Waterbird census conducted in Myanmar


More than 22,000 birds of 43 waterbird species were counted at Ramsar sites in Myanmar as part of Asian Waterbird Census. The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is part of the global Inter-national Waterbird Census (IWC), which aims to support conservation and management of wetlands and waterbirds worldwide. Waterbird census was started to be conducted in Myanmar in 2017 in Ramsar sites such as Indawgyi Lake, Inle Lake, Moeyungyi as well as Paleik and Pyu lakes in central Myanmar. But this year, waterbirds could be counted only in Indawgyi and Moeyungyi due to COVID-19.

Over 30 bird watchers and orni-thologists from Fauna and Flora International, Mohnyin University as wells conservation groups counted waterbirds at four different places in Indawgyi and Moeyungyi wildlife sanctuaries and counted over 22,000 birds of 43 species. “It should be noted that the number of grey-legged goose that we could count increased signifi-cantly from some 1,300 last year to over 4,800 this year,” chairman U Zwe Zaw Zaw Hein of Inn Chit-thu, a conservation group at Indaw-gyi Lake.

Asian Waterbird Census is con-ducted to count the population waterbirds in over 6,100 locations in 27 countries, to monitor their population and geographical distri-bution, have better knowledge about less-known waterbird species and wetlands, and raise awareness about importance of waterbirds and we-tlands at national and international levels.

The census of waterbirds in Myan-mar will be submitted to Forest Department and Wetland Interna-tional for records. Moeyungyi Wildlife Sanctuary added to the list of Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 2004, followed by Indawgyi Lake in Kachin State’s Mohnyin Township in 2016, Meinmahlakyun Island in Ayeyawady and the Gulf of Mottama in 2017 and Inle Lake in Shan State in 2018.  In January last year, ornitholo-gists spotted 57,886 birds of 329 bird species at three Ramsar sites in Myanmar.