Success of the first workshop in North Africa on 8 and 9 October 2012
The International Waterbird Census (IWC) involves a hundred countries worldwide, 15,000 volunteers are taking the census each year in mid-January, of more than 30 million waterbirds on more than 25,000 wetlands. During winter, many migratory waterbirds congregate in large flocks, making them easier to count than during the breeding season when many of them are widely dispersed over vast tracts of inaccessible habitats such as the tundra or boreal forests. These counts are an essential tool for assessing the relative importance of wetlands for waterbirds and biodiversity in general. The use of wetlands by waterbirds is indeed a good indicator of their conservation status. The continuous yearly monitoring allows the recognition and analysis of trends. In the Mediterranean, about 600 species of birds have been regularly observed, of which at least one third depends on wetlands. These waterbirds are mostly ducks, geese, herons, waders, gulls and sterns.