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CARIBBEAN WATERBIRD CENSUS
Tuesday 4th January 2011

The EAG is taking part in the first Caribbean Waterbird Census, an initiative of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds. A classroom session will be held on Thursday 6th January 2011 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm upstairs the museum.

There will be subsequent practice sessions in the field which you are welcome to attend even if you cannot make it to the classroom session.

 The first practice session will be at McKinnon's Swamp on Friday 7th January from 4 pm. We will meet  at the West Indies Oil pipeline road (opposite Lashings).

Thank you for your interest!

The CWC Project

The EAG has an informal bird monitoring programme run by volunteers. The Caribbean Water Bird Census (CWC) will formalise this programme.

The census will focus on wetlands and associated water birds. Water birds are those primarily associated with water habitats such as swamps, ponds, marshes etc.

Examples of water birds include black-necked stilts, various plovers, sandpipers, ducks of various species, egrets and herons.

Goals of the CWC in Antigua and Barbuda

  • To increase support for waterbird and wetland conservation in Antigua and Barbuda by promoting monitoring as means to improve science-based conservation planning and adaptive management of birds.
  • To contribute the effective and sustainable conservation of wetlands and waterbirds in the wider Caribbean

Objectives of the Programme

  • To determine which species of resident or migrant water birds are present and their distribution and relative abundance throughout the year.
  • To measure population sizes and trends—changes in numbers and density over time in water bird populations in response to changes in the environment (e.g., management, variation in site conditions, site-based threats)
  • Justify conservation action in important wetland habitats
  • Assess the need for specific management or conservation measures to improve the site for water birds.
  • Assess the effectiveness of management or conservation measures in improving the site for water birds.
  • Engage the local community in citizen science and wetland conservation
  • Assess the potential for nature-based tourism
  • Wetlands to be Surveyed Initially
  • McKinnon’s
  • Flashes
  • Fitches Creek

These are already known to have concentrations of a large variety of shorebirds and have much potential as nature tourism areas.

It is hoped that the number of wetlands will be expanded as the programme continues.

The implications of the CWC in Antigua include the fact that it provides opportunities for obtaining sound scientific data which can be used for more informed decision making in terms of conservation, land usage, nature tourism among others. It also allows for greater fulfilment of the terms of international agreements such as the RAMSAR convention (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as waterfowl habitat).

The target is anyone interested in birds, no matter the level of experience. Interested persons can register by contacting the EAG here or call 728-7956.
 


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