetlands International).
A special whole day workshop was held on the 21st September for the International Waterbird Census (IWC) in Europe and Central Asia, similar to the meeting at the Pan-African Ornithological Congress in Arusha (Tanzania) in October 2012 for the African Waterbird Census. This workshop brought together 62 participants: IWC national coordinators (IWC NCs), contributors, interested parties and representatives from several organisations. The workshop was organised by Wetlands International and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership (AEWMP), and included discussions on data sharing, improving international outputs, strengthening flyway monitoring and information sharing and recent strategic and technical developments of the IWC. Thirty-seven IWC NCs (or their representatives) from Europe and Central Asia attended this meeting and/or the EBCC conference, with 12 representatives of Mediterranean countries: Andrej Vizi (Natural History Museum of Montenegro), Blas Molina (SEO/BirdLife Spain), Danae Portolou (Hellenic Ornithological Society/BirdLife Greece), Evgenija Jordanovska (Macedonian Ecological Society), Iordan Hristov (BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria), Katarina Denac (DOPPS-BirdLife Slovenia), Marco Zenatello (ISPRA, Italy), Marko Šćiban (Bird protection and study society of Serbia), Martin Hellicar (BirdLife Cyprus), Nermina Sarajlic (Naše ptice, Bosnia & Herzegovina), Tibor Mikuska (Croatian Society for Birds and Nature Protection) and Vitor Encarnação (Instituto da Conservação da Natureza, Portugal). With the help of the MAVA Foundation, Wetlands International and Tour du Valat were able to support the attendance of many of these IWC NCs.
During the workshop, the IWC NCs elected Marko Šciban from the Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia as their representative to the AEWMP. Marko has been the national coordinator for Serbia for the last two seasons of the IWC and brings very welcome expertise of waterbird monitoring and protection from the Balkans. Serbia shares many internationally important trans-boundary wetlands with neighbouring countries, including a large section of the Danube River, so Marko already brings a lot of experience of cooperating internationally on waterbird monitoring. As an English and Russian speaker, Marko will also be able to communicate directly with IWC NCs from across western Eurasia.
For more details about the IWC workshop for Europe and Central Asia, please download the report and the presentations of all speakers from the Wetlands International waterbird forum.