Asian Waterbird Census (AWC)

7 Jaunary 2022.


The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is an integral part of International Waterbird Census. The international census is conducted in 143 countries.

About AWC

  • The AWC is jointly held by Wetlands International and Bombay Natural History Society.
  • AWC is held in the month of January every year. During the census, the volunteers visit the wetlands and count the waterbirds.
  •  The major regions covered under AWC are Southeast Asia, Australasia, East Asian – Australasian Flyway, region between Afghanistan and Japan.
  •  It was started in 1987.
  •  In 2021, the AWC reported that the overall waterbird population dipped by four times as compared to 2020.

Major Objectives

  • To provide estimates of bird population
  • To monitor changes in waterbird distribution
  • To improve waterbird knowledge
  • To monitor waterbird sites
  • To provide information about conservation of waterbirds
  • To increase awareness about wetland habitats and importance of waterbirds

The Asian Waterbird Census in now being conducted in parts of Delhi.

AWC 2022

Sanjay Lake, Delhi

  • Only 13 species were recorded in the lake. Between 2019 and 2021, 17 species were recorded. However, the number of birds have increased from 90 in 2021 to 132 in 2022.
  • The species diversity in the lake is decreasing. This means that the lake is degrading.
  • The migratory bird species spotted in Sanjay Lake were Cormorant and Eurasian Coot. The Cormorant migrates from South East Asia. The Eurasian Coot migrates from Temperate Asia.
  • The India Spot Billed duck that is common in Indian Wetlands. However, only one pair was found.
  • Human sewage and boating have reduced the arrival of migratory birds in the lake. Also the lake faces issues of water availability.

Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary

It falls in Central Asian Flyway. The census reported decrease in number of bar headed geese, common teal and gadwal. Species diversity has increased. However, total number of bords spotted has decreased. The lake is degrading due to human interference.

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