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ASIA-PACIFIC MIGRATORY WATERBIRD CONSERVATION STRATEGY : 1996 - 2000

Prepared by

Wetlands International - Asia Pacific
and
International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau - Japan Committee (IWRB-J)


TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ACRONYMS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. BACKGROUND

2.1 The geographic region
2.2 Flyways in the Asia-Pacific
2.3 Migratory waterbirds
2.4. Present policy and legislation
2.5 Present conservation activities
2.6 International conservation conventions/agreements

3. OVERVIEW OF WATERBIRD STATUS AND ISSUES

3.1 Waterbirds in need of special action
3.2 Main threats to waterbirds
3.2.1 Loss of habitat
3.2.2 Habitat degradation
3.2.3 Harvesting of waterbirds

4. PRIORITY ACTIONS

A - Enhancement of site conservation
B - Establishment of flyway reserve networks
C - Development and implementation of migratory waterbird conservation action plans
D - Promotion of sustainable management of migratory waterbirds
E - Promotion of conservation-oriented monitoring and research activities
F - Establishment of advanced migratory waterbird and habitat information storage and retrieval systems
G - Increased education and public awareness
H - Promotion of information flow among waterbird and wetland conservation researchers
I - Training of personnel associated with the survey, study and management of waterbirds and their habitats
J - Review and strengthening of waterbird and habitat conservation policies and legislation
K - Development of an Asia-Pacific multilateral migratory waterbird conservation agreement

5. FRAMEWORK FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGY

5.1 Framework
5.2 Funding
5.3 Timetable

6. REFERENCES

Annex 1. Summary statement of the "International workshop on conservation of migratory waterbirds and their wetland habitats in the East Asian-Australasian flyway" 33
Annex 2. Nations and territories and major flyways in the Asia-Pacific 35
Annex 3. Accession to international conventions directly relevant to conservation of waterbirds in the Asia-Pacific region 37
Annex 4. Migratory waterbird species of special conservation interest in the Asia-Pacific 39

Table 1. Overview of the status of waterbirds in the Asia-Pacific 2
Table 2. Waterbird families included in the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Strategy 7
Table 3. Bilateral agreements on the conservation of migratory waterbirds in the Asia-Pacific region 9

Map 1. Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: Implementation area 5
Map 2. Major waterbird flyways in the Asia-Pacific region 6

Figure 1. Proportions of threatened migratory species in the Asia-Pacific region

7. Information on Publication


Preface

All over the world, birds attract the attention and interest of people. Migratory waterbirds often have a special significance, since many appear at traditional sites at almost precisely the same time, year after year, and during migration usually move through a number of countries. Thus the conservation of migratory species is the responsibility of more than one nation, and requires cooperation at regional and international levels.

The challenge of conservation is especially daunting in a region as large and diverse as the Asia-Pacific. The region comprises over 57 countries and territories, and more than 200 waterbird species migrate between them on a regular basis. Governments and non-governmental agencies must be committed to work together to secure the long-term future of the birds and the habitats upon which they depend. To ensure that actions are undertaken in a coordinated and timely manner, an internationally acceptable framework is essential.

At an international workshop on the "Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds And Their Wetland Habitats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway", organized by the Environment Agency of Japan (JEA) and the Australian Nature Conservation Agency (ANCA) in Kushiro, Japan, from 28 November to 2 December 1994, it was recognized that an international migratory waterbird conservation strategy was needed for the region. The workshop called for a strategy that identifies the major issues, outlines the range of priorities for action, and sets out a time table for implementation and evaluation (Workshop Statement, Annex 1).

To initiate this process, a draft Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy (further referred to as the "Strategy") was produced by Wetlands International Asia Pacific (formerly Asian Wetland Bureau or AWB) and the International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau-Japan Committee (IWRB-J). The development of the Strategy has received strong support from the Environment Agency of Japan and the Australian Nature Conservation Agency.

The Strategy was presented for discussion and fine tuning at a number of international conservation fora, where it received strong endorsement. These fora included an inter-governmental migratory bird conservation workshop in June 1995 in Australia, the "Northeast Asia and North Pacific Environmental Forum" in September in Japan, and two workshops held during the "International Conference on Wetlands and Development" in October 1995 in Malaysia. The "Kuala Lumpur Statement on Wetlands and Development" approved by the conference in Malaysia recommended, "That international cooperation should be enhanced to assist the exchange of information and expertise to develop site networks, flyway management agreements and conservation strategies, such as the Asia-Pacific Waterbird Strategy, and to implement action plans to protect wetlands and their wildlife, especially waterbirds".

The Strategy aims to provide a framework for all appropriate and important waterbird conservation initiatives to be undertaken by agencies/organizations in the region over the next five years, and identifies those that should be developed further. The success of the Strategy will lie in its acceptance by these parties and the willingness of countries in the region to undertake activities together in a coordinated manner.

We invite active participation and welcome comments on the Strategy from government agencies, non-governmental organizations and concerned individuals to refine the priorities for action and explore mechanisms to fund and implement them. We also invite the participation and support of agencies that may not have been consulted in the production of this document.

Wetlands International - Asia Pacific
International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau-Japan Committee


1. Introduction

Waterbirds are broadly defined as: "birds ecologically dependent on wetlands" and include traditionally recognized groups popularly known as wildfowl, waterfowl and shorebirds and waders. In addition to these groups, there are other species groups that are dependent on wetlands such as the kingfishers, birds of prey and passerines. While these birds would benefit from efforts undertaken to conserve waterbirds, they are not the focus of this Strategy.

At least 404 species of waterbird are recorded in the Asia-Pacific region. Of these, 243 species, by virtue of their nature, undertake annual migrations between their breeding areas and non-breeding grounds, along several different flyways. They visit at least 57 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region. A few of these species undertake some of the greatest non-stop flights in the world, covering at least 6,000 km in one step. During their annual migration, waterbirds halt at sites for very short periods of time to rest and feed - "stepping stones" that essential for migration and crucial to their survival and well-being. Conservation of migratory waterbirds is very clearly a collective responsibility of all countries in the flyway and forms the focus of this Strategy. The conservation of species that are resident within any one country is equally important, but may be considered primarily a national responsibility and thus does not fall within the scope of this Strategy.

Waterbirds play an important role in several spheres of human interest: culturally, socially, scientifically and as a food resource. Several species, such as cranes, swans, geese and ducks, are revered. Waterbirds are an important component of most wetland ecosystems, as they occupy several trophic levels in the food web of wetland nutrient cycles. Birds harvest and regulate the abundance and diversity of several species of wetland flora and fauna. Many species also play a role in the control of agricultural pests, whilst some species are themselves considered pests of certain crops. After fish, birds are probably the most important faunal group that attract people to wetlands. For these and other reasons, waterbirds are held with great respect by many communities in the region.

Loss of waterbird habitats through direct and indirect modifications and non-sustainable utilization of waterbirds for human needs have led to declines in several waterbird populations and number of species. Some of the most catastrophic declines have taken place in the last few decades, and the list of threatened species in the region has expanded rapidly to include species from a whole variety of waterbird groups. Whilst the decline of some populations has been well documented, for example, Baikal Teal Anas formosa, Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes and Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon, the fate of several others remains unknown. According to the newly developed IUCN criteria in Birds to Watch 2 published in 1994, thirteen species of waterbird occurring in the Asia-Pacific were identified as being critically endangered, and some of these may already have become extinct. Of these, five are migratory species (Table 1). The five critically threatened migratory species are White-eared Night-heron Gorsachius magnificus, Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor, Crested Shelduck Tadorna cristata, Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris and Chinese Crested Tern Sterna bernsteini.

Table 1. Overview of the status of waterbirds in the Asia-Pacific

Category

Migratory

Resident

Total

"Safe"

190

102

292

Threatened

53

59

112

Total

243

161

404

Source: Birds to Watch 2 by Collar et al. (1994)

It is vital to understand the underlying causes for declines in populations and to attempt to control these trends in order to prevent key components of the biodiversity of wetland habitats from being lost.

The number of waterbirds using a particular wetland is related to types and quality of habitats, abundance and availability of food, and level of disturbance. Waterbird populations can be monitored by regular counting at key sites, an activity often facilitated by the open nature of most wetland habitats and relatively large size of the birds. Monitoring of waterbirds can provide valuable information on the status of wetlands, and can be a key tool for increasing the awareness of wetlands and conservation values.

Around the globe, waterbirds have been demonstrated to serve as a powerful and efficient vehicle to focus attention and mobilize action for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and their biota at local, national and international levels.

Fundamental to long-term conservation of species is conservation of their habitats. A compilation and review of the status of wetlands in Asia undertaken during the late 1980s (Scott 1989, Scott and Poole 1989) revealed that 85% of important wetlands were under some form of threat, the main forms being: general disturbance from human activities including settlement and agricultural encroachment; drainage and reclamation for agriculture; domestic, industrial waste water and pesticide pollution; over-exploitation of fishery resources and associated disturbance; commercial logging and other forestry activities in wetland-associated forests; and degradation of watersheds resulting in increased soil erosion and siltation and decreased water quality. Fifty percent of these wetlands were reported to be under moderate or severe threat, providing an indication of the severity of human impacts on the habitats. In order to address issues related to the conservation of waterbirds, therefore, it is vital to address problems concerned with conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and other habitats used by the birds during their annual migratory cycles.

In addition to government agencies involved in nature management and conservation, several international and national non-governmental organizations are actively involved in programmes of wetland and waterbird research and conservation in the Asia-Pacific region. It is important that all conservation organizations work together with governments in order to make optimum use of limited resources and achieve the goal of sustainable use of wetland habitats and conservation of these ecosystems in the shortest-possible time frame.


2. Background

2.1 The geographic region

Using the information available on distribution of waterbird populations during and outside the breeding seasons, the globe can be divided into three major regions, with some overlapping areas:

Conservation of migratory waterbirds in North America is being developed under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and throughout the entire Americas by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).

In June 1995, 54 countries from Africa, Europe and Asia Minor signed the final Act of an Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS or Bonn Convention).

At present, a framework for the conservation of migratory waterbirds in the Asia-Pacific region is partially provided by several bilateral migratory bird agreements and international conventions such as the Ramsar Convention. As yet there is no multilateral migratory waterbird agreement comparable to AEWA or WHSRN for the flyways in this region.

This Strategy addresses major migratory waterbird conservation issues in the Asia-Pacific region and broadly covers the breeding, staging and non-breeding areas of migratory birds using its flyways. It covers the Asian continent east of the Ural mountains and Sea of Azov, south to the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf across all the countries of Asia and the former Soviet Union, to Alaska (USA), Australasia, and island countries and territories of the Pacific Ocean east to the Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) as presented in Map 1. A list of nations and territories in the region is included in Annex 2. The boundaries also complement the geographical coverage of the waterbird conservation initiatives in the other two regions.

Map 1 (9KB)

Map 1. Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: implementation area

2.2 Flyways in the Asia-Pacific

In the Asia-Pacific region, as in the other parts of the world, there is evidence of migration in a general north-south orientation. For the long-distance migrants, especially migratory shorebirds, three flyways are recognized, based on biological and geopolitical considerations (Map 2). From west to east these are:

However, the detailed picture of migration within the Asia-Pacific region is complex, as different species and populations vary considerably in their migration strategies.

There is considerable overlap between the flyway areas, especially at northern latitudes where the birds breed. Several populations do not follow these general flyways and spend the non-breeding period in areas covered by two or more flyways. Thus a conservation approach that encompasses the entire geographic region is needed to achieve long-term conservation.

Map 2 (43KB)

Map 2. Major waterbird flyways in the Asia-Pacific region

2.3 Migratory waterbirds

Migratory populations include species in which the entire population or a significant proportion of its members (> 1%) cyclically and predictably crosses one or more national jurisdictional boundaries.

The Strategy adopts the Ramsar Convention definition for waterbirds: "birds ecologically dependent on wetlands" in its broadest sense. Twenty families of waterbirds are accepted under the Ramsar definition and these are listed in Table 2. Details on populations and their migratory status will be covered in species group action plans.

2.4. Present policy and legislation

Across the region there is a variety of national policies and legislative measures for the conservation of migratory waterbirds. These include regulations on the capture and transfer of birds, designation of game birds and regulations on hunting periods and bag numbers. The level of enforcement of legislation ranges from comprehensive to negligible. The reasons for the shortcomings in enforcement include the lack of trained staff, inadequate budget allocations to enforce legislation, poor public awareness and poverty.

Table 2. Waterbird families included in the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Strategy

Taxonomic Group

English Name

Gaviidae Loons
Podicipedidae Grebes
Phalacrocoracidae Cormorants
Pelecanidae Pelicans
Ardeidae Herons,Egrets and Bitterns
Ciconiidae Storks
Threskiornithidae Ibises and Spoonbills
Phoenicopteridae Flamingos
Anatidae Swans, Geese and Ducks
Gruidae Cranes
Rallidae Rails, Gallinules and Coots
Heliornithidae Finfoots
Jacanidae Jacanas
Dromadidae Crab Plover
Haematopodidae Oystercatchers
Recurvirostridae Stilts and Avocet
Glareolidae Pratincoles
Charadriidae Plovers
Scolopacidae Sandpipers
Laridae Gulls, Terns and Skimmer

Note: Collectively, shorebirds include jacanas, crab plover, oystercatchers, stilts and avocet, pratincoles, plovers and sandpipers.

In all countries there exists national policy and legislation on land ownership; policy and legislation related to the sound management and designation of important wetlands as conservation areas has been developed in a few countries. Implementation of conservation measures in accordance with national laws to regulate development activities within and outside designated areas is rarely achieved, especially where such laws conflict with local interests or short- or long-term national development plans.

For the conservation of migratory species and their habitats, a flyway approach is needed to the harmonization of legislation.

2.5 Present conservation activities

With respect to present conservation activities, government agencies in some countries and territories are undertaking independent activities, such as designation of protected habitats, regulation of hunting and related activities, improvement of habitats, studies on the breeding, feeding and migration ecology of waterbirds, and activities to increase education and public awareness.

Several international non-governmental organizations have been involved in waterbird and wetland conservation in the Asia-Pacific region. The most active organizations include:

In particular, Wetlands International has been among the driving forces in Asia behind an effort to promote the networking of research and awareness activities. Coordinated information collection and research efforts have resulted in the production of the Directory of Wetlands in Oceania (in collaboration with SPREP), several national wetland directories, and coordination of the annual Asian Waterfowl Census. In addition, several international and national training courses, workshops and conferences on wetland study and waterbird identification and monitoring techniques have been held in the region. The Directory of Asian Wetlands has been published by the IUCN, IWRB, WWF and BirdLife International.

The Wild Bird Society of Japan and Wetlands International-Asia Pacific have been instrumental in the production of the Field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia. In addition, Red Data Books which will include waterbird species, are being produced, with BirdLife International and IUCN acting as lead agencies. WWF has been working in different countries in the region to increase people's awareness of the value for conservation through training and field projects and education programmes. All these activities promote the collection and sharing of basic information relevant to waterbird- and habitat conservation.

Cooperative projects are being pursued in several nations based on bilateral treaties for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats. Plans have been developed for a network of sites, mainly in the East Asian-Australasian flyway.

2.6 International conservation conventions/ agreements

There are four international conventions and several bilateral agreements that are relevant to the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region. The four inter-governmental international conventions are:

Membership of these conventions by countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region is growing as more nations recognise the need for conservation, including that of migratory waterbirds and their habitats, and the potential of the conventions to achieve this (Annex 3). Nine bilateral agreements, with three more under discussion, deal with the conservation of migratory birds in the Asia-Pacific region (Table 3).

In addition, at least six regional inter-governmental and non-governmental initiatives provide frameworks for international cooperation for the conservation of nature, natural resources and the environment. These initiatives can be encouraged to include issues related to conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats.

The initiatives are:

Table 3. Bilateral agreements on the conservation of migratory birds In the Asia-Pacific region

Australia

Japan

Russia

Australia

Yes

P.R. of China

Yes

Yes

India

Yes

P.R. of Korea

Yes

D.P.R. of Korea

Yes

U.S.A.

Yes

Yes


3. Overview of waterbird status and threats

3.1 Waterbirds in need of special action

It is important that the primary effort is aimed at maintaining the diversity of migratory waterbirds in a favourable conservation state. The conservation status of waterbirds across the Asia-Pacific region varies greatly, and there is little precise information on the sizes of most populations. From the information available, it appears that a few species and populations are on the increase, others are in decline, and others may be stable, but for the vast majority the situation is unknown.

Fig 1 (3KB)

Figure 1. Proportions of threatened migratory species in the Asia-Pacific region (See Annex 4 for details)

To promote conservation and maintain a high avian diversity, it is necessary to identify species and populations of special conservation interest. Special efforts should be focused on these "threatened species". Recent compilations of information have served to identify these species, although the list is not considered complete (Figure 1 and Annex 4).

3.2 Main threats to waterbirds

The Asia-Pacific region supports more than half the world's human population, and in recent years has achieved the highest economic growth rate in the world. The cost of high economic growth has also been the rapid, and often unsustainable, use of natural resources and degradation of the environment. Three main threats to the long-term conservation of migratory waterbirds are linked to this growth: habitat loss, habitat degradation and harvesting of waterbirds.

3.2.1 Habitat loss

The Asia-Pacific region encompasses a great diversity of habitats used by migratory waterbirds, ranging from the Siberian tundra to forests, rivers and estuaries, lakes and marshes, farm lands, rice fields, deserts, coastal marshes, sandy beaches, intertidal mudflats, coral reefs and atolls, and mangroves.

The loss of habitat through changes in land utilization practices is the most severe threat to the long-term conservation of waterbirds in the region. Drainage and land claim of wetlands continues to take place in most countries and territories, and has affected many waterbird habitats. This trend is especially significant in coastal regions of temperate and tropical Asia and Oceania, where human population density is high and there is considerable urbanization. The expansion of human activities, especially agriculture and aquaculture, has caused the decrease of natural wetlands and loss of habitat in the region. However, certain agricultural crops, such as rice, have created large areas of seasonally-useful habitat for some waterbirds. Deforestation across the region has also resulted in habitat loss for certain forest-dwelling waterbirds. In contrast to habitats loss in the temperate and tropical regions, there has been less impact in the high arctic region, where the great majority of migratory shorebirds breed.

A more far-reaching consequence of industrialization is the increasing damage to the environment caused by acid rain. The main effects of acid rain are upon the habitat of migratory waterbirds breeding in the temperate regions of the north.

Coastal ecosystems, islands and atolls, with their mangroves, inter-tidal mudflats and coral reefs, are prone to changes in global sea levels. One of the main predicted impacts of "global warming" or "climate change" continues to be a rise in global sea levels. Increasing sea levels will adversely affect the present spatial distribution and dynamics of these coastal ecosystems and their component flora and fauna. Several species of migratory waterbird, especially, shorebirds depend on these habitats throughout their annual cycle (at breeding, staging and non-breeding sites) and it is likely that sea-level rise would have serious implications for their long-term conservation prospects.

3.2.2 Habitat degradation

In addition to direct loss of habitat, degradation of the environmental quality of habitats occurs because of over-exploitation of wetland resources (inland shell fisheries, mangroves, reeds, etc) and changes in the watersheds resulting from logging and mining, urban, rural and industrial developments. Degradation usually reduces the ability of the habitat to support a high density and diversity of birds. Pollution and eutrophication from industrial, agricultural and domestic operations create severe problems for inland and coastal wetlands. These contaminants affect waterbirds both directly and indirectly.

3.2.3 Harvesting of waterbirds

The collection of migratory waterbirds and their eggs for food and feathers is practised in several countries. Whilst in some countries hunting is strictly regulated by legislation, uncontrolled and illegal activities are still a major problem in many important migratory staging and non-breeding areas.


4. Priority Actions

In order to enhance the long-term conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region, the main issues are addressed in six broad and overlapping themes with a total of 11 objectives. The key objectives of the first two themes are strengthened by those of the latter four. To achieve each of the 11 objectives, a number of priority actions have been identified. The themes and objectives are:

Conservation of habitats
Objective A - Enhancement of site conservation
Objective B - Establishment of flyway reserve networks

Conservation of species
Objective C - Development and implementation of migratory waterbird conservation action plans
Objective D - Promotion of the sustainable management of migratory waterbirds

Research and monitoring
Objective E - Promotion of conservation-oriented monitoring and research activities
Objective F - Establishment of advanced migratory waterbird and wetland information storage and retrieval systems

Education, information and awareness
Objective G - Increased education and public awareness
Objective H - Promotion of information flow among waterbird and wetland conservation researchers

Training
Objective I - Training of personnel associated with the survey, study and management of waterbirds and their habitats

Policy and legislation
Objective J - Review and strengthening of waterbird and habitat conservation policies and legislation
Objective K - Development of an Asia-Pacific Multilateral Migratory Waterbird Conservation Agreement

The goal of the Strategy is to ensure that as many countries and territories as possible achieve the objectives before the year 2000. Individual countries and territories should be strongly encouraged to embrace these flyway objectives and actions, to complement their existing agendas. The order of priority of addressing these objectives and undertaking specific actions may differ between countries and territories, depending on existing situations, current programmes and availability of resources. Where additional resources are required to undertake actions, importance should be given to procuring such funding.

Details of each objective and actions proposed are presented in the following section.


Objective A - Enhancement of site conservation

To enhance the level of conservation and wise use of important sites for the conservation of migratory waterbirds in the Asia-Pacific region.

Action A.1
Evaluation of criteria and updating the list of sites (wetlands and other habitats) of international importance in the Asia-Pacific region with focus on their status and conservation value for waterbirds.

Action A.2
Identify priority sites for enhanced management from the updated list of sites of international importance for waterbirds.

Action A.3
Provide assistance or resources for management action at sites of international importance for migratory waterbirds.

Action A.4
Develop and implement models for management and sustainable use of important sites and their resources by communities. Resolve conflicts between working groups and local/federal government to conserve waterbirds and their habitats.


Objective B - Establishment of flyway reserve networks

To enhance the effectiveness of wetland conservation for conserving migratory waterbirds by establishing an international network of sites along the flyway identified as having a high conservation value for a particular waterbird group.

Basis for action

It is envisaged that the network will be an international cooperative effort supported by both government agencies and non-governmental organizations. The network is to be one of both sites and people to enable site owners, managers, local people and participating organizations to gain national and international recognition and support for their site and their conservation efforts.

A site that is internationally important for a variety of species groups may be nominated on different networks. Effective conservation efforts at a network site would aim to conserve all species of waterbird and other fauna dependent on the site.

Action B.1
Develop and support a network of sites of international importance for migratory shorebirds in the flyways of the Asia-Pacific region.

Action B.2
Develop and support a network of sites of international importance for migratory cranes in the flyways of the Asia-Pacific region.

Action B.3
Develop and support a network of sites of international importance for migratory Anatidae in the flyways of the Asia-Pacific region.

Action B.4
Promote the concept of establishment of networks of important sites for the conservation of other migratory waterbirds in the Asia-Pacific region.


Objective C - Development and implementation of migratory waterbird conservation action plans

To prepare action plans for species groups (and/or species) for the effective and efficient implementation of conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats.

Action C.1
Promote the development of conservation action plans for migratory shorebirds, cranes, and Anatidae.

Note: The process of development of action plans should:

a. review the conservation status, populations and threats to species;
b. development, refinement and implementation of species- and habitat research and monitoring programmes;
c. review and recommend protection status and special designation of species and wetlands;
d. evaluate the need for, and design of, a programme to establish flyway reserve networks;
e. review and recommend legislation pertaining to conservation of species and habitats. For their implementation, such plans should identify agencies and responsibilities, time frames and resources.

Action C.2
Develop conservation action plans for other species and/or species groups.

Action C.3
Promote involvement of local people, government agencies and non-government organizations in implementing migratory waterbird species group/species conservation action plans.


Objective D - Promotion of sustainable management of migratory waterbirds

In order to ensure their long-term conservation, to encourage sustainable management of migratory waterbirds where existing traditional practices in the region involve their utilization.

Action D.1
Review hunting legislation, hunting practices and methods with a view to imposing restrictions on the use of particularly harmful practices and techniques.

Action D.2
Prepare biological guidelines for the sustainable management of migratory waterbirds to assist governments to refine their hunting legislation and manage exploitation within their territories.

Action D.3
Encourage governments to restrict hunting of threatened or vulnerable species.

Action D.4
Encourage hunters at national and local levels to form cooperatives or clubs to manage their activities on a sustainable basis.

Action D.5
Evaluate the socio-economic importance of hunting of migratory waterbirds by collating available information and undertaking surveys where necessary.


Objective E - Promotion of conservation-oriented monitoring and research activities

To encourage conservation-oriented monitoring and research activities that will increase our ecological knowledge of waterbirds and their habitats. Basis for action A number of on-the-ground monitoring and research activities need to be continued and/or initiated in the Asia-Pacific region. They should be closely linked to assisting the achievement of long-term migratory waterbird conservation and management goals.

Action E.1
Identify priority research needs for the 1996-2000 period to achieve long-term conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats (in addition to actions outlined in E.2 to E.10).

Action E.2
Design and implement inventory, monitoring and conservation-oriented research activities based on identified priorities (refer to Objective I).

Action E.3
Review, develop and harmonize methodologies for monitoring, research and analysis to produce a comprehensive techniques manual.

Action E.4
Continue and refine existing waterbird population programmes (distribution, monitoring and trends), such as the Asian Waterfowl Census (AWC) and Australian Shorebird Population Monitoring Project.

Action E.5
Develop a breeding waterbird population census programme to complement existing population census programmes in the non-breeding areas (Objective E.4).

Action E.6
Develop a programme to extend the survey and evaluation of wetlands as sites of importance for migratory waterbirds and quantify benefits of well-managed wetland habitats.

Action E.7
Investigate critical habitat requirements, site-usage patterns and dependence of migratory waterbirds during their annual migration cycle in the Asia-Pacific flyways.

Action E.8
Develop a programme to assess the direct and indirect impacts of increasing economic development on long-term waterbird conservation needs and the success of existing and proposed conservation programmes.

Action E.9
Undertake a comprehensive review of information on migration systems of waterbirds in the region to refine our understanding of flyways for species/populations and identify gaps in knowledge.

Note: The review should take into consideration all published and unpublished information on marking, counting and surveys of birds produced in different languages.

Action E.10
Undertake international coordination of colour-marking schemes of migratory waterbirds to identify their migration patterns in the flyways of the Asia-Pacific and adjacent flyways.

Note: A number of waterbird marking and banding schemes operate in the Asia-Pacific region. While these schemes have been able to increase knowledge about migration, it has been recognised that there is no overall guidance on the development and implementation of schemes between countries. An increased level of cooperation and effective communication are necessary to maximize information generated by these schemes.

E.10.1 In each country, a single agency should be recognized as being responsible for the co-ordination of colour marking and banding of waterbirds in that country.

E.10.2 A single organization should take responsibility for the international coordination of colour-marking programmes for species groups of migratory waterbirds. This will be addressed in detail in each of the action plans.

E.10.3 Close co-ordination should be maintained between the international organizations registering colour-marking programmes (E.10.2) and organizations performing the same role on different flyways where there is the potential for populations mixing.


Objective F - Establishment of advanced migratory waterbird and habitat information storage and retrieval systems

Promote the development and use of computer-based information storage and retrieval systems to enhance efficiency and accuracy of retrieving data obtained in migratory waterbird and habitat monitoring, research and management activities.

Action F.1
Encourage each country in the Asia-Pacific region to develop a standardized and compatible database of wetlands of importance for migratory waterbirds.

Action F.2
Develop and/or refine compatible databases for information on wetlands of importance at a national level using existing database systems, eg, the Wetland Database Programme developed for Indonesian wetlands by the Cooperative PHPA/Wetlands International - Indonesia Programme.

Action F.3
Enhance capabilities and applications of the existing databases developed for maintaining waterbird distribution and population data collected in the Asian Waterfowl Census (AWC) and other surveys.


Objective G - Increase of education and public awareness

To raise the level of public awareness of the importance of conserving migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region.

Basis for action
Across the Asia-Pacific, there exist several successful national and local awareness programmes and activities linked to nature, wildlife and waterbird and wetland awareness and conservation. To increase the appreciation and conservation awareness of waterbirds and their habitats, it is important to expand existing public awareness programmes and develop them where necessary. Several national and international organizations, including Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, World Wide Fund for Nature and Wetlands International, have wide experience in this field and can be encouraged to undertake these activities.

Action G.1
Promote the value of conserving waterbirds and habitats, through the organization of public awareness activities, such as mass media and other campaigns, setting up bird-watching clubs and, at a local level, by using community facilitation processes and religious institutions.

Action G.2
Organize an Asia-Pacific Wetland and Waterbird Awareness Week to increase the conservation awareness and participation of local people. Note: Some countries already celebrate bird or nature days or weeks. It may be necessary to develop the proposed Awareness Week around existing schemes.

Action G.3
Promote the conservation of waterbirds and habitats as part of the school curricula and extra-curricular activities. Note: This will include development of a standard outline set of education materials for adaptation to meet local conditions and its translation into local languages.

Action G.4
Encourage the support and development of field centres at sites of importance for migratory waterbirds to stimulate the interest of local people and promote sustainable and environment-friendly ecotourism, provide education programmes for students, and organize training and scientific activities. Note: Successful "models" of field centres include the Yatsu Higata Nature Observation Center in Japan, Mao Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong and Shortlands Wetland Centre in Australia.


Objective H - Promotion of information flow among waterbird and wetland conservation researchers

To encourage regular information and experience exchange, and consultation between waterbird- and wetland researchers, interested individuals, organizations, agencies and conservationists concerned with the study and conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region and other regions in the world.

Basis for action
Exchange of information is essential to monitor the status of action plans, evaluate and improve methods, identify needs for further work, and review/refine priorities as required.

Action H.1
Promote and support the development of a network through the circulation of a newsletter to focus on topics related to conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific.

Note: At present the international/regional newsletters that primarily deal with migratory waterbird and wetland issues include Wetlands (by Wetlands International), The Stilt (by the Australasian Wader Studies Group), The Bugle (by the International Crane Foundation), IUCN Newsletter - Wetlands Programme (by the World Conservation Union) and Ramsar Newsletter (by the Ramsar Convention Bureau).

It is important to ensure regular, rapid and wide circulation of the newsletter through the conventional distribution methods and new and efficient means, such as those offered by computer-based communication technologies (electronic mail and the World Wide Web).

Action H.2
Encourage the development and maintenance of a directory of waterbird and habitat information, related agencies, organizations, researchers and conservationists.

Action H.3
Promote and support the organization of national and international meetings (seminars, workshops and conferences) to increase the level of information exchange and interaction between people working for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region and other flyways.


Objective I - Training of personnel associated with the survey, study and management of waterbirds and their habitats

To enhance the effectiveness and knowledge of personnel in charge of monitoring and conserving waterbirds and their habitats across the Asia-Pacific region.

Basis for action
In achieving this, it will be possible to promote the spirit of regional cooperation by sharing skills and conservation technologies developed by agencies and people in one country with those in others.

Action I.1
Develop and implement training courses covering the assessment of migratory waterbirds and their habitats and techniques for monitoring, research and management, at national and regional levels, for technical experts, administrators, field staff, university researchers and students, and other interested individuals/agencies (see Objective E.2).

Action I.2
Develop and implement at a national level on-site field training courses in migratory waterbird and habitat conservation and management techniques for field rangers, reserve wardens and patrol officers. These courses should be organized at wetland field centres, network sites and other sites of importance.

Action I.3
Provide external experts and equipment where needed to support the promotion of training, information exchange and research.

Action I.4
Develop a training programme for community workers and people involved in the community participatory approach to integrate education about waterbird and habitat conservation needs into their work.

Action I.5
Develop a training programme for practitioners of wetland education.


Objective J - Review and strengthening of waterbird and habitat conservation policies and legislation

To harmonize domestic, national and state policies and legislation and develop mechanisms for the effective implementation of inter-nationally compatible policies for the long-term conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region.

Basis for action
In most nations, there exists a variety of policies and legislation that relate to the conservation of waterbirds and their habitats. Since these policies and legislation emphasise national needs, most have overlooked the international perspective necessary for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats. Consequently, several globally-threatened migrants may be hunted in some countries, as they are not afforded adequate protection status and the habitats they utilize are being converted to other uses.

Action J.1
Review and develop guidelines for policies and legislation for the conservation management of migratory waterbirds and habitats.

Note: The criteria and guidelines should include the following elements and should emphasize the importance of popular participation in policy making and implementation.

a. Monitor migratory waterbirds and their habitats.
b. Develop criteria for listing species to be protected at a national level.
c. Refine existing criteria (for example, Ramsar criteria) to identify the migratory waterbird habitats to be conserved.
d. Review national legislation in order to assist governments to develop appropriate management mechanisms for the exploitation of migratory waterbirds.
e. In line with establishing legislations and regulations, develop mechanisms to regulate activities conducted in areas identified as important for migratory waterbirds.
f. Review the need to develop guidelines for design and implementation of natural habitat rehabilitation programmes for the maintenance of viable migratory waterbird populations, especially in countries that have lost significant habitats.
g. Design and implementation of public awareness and information programmes of existing migratory waterbird and habitat conservation policies and legislations.

Action J.2
Disseminate guidelines for policies and legislation for conservation management of migratory waterbirds and habitats to countries and territories in the region.

Action J.3
Promote the implementation of necessary changes to policies and legislation for the conservation management of migratory waterbirds and habitats by nations and territories.

Action J.4
Recognize and promote recommendations arising from existing habitat and waterbird conservation conventions and agreements.


Objective K - Development of an Asia-Pacific multilateral migratory waterbird conservation agreement

To assist in the development of an Asia-Pacific multilateral migratory waterbird conservation agreement that will be supported by the nations and territories of the region.

Basis for action
The agreement should provide a legal framework for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region, recognizing and giving preference to existing international conventions.

Action K.1
Promote and participate in the development and conclusion of a multilateral agreement for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region, recognizing existing models where they are relevant.

Note: Assistance should be sought from secretariats of existing international conservation agreements/conventions, national governments, international and national non-government conservation agencies.

Action K.2
Encourage all countries and territories to become parties to the agreement.

Action K.3
Promote achievement of the goals of the agreement among countries and territories.

Action K.4
Use existing regional mechanisms, including agreements and conventions relating to parts of the Asia-Pacific region (ASEAN, SAARC and SPREP), to promote conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats.


5. Implementation of the Strategy

5.1 Framework

The Strategy serves to identify conservation priorities for migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region. It recognises the importance for governments, inter-governmental agencies, non-government organizations and local people to act in a complementary and cooperative manner at all levels. Priority actions identified in the Strategy would be implemented primarily using existing national and local resources. It recommends the utilization of proven coordinating and support mechanisms such as National Wetland Committees and Specialist Groups of Wetlands International. Implementation of the Strategy should incorporate the conservation of both migratory and resident species, as appropriate and feasible.

To ensure its success, the Strategy will be implemented at three levels:

It is envisaged that the implementation of species group- or species action plans and site networks will require the assistance of international coordination and technical committees. The precise structure and function of these committees will take into consideration the needs of individual action plans and site networks.

A Strategy Coordination Officer will be appointed by Wetlands International - Asia Pacific in conjunction with International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau - Japan Committee. The officer will be based at the Wetlands International - Asia Pacific Headquarters in Malaysia to promote and stimulate implementation of the Strategy and liaise with the relevant parties in the Asia-Pacific region. The Australian Nature Conservation Agency and the Environment Agency of Japan are currently examining opportunities for funding such the officer.

It has also been proposed that the Wetlands International-Asia Pacific Council establish a technical and coordination committee to oversee the implementation and review of the Strategy.

5.2 Funding

Implementation of priority actions identified in this Strategy will require considerable resources. A number of agencies and organizations are already undertaking some of these actions with funds from a variety of sources. Other actions may be supported through the re-allocation of existing resources. Additional financial resources will however be necessary to ensure timely and sustainable implementation of certain actions. It will thus be necessary to consolidate and expand current resource mobilization and fund raising activities.

The Environment Agency of Japan and Australian Nature Conservation Agency have already provided funding for the development of the Strategy. These agencies are keen to continue to work with governments and other agencies in the Asia-Pacific to implement the Strategy.

5.3 Timetable

This Strategy will be implemented over a period of five years: 1996-2000. Much of the Strategy will be implemented through the species action plans and site networks. A detailed implementation plan will need to be developed in consultation with governments and NGOs to achieve broader aspects of the Strategy that are not covered by the species group action plans. This would also help to ensure a coordinated approach for all migratory waterbird conservation efforts in the region.

A report on the implementation of the Strategy and evaluation of its objectives will be prepared periodically. Information for the report will be collated by the Strategy Coordination Officer by soliciting reports from the various implementation agencies and organizations. The report will be reviewed by a technical and coordination committee (to be appointed) and be available for public information.

Progress reports will be presented at appropriate international waterbird- and wetland conservation conferences or meetings. During the final year, 2000, a comprehensive final report will be made. The report will be reviewed by the technical and coordination committee. Based on the evaluation of the success of the implementation of the Strategy, plans will be developed to carry the conservation initiatives into the 21st century.


6. References

Anonymous 1993. Agreement on the Conservation of Asian/Australasian Waterfowl. Management Plan. Second Draft. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Secretariat of the Convention. Bonn.

Collar, N.J., Crosby, M.J. and Stattersfield, A.A. 1994. Birds to Watch 2. The World List of Threatened Birds. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 4. BirdLife International, Cambridge.

IUCN/Species Survival Commission. 1994. IUCN Red List Categories. As approved by the 40th Meeting of the IUCN Council, Gland, Switzerland. IUCN, Gland. 21 pp.

Kushiro Initiative 1994. Summary statement from the international workshop on conservation of migratory waterbirds and their wetland habitats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Unpublished.

Perennou, C., Mundkur, T., Scott, D., Follestad, A. and Kvenild, L. 1994. The Asian Waterfowl Census 1987-91: Distribution and Status of Asian Waterfowl. AWB Publication No. 86/IWRB Special Publication No. 24. Asian Wetland Bureau, Kuala Lumpur, and International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau, Slimbridge.

Rose, P. and Scott, D.A. 1994. Waterfowl Population Estimates. IWRB Publication No. 29. International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau, Slimbridge.

Scott, D.A. and Poole, C. 1989. A Status Overview of Asian Wetlands. Asian Wetland Bureau, Kuala Lumpur.

Scott, D.A. 1989. A Directory of Asian Wetlands. IUCN, Gland.

Scott, D.A. 1993. A Directory of Wetlands in Oceania. International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau, Slimbridge, and Asian Wetland Bureau, Kuala Lumpur.

Sonobe, K. and Usui, S. (eds.) 1993. A Field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia. Wild Bird Society of Japan, Tokyo.


Annex 1. Summary statement of the "International workshop on conservation of migratory waterbirds and their wetland habitats in the East Asian-Australasian flyway"

"KUSHIRO INITIATIVE"
2 December 1994
Kushiro, Japan

The "International Workshop on Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and their Wetland Habitats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway", held in Kushiro from 28 November to 2 December 1994, was attended by 92 experts and government representatives from the following states and territories: Australia, Cambodia, China (People's Republic), Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of), Korea (Republic of), Russia, Singapore, Thailand, USA, and representatives of Asian Wetland Bureau, Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention), Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), and Wetlands for the Americas. The meeting was organized under the auspices of the Environment Agency of Japan, the Australian Nature Conservation Agency, with assistance from the Asian Wetland Bureau, and the International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau Japan Committee: partial financial support was received from UNEP Regional Office for the Asia Pacific, and the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). It was held at the invitation of the Preparatory Committee for the Kushiro International Wetland Centre.

The meeting expressed its thanks to the local organisers and supporters for the excellent arrangements.

The meeting also congratulated the initiative of the Kushiro and other local governments in concluding a twinning agreement between Ramsar sites in the Kushiro region and Kooragang Ramsar site in New South Wales, Australia which is a model for establishment of a network of sites linked by migratory waterbirds.

This workshop discussed and exchanged information on the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their wetland habitats in the East Asian-Australasian region. Waterbirds are an important component of most wetlands ecosystems. They are of great value economically, culturally, socially and scientifically, and this value must be maintained through proper management. Thus it is important to properly conserve waterbird species and their wetland habitats. However, for migratory waterbirds, it is inadequate to take such actions in individual countries or regions. Rather, conservation actions require international cooperation throughout the flyway.

The workshop agreed the following aim:

The current decline in the numbers of migratory waterbirds in the flyway and the degradation and loss of wetland habitats on which these species depend, should be stopped and reversed.

To achieve this, the workshop:

1. Recommended that countries in the flyway should enhance mechanisms for collaborative action to conserve waterbird species; identify and establish a network of sites critical for waterbirds conservation; and ensure the species are managed on a sustainable basis according to the "wise use" principles;

2. Noting the important role of the Ramsar Convention in protecting wetland sites of importance to waterbirds, urged the Contracting Parties in the flyway to designate additional sites of importance for migratory waterbirds in accordance with recommendation C.5.1 of the 5th Conference of Contracting Parties;

3. Noting the success of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network in facilitating the conservation of this group throughout the Americas, recommended the immediate establishment of an Asia-Australasian Shorebird Reserve Network, linking sites important for shorebirds on their annual migration between North Asia and Australasia;

4. Recognizing the need for an improved mechanism for coordination of conservation action between flyway countries, recommended the development of a legally-binding, multilateral agreement;

5. Endorsed the framework for a Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy for the East Asia-Australasia Region that will describe the principal issues and identified mechanisms to be addressed in preparation of an action plan for particular groups of waterbirds

6. Approved the development of an Action Plan for the conservation of migratory shorebirds prescribing particular actions necessary to conserve the shorebird populations in the flyway;

7. Adopted a timetable for implementation, and requested that parties report on progress by the time of the Conference of Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention in March 1996; and,

8. Requested the organisers, on behalf of the Workshop, to convey and commend these recommendations to the countries in the flyway; and to assist in the location of resources for their implementation.


Annex 2. Countries and territories and major flyways in the Asia-Pacific

Flyways: EAE - East Africa-Eurasian Flyway, CAI - Central Asia-Indian Flyway, EAA -East Asian-Australasian Flyway,
WP - West Pacific Flyway and PF - Pacific Flyway (Americas).

Country and Territory

EAE

CAI

EAA

WP

PF

Afghanistan

**

**

Australia

**

**

Azerbaijan

**

Bangladesh

**

**

Bhutan

**

Brunei Darussalam

**

Cambodia

**

China, People's Republic of

**

**

Cook Islands

**

Fiji

**

France (French Polynesia, New Caledonia,
Wallis and Futuna Islands)

**

India

**

Indonesia

**

Iran, Islamic Republic of

**

Japan

**

**

Kazakhstan

**

**

Kyrgystan

**

**

Kiribati

**

Korea, People's Democratic Republic of

**

Korea, Republic of

**

Lao People's Democratic Republic of

**

Malaysia

**

Maldives

**

Marshall Islands

**

Micronesia, Federated States of

**

Mongolia

**

**

Myanmar

**

Nauru

**

Nepal

**

New Zealand

**

**

Niue

**

Northern Mariana Islands

**

Pakistan

**

**

Palau

**

Papua New Guinea

**

**

Philippines

**

Portugal (Macau?)

**

Russian Federation

**

**

**

**

**

Singapore

**

Solomon Islands

**

Sri Lanka

**

Tajikistan

**

**

Thailand

**

Tokelau

**

Tonga

**

Turkmenistan

**

Turvalu

**

United Kingdom (Pitcairn Islands)

**

United States of America (Alaska)

**

**

**

United States of America (American Samoa, Guam and Hawaii)

**

Uzbeckistan

**

**

Vanuatu

**

Viet Nam

**

**

Western Samoa

**

Total 9 16 22 26 2

Annex 3. - Accession to international conventions directly relevant to the conservation of waterbirds in the Asia-Pacific region

International Conservation Conventions1

Nation and Territory

CBD

Bonn

CITES

Ramsar
Afghanistan

Yes

Australia

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Azerbaijan3

Bangladesh

Yes

Yes

Bhutan

Brunei Darussalam

Yes

Cambodia

China, People's Republic of

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cook Islands

Yes

Fiji

Yes

France (French Polynesia, New Caledonia,
Wallis and Futuna Islands)

(Yes)

(Yes)

(Yes)

(Yes)

India

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Indonesia

Yes

Yes

Yes

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Yes

Yes

Japan

Yes

Yes

Yes

Kazakhstan3

Kyrgystan3

Kiribati

Yes

Korea, People's Democratic Republic of

Korea, Republic of

Yes

Lao People's Democratic Republic of

Malaysia

Yes

Yes

Yes

Maldives

Marshall Islands

Yes

Micronesia, Federated States of

Yes

Mongolia

Yes

Myanmar

Nauru

Yes

Nepal

Yes

Yes

Yes

New Zealand

Yes

Yes

Yes

Niue

Northern Mariana Islands

(Yes)

(Yes)

Pakistan

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Palau

Papua New Guinea

Yes

Yes

Yes

Philippines

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Portugal (Macau?)

(Yes)

(Yes)

(Yes)

Russian Federation

Yes

Yes

Yes

Singapore

Yes

Solomon Islands

Sri Lanka

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tajikistan3

Yes*

Thailand

Yes

Yes

Tokelau

(Yes)

(Yes)

(Yes)

Tonga

Turkmenistan3

Turvalu

United Kingdom (Pitcairn Islands)

(Yes)

(Yes)

(Yes)

(Yes)

United States of America (Alaska)

(Yes)

(Yes)

United States of America (American Samoa, Guam and Hawaii)

(Yes)

(Yes)

(Yes)

Uzbeckistan3

Yes*

Vanuatu

Yes

Yes

Viet Nam

Yes

Yes

Western samoa

Yes

Total

22 (4)

4 (3)

21 (7)

19 (7)

Yes - nation is party to convention,
(Yes) - territory of a nation that is party to convention,
Yes* - Deposition of Declaration of Succession.

1 Ramsar - Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention); list as of 31 December 1995.
Bonn - Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention or CMS); list as of 1 February 1996.
CBD - Convention on Biological Diversity;
CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

3 Nations belonging to the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) have undertaken in the Alma-Ata Declaration of 21 December 1991 to guarantee "in conformity with their legislative procedures, the fulfilment of international obligations, stemming from the agreements signed by the former USSR". In June 1995, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan are still to confirm their membership of the Ramsar Convention.


Annex 4. Migratory waterbird species of special conservation interest in the Asia-Pacific

Species1

English Name

Category of
threat2

Status3

Global (G)/ Regional (R)
Pop. estimate4

Pelecanus philippensis Spot-billed Pelican

VU

MR

11,500 (G)

Pelecanus crispus Dalmatian Pelican

VU

M

10,000-13,000 (R)

Phalacrocorax pygmaeus Pygmy Cormorant

nt

M

<5,000 (R)

Egretta eulophotes Chinese Egret

EN

M

2,500 (G)

Gorsachius magnificus White-eared Night-heron

CR

M

<100 (G)

Gorsachius goisagi Japanese Night-heron

VU

M

<25,000 (G)

Ixobrychus eurhythmus Schrenck's Bittern

nt

M

<100,000 (G)

Anastomus oscitans Asian Openbill Stork

nt

M

60,000 (G)

Ciconia boyciana Oriental Stork

EN

M

2,500 (G)

Leptoptilos javanicus Lesser Adjutant

VU

MR

5,000 (G)

Leptoptilos dubius Greater Adjutant

EN

MR

<700 (G)

Threskiornis melanocephalus Black-headed Ibis

nt

MR

<100,000 (G)

Platalea minor Black-faced Spoonbill

CR

M

350 (G)

Phoeniconaias minor Lesser Flamingo

nt

MR

150,000 (R)

Anser cygnoides Swan Goose

VU

M

50,000 (G)

Anser erythropus Lesser White-fronted Goose

VU

M

6,000 (R)

Branta ruficollis Red-breasted Goose

VU

M

65,000 (G)

Tadorna cristata Crested Shelduck

CR

M

0-100 (G)

Aix galericulata Mandarin Duck

nt

MR

70,000 (G)

Anas formosa Baikal Teal

VU

M

75,000 (G)

Marmaronetta angustirostris Marbled Teal

VU

M

5,000 (R)

Aythya baeri Baer's Pochard

VU

M

<25,000 (G)

Aythya nyroca Ferruginous Duck

VU

M

15,000 (R)

Polysticta stellerii Steller's Eider

VU

M

150,000-250,0005 (R)

Somateria fischeri Spectacled Eider

VU

M

<200,0005 (G)

Mergus squamatus Scaly-sided Merganser

VU

M

4,000 (G)

Oxyura leucocephala White-headed Duck

VU

M

300 (R)

Grus nigricollis Black-necked Crane

VU

MR

5,554 (G)

Grus monacha Hooded Crane

CD

M

11,800 (G)

Grus japonensis Red-crowned Crane

VU

MR

1,650 (G)

Grus vipio White-naped Crane

VU

M

5,000-6,000 (G)

Grus antigone (sharpei) Eastern Sarus Crane

EN

MR

<1,000 (G)

Grus leucogeranus Siberian Crane

EN

M

2,610 (G)

Coturnicops exquisitus Asian Yellow Rail

VU

M

?

Crex crex Corncrake

VU

M

?

Heliopais personata Masked Finfoot

VU

M

10,000 (G)

Vanellus gregarius Sociable Plover

VU

M

<1,000 (R)

Vanellus cinereus Grey-headed Lapwing

nt

MR

<100,000 (G)

Charadrius placidus Long-billed Plover

nt

M

<25,000 (G)

Numenius tahitiensis Bristle-thighed Curlew

VU

M

10,000 (G)

Numenius tenuirostris Slender-billed Curlew

CR

M

100-400 (G)

Numenius madagascariensis Far Eastern Curlew

nt

M

21,000 (G)

Tringa guttifer Spotted Greenshank

EN

M

1,000 (G)

Gallinago hardwickii Japanese Snipe

nt

M

36,000 (G)

Gallinago nemoricola Wood Snipe

VU

M

<10,000 (G)

Limnodromus semipalmatus Asian Dowitcher

nt

M

15,000-20,000 (G)

Eurynorhynchus pygmaeus Spoon-billed Sandpiper

VU

M

4,000-6,000 (G)

Larus relictus Relict Gull

nt

M

12,000 (G)

Larus saundersi Saunder's Gull

EN

M

3,000 (G)

Larus brevirostris Red-legged Kittiwake

VU

M

250,000 (G)

Sterna albostriata Black-fronted Tern

VU

M

1,000-5,000 (G)

Sterna bernsteini Chinese Crested Tern

CR

M

<100 (G)

Rynchops albicollis Indian Skimmer

VU

M

10,000 (G)

Notes:
1. Species list adapted from Collar et al. (1994) and Perennou et al. (1994). The list covers species and populations that breed and migrate within the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, it includes two "globally threatened" species Crex crex and Numenius tenuirostris that breed within the region and migrate outside.

2. Categories of threat follow IUCN/Species Survival Commission (1994). Information provided below is abstracted from the publication which provides detailed information on the criteria used for the classification.

EXTINCT (EX). A taxon is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died.

EXTINCT IN THE WILD (EW). A taxon is Extinct in the Wild when it is known only to survive in cultivation, in captivity, or as a naturalized population (or populations) well outside the past range. A taxon is presumed extinct in the wild when exhaustive surveys in known and/or expected habitat at appropriate times (diurnal, seasonal, annual), throughout its historic range, have failed to record an individual. Surveys should be over a time frame appropriate to the taxon's life cycle and life form.

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (CR). A taxon is Critically Endangered when it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future, as defined in any of the criteria....

ENDANGERED (EN). A taxon is Endangered when it is not Critically Endangered but is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future, as defined in any of the criteria....

VULNERABLE (VU). A taxon is Vulnerable when it is not Critically Endangered or Endangered but is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future, as defined in any of the criteria....

LOWER RISK (LR). A taxon is Lower Risk when it has been evaluated, does not satisfy the criteria for any of the categories Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. Taxa included in the Lower Risk category can be separated into three subcategories:

1. Conservation Dependent (CD). Taxa which are the focus of a continuing taxon-specific or habitat-specific conservation programme targeted towards the taxon in question, the cessation of this conservation programme would result in the taxon qualifying for one the threatened categories above within a period of five years.
2. Near Threatened (nt). Taxa which do not qualify for Conservation Dependent, but which are close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
3. Least Concern (lc). Taxa which do not qualify for Conservation Dependent or Near Threatened.

DATA DEFICIENT (DD). A taxon is Data Deficient when there is inadequate information to make a direct, or indirect, assessment of its risk of extinction based on its distribution and/or population status. A taxon in this category may be well studied, and its biology well known, but appropriate data on abundance and/or distribution are lacking. DD is therefore not a category of threat or Lower Risk. Listing of taxa in this category indicates that more information is required and acknowledges the possibility that future research will show that threatened classification is appropriate. It is important to make positive use of whatever data are available. In many cases great care should be exercised in choosing between DD and threatened status. If the range of a taxon is suspected to be relatively circumscribed, if a considerable period of time has elapsed since the last record of a taxon, threatened status may be well justified.

NOT EVALUATED (NE). A taxon is Not Evaluated when it has not yet been assessed against the criteria.

3. Status of species follows Anon (1993): M - Migratory species, MR - migratory species with resident populations

4. Populations estimates are adapted from Perennou et al. (1994) and Rose and Scott (1994). Global (G) population estimate is provided for species that are restricted to the Asia-Pacific region. For species that have an extended distribution beyond the Asia-Pacific region, a regional (R) population estimate is provided. ? indicates lack of information. Additional details of population sizes of populations of species will be covered in species/species group action plans.

5. Population estimate from W. Larned, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (in litt. 1996).


Acronyms

ORGANIZATIONS, AGREEMENTS, FLYWAYS AND OTHER TERMS REFERRED TO IN THE STRATEGY

AEWA - Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds

ANZECC - Australia New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council Apia Convention Convention on the Conservation of Nature in the South Pacific

ASEAN - Association of the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Environment Programme.

AWB - Asian Wetland Bureau

CAFF - Program for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna CAI Flyway Central Asia-Indian Flyway

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

CMS or Bonn Convention Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

EAA - Flyway East Asian-Australasian Flyway

EAE - Flyway East Africa-Eurasian Flyway

ICF - International Crane Foundation

IUCN - World Conservation Union

IWRB - International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau

PHPA - Indonesian Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation Ramsar Convention Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat

SAARC - South Asian Agreement on Regional Cooperation

SPREP - Convention Convention for the Protection of Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific

WHSRN - Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network

WP - Flyway West Pacific Flyway

WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature


ASIA-PACIFIC MIGRATORY WATERBIRD CONSERVATION STRATEGY
1996 - 2000

Prepared by

Wetlands International - Asia Pacific
and
International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau - Japan Committee (IWRB-J)

Supported by Environment Agency of Japan and Australian Nature Conservation Agency

Published by :Wetlands International - Asia Pacific
Institute of Advanced Studies, Universiti Malaya, Lembah Pantai,
50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +60-3-7572176/7566624
Fax: +60-3-7571225
Internet: awb@pop.jaring.my

and

International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau - Japan Committee
4F TB Miyashita Bldg., 1-22-10 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo 150 Japan
Tel: +81-3-3407-0240 Fax: +81-3-3407-0243
Internet: PXH05622@niftyserve.or.jp

Compiled by : Taej Mundkur and Kaori Matsui

Maps by : Richard Dorall

Photographs by : Taej Mundkur

Copyright ©: Wetlands International - Asia Pacific and International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau - Japan Committee have waived copyright and encourage the wide distribution of this information.

The presentation of material in this book and the geographical designations employed do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on part of Wetlands International - Asia Pacific and IWRB-Japan Committee concerning the legal status of any country, area or territory, or concerning the delimitation of its boundaries or frontiers.

This publication should be cited as follows: Anonymous 1996. Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 1996-2000. Wetlands International - Asia Pacific, Kuala Lumpur, Publication No. 117, and International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau - Japan Committee, Tokyo. 41 pp.

ISBN Number: 983-9663-18-6


WETLANDS INTERNATIONAL - ASIA PACIFIC

Wetlands International - Asia Pacific is an international not-for-profit organisation committed to promoting the protection and sustainable utilisation of wetlands and wetland resources in the Asia Pacific region. Wetlands International - Asia Pacific was created in October 1995 following the merger of the Asian Wetland Bureau (AWB) with the International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau (IWRB) and Wetlands for the Americas (WA) to form the global organisation Wetlands International.

Wetlands International - Asia Pacific activities are characterised by strong interaction and collaboration with governments, intergovernmental agencies and non-government organizations. The organisation's activities are coordinated through the Regional Headquarters (based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and channelled through regional programmes for Indonesia, Malaysia, Indochina, Oceania, People's Republic of China and South Asia.

Wetlands International has been involved in surveys, monitoring and conservation of waterbirds and wetlands since 1954. The organization has coordinated the Asian Waterfowl Census since 1987. It also encourages preparation of strategies and action plans for waterbird and habitat conservation. Wetlands International organizes international and national conferences, workshops and meetings to encourage the exchange of information, experiences and training.

For further information, please write to Wetlands International - Asia Pacific, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Malaya, Lembah Pantai, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: +603-7572176/7566624 Fax +603-7571225 Email: awb@pop.jaring.my

INTERNATIONAL WATERFOWL AND WETLANDS RESEARCH BUREAU - JAPAN COMMITTEE

International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau - Japan Committee (IWRB-J) was established in 1977 as an alliance of Japanese NGOs. It is based in Tokyo, Japan.

Members of the alliance include Swan Society of Japan, All Japan Hunting Club, Wild Bird Society of Japan, Japan Hunters Association, Yamashina Institute of Ornithology, World Wide Fund for Nature Japan, Kushiro International Wetland Centre, Japanese Society for Preservation of Birds, The Ornithological Society of Japan and Japan Association for Wild Geese Protection.

The main aim of the organization is to promote the conservation of wetlands and their biodiversity, particularly waterbirds, and public awareness, in and around Japan and the Asia Pacific region. IWRB-J has collaborated with Wetlands International on a number of important international projects and has been responsible for organizing several waterbird and wetland related workshops in Japan and elsewhere in collaboration with Environment Agency of Japan.

For further information, please write to International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau - Japan Committee, 4F TB Miyashita Bldg., 1-22-10 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150 Japan. Tel: +81-3-3407-0240 Fax: +81-3-3407-0243 Email: PXH05622@niftyserve.or.jp


Acknowledgements

The idea of developing a strategy for the conservation of migratory waterbirds across the flyways of the Asia-Pacific region has arisen from the willingness of participants at several recent international migratory waterbird and wetland conservation workshops, conferences and other fora to work together to conserve migratory waterbirds and their habitats.

In preparing this Strategy, Wetlands International - Asia Pacific and IWRB-J have received much support and guidance from a number of agencies and technical experts in the Asia-Pacific region and from the other flyways. We are extremely grateful for their expertise, support and encouragement through the process of the Strategy's development.

In particular, we would like to acknowledge the major roles played by the Environment Agency of Japan and the Australian Nature Conservation Agency and thank a range of other agencies and individuals who have supplied information and contributed to the development and review process.

We are grateful to all the participants and sponsors of four international meetings whose issues and views are incorporated into the Strategy. These meetings include an inter-governmental bird conservation meeting in Australia in June 1995, an international workshop on "Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds And Their Wetland Habitats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway" held in Japan in December 1994, the "Northeast Asia and North Pacific Environmental Forum" held in Japan in September 1995, and two international workshops held during the "International Conference on Wetlands and Development" which took place in October 1995 in Malaysia.

Several members of staff of Wetlands International have been closely involved in the preparation of the Strategy. From the Asia Pacific Headquarters: Faizal Parish, Muralee Menon, Marcel Silvius, Bernard O'Callaghan, John Howes and Dr David Wells; from the Oceania Program: Doug Watkins and Roger Jaensch; from the Indonesia Programme: Yus Rusila Noor; from the Africa, Europe and Middle East office: Dr Janine van Vessem, Paul Rose and Dr Mike Moser; and from the Americas office: Ian Davidson.

From the IWRB-Japan Committee, Dr Manabu Abe, Dr Hiroyoshi Higuchi, Noritaka Ichida, Ritsuko Okuno and Ariko Murohashi provided useful contributions to the review and production of the Strategy.

We would also like to record the specific contributions made by the following persons in developing the Strategy:

Government of Australia: Dr Peter Bridgewater, Alison Russell French and Karen Weaver.
Government of Japan: Hikari Kobayashi, Naohisa Okuda and Tatsuo Ihara.
Government of China: Jin Puchun, Chen Renjie and Chu Guozhong.

Mark Barter (Australasian Wader Studies Group), Paul Jepson (BirdLife International-Indonesia), Dr David Stroud (Joint Nature Conservation Committee, United Kingdom), Dr Gerard Boere (Ministry of Agriculture, Netherlands), Ornithological Society of Japan, Rosie Ounsted, Satoshi Kobayashi and Tim Jones (Ramsar Bureau), Dr Pavel Tomkovich (Russian Wader Studies Group), Arnulf Muller-Helmbrecht and Doug Hykle (Secretariat of the Bonn Convention-UNEP/CMS Secretariat), Richard Dorall (Universiti Malaya), Wild Bird Society of Japan, David Melville (World Wide Fund for Nature-Hong Kong), World Wide Fund for Nature Japan and Yamashina Institute of Ornithology.

Taej Mundkur, Wetlands International - Asia Pacific,
Kaori Matsui, IWRB-Japan Committee