European Wilderness Society

Wetlands International launches a portal for data on waterbird populations

On 29 June 2021, Wetlands International launched the Waterbird Populations Portal. This is an online interactive platform, which collects current data on the status and distribution of the world’s waterbird populations.

Please also read: Safeguarding wetlands

Access the latest information on waterbirds

Globally, there are over 870 waterbird species, many of them globally threatened, contributing to various important ecosystem services and functions. Conservation of all these species requires easily accessible information on their status and population trends to help governments and people take the right action.

Waterbird Populations Portal (WPP) is completely open-access. It provides the latest size estimates and trends for over 2,500 populations of 870 waterbird species and presents the latest 1% threshold of each population. This 1% threshold has been used to select 867 Ramsar Sites representing over 35% of total sites listed world wide to date.

The Portal is aimed at national, regional or local authorities, wetland site managers and researchers, conservation NGOs, industry and others. Using the available data, they can shortlist relevant populations with their 1% population thresholds and identify potentially internationally or nationally important wetlands. This Portal thus supports governments worldwide to develop and implement management action of wetlands and conserve waterbirds to meet global targets set under the Ramsar Convention on wetlands, as well as other biodiversity-related conventions and flyway agreements and initiatives. The Portal also offers opportunities to support the identification of Important Bird Areas & Key Biodiversity Areas worldwide.

Wetlands International is very pleased to work with governments, partners and experts around the world to provide the latest information on waterbirds in this newly launched global Waterbird Populations Portal to support management of our wetlands and conservation of these beautiful and important species,

Jane Madgwick
CEO, Wetlands International

A global webinar and panel to launch the Portal

Waterbirds worldwide are trying to adapt to ongoing climate-induced changes as well as landscape and habitat transformations driven by human development. The Portal will be regularly updated, as the most relevant and current data according to our latest knowledge on the status and trends of populations must be openly accessible. This is the only way to continue to support conservation of waterbirds and wetlands and meet needs of diverse data users worldwide. 

To introduce the Portal, a webinar was organised on 29 June 2021 with a lively international panel. Representatives attended from the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Convention on Migratory Species, and the Convention on Biological Diversity, African Eurasian Migratory Bird Agreement, East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership, and Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, representing major users of the new Portal. Also present was the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, that provided generous support for the development of the Portal. 

Data on waterbird populations provided through the WPP is crucial to support the 171 Contracting Parties of the Convention in designating Wetlands of International Importance, also known as Ramsar Sites. Effective management of this global network of protected areas that currently includes 2,422 sites is a key commitment under the Convention, and a direct, tangible contribution to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Marta Rojas Urrego
Secretary General, Ramsar Secretariat

Please Leave a Comment