The Asian Waterbird Census or AWC is a coordinated effort among volunteers in the region of Asia. This region includes Afghanistan all the way east towards Japan then going southward towards Southeast Asia and further down south towards the Australasian region. While the Philippines and other countries in our region participate in our census, counts are also being conducted in Africa, Europe, West Asia and the Neotropics. All these fall under the bigger International Waterbird Census or IWC.
The AWC is coordinated by Wetlands International, an organization dedicated to maintaining and restoring wetlands globally. The waterbird census started in 1987 and has been organized annually by local coordinators in each country. The counts are conducted by volunteers during the month of January (usually during the third and fourth weeks.) Its objectives are to gather information on waterbird populations, to monitor the status and condition of wetlands and to encourage more interest in waterbirds and wetlands which will help promote their conservation.
Here is a summary of the counts our club has participated in:
14 January – Paoay Lake, Laoag Total Count: 1,037
15 January – Candaba Bird Sanctuary, Pampanga Total Count : 10,454
17-19 January – Bicol River Estuary, Camarines Sur Total Count: 21,267
22 January – Bangrin Protected Landscape, Bani, Pangasinan
TOTAL COUNT: 13,488
26-27 January – Pagbilao TOTAL COUNT: 786
29 January – Balanga, Bataan TOTAL COUNT: 14,899