The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is an international programme that focuses on monitoring the status of waterbirds and wetlands. It also aims to increase public awareness on issues related to wetland and waterbird conservation. The census is carried out each January as a voluntary activity at national and local level. The AWC is co-ordinated by Wetlands International as part of global programme, the “International Waterbird Census”.
The census has three major objectives:1. To obtain information on an annual basis of waterbird populations at wetlands in the region during the non-breeding period of most species (January), as a basis for evaluation of sites and monitoring of populations.2. To monitor on an annual basis the status and condition of wetlands.3. To encourage greater interest in waterbirds and wetlands amongst people, and thereby promote the conservation of wetlands and waterbirds in the country and region.
Submission of your AWC count and wetland information can be provided in three ways:1. eBird+AWC India Wetland Assessment Information (this form, see below)2. AWC India Data Entry Form 2019 (Excel format) The Excel Forms are available on request from email@example.com. These forms need to be submitted by email to a state coordinator (see https://www.wetlands.org/profile/india/) and cced to firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is no state coordinator, this information is sent direct to Wetlands International at email@example.com.
To use the eBird+AWC India Site Information, participants are provided with basic instructions on methods and guidelines for participating in the census and making the counts. They are requested to: • cover the most important waterbird sites (including wetland sanctuaries, Ramsar sites, IBAs and Flyway Network sites). For India, we have a reference list of internationally important sites covered during the census, as well as an updated AWC Site List 2017 and List of IBAs (see below under New eBird India AWC Submission). • visit all sites that were visited in the previous year, and use the same site names for them; • report the absence of waterbirds at a wetland which is known to have held significant numbers of birds in the past by completing a census form nevertheless and noting that no birds were present. If possible, give the reason for the absence of birds (e.g. wetland completely dry, wetland frozen over or site very disturbed by hunters); • avoid duplication of effort – occasionally two or more censuses are conducted at the same site on different dates. Whenever possible, counters should liaise with one other and agree on ONE census form that gives the results of their combined efforts; • double check all the entries on the count forms. In particular, check to see that the figures are not inadvertently inserted on the wrong line, and that species’ names are not confused; • if any species of waterbird which is not listed on the count form has been observed, counters are required to give additional information on its identification in the ‘Comments’ section of the form.
For more information on methodology followed by the Asian Waterbird Census, see www.wetlands.org/awc
NEW AWC INDIA eBIRD SUBMISSION
Based on the positive feedback over the last years, we continue with submission of AWC counts in India through a combination of eBird entry along with a Google AWC Site Information Form. This AWC India-ebird Site Form is to allow you to enter information on the status, uses and threats to the wetland you have covered during the AWC 2019 count and submitted via eBird. This data complements count information you have submitted via eBird and provides a strong basis for conservation of wetlands and waterbirds.
Do note that only eBird submissions accompanied by an AWC India-eBird Site Information will be accepted and included in the national and regional AWC overviews. So kindly complete the regular eBird count and this Site form for each site separately. Guidance for filling and submission of this form is provided below.
Kindly provide feedback on how we may improve this form in the last section in this form or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GUIDANCE IN SUBMISSION OF THE AWC INDIA eBIRD FORM
The Wetland Assessment form requests the following information: basic information on the wetland, Visit Conditions, Wetland Characteristics, Main Uses, Threats to the Wetland and Threats to the waterbirds. Please submit only one form per site covered. The AWC has a list of wetland sites that have been covered in previous years. We encourage you to check the list and to use the same site name as used before. This is important to enable long-term monitoring of sites and birds between years. The BNHS has a list of wetland Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs). Both lists are available on https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16EgY41A4CSpx7AYIg27RiN2Em5fmuBvNeLD8-zuzWmU/edit?usp=sharing
For large-sized sites with well known and clearly demarcated sub-sites (or count unit area), it is necessary to submit a form for each sub-site. It is important to be able to identify the name of the sub-site clearly, for e.g. Chilika Lake--Mangalajodi; Chilika Lake--Nalabana, are two separate sub-sites within the Chilika Lake. It is possible that you will cover such sub-sites on different days or by different teams covering sub-sites simultaneously. The state coordinator/Wetlands International can review the counts and can combine accurately.
If there are multiple lists for a single site, ensure that there is no double counting across lists. In which case, please submit a separate form for each eBird list so that the state coordinator/Wetlands International can review the counts and can combine accurately.
Please share your checklists with our eBird handle awcindia.
Thank you for taking the time to fill in and submit your complete counts and site information. Your contribution to wetland and waterbird conservation is greatly appreciated