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Asian Waterbird census – India 2016 guidance and forms background

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Asian WaterbIRD Census – India


The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is an international programme that focuses on monitoring the status of waterbirds and wetlands. It also aims to increase public awareness on issues related to wetland and waterbird conservation. The census is carried out each January as a voluntary activity at national and local level. The AWC is co-ordinated by Wetlands International as part of global programme, the “International Waterbird Census”. In India, the AWC is jointly coordinated by the Bombay Natural History Society and Wetlands International; and at the state level by AWC state coordinators (contacts details on

The census has three major objectives:

1. to obtain information on an annual basis of waterbird populations at wetlands in the region during the non-breeding period of most species (January), as a basis for evaluation of sites and monitoring of populations

2. to monitor on an annual basis the status and condition of wetlands

3. to encourage greater interest in waterbirds and wetlands amongst people, and thereby promote the conservation of wetlands and waterbirds in the region.

Data collected for the AWC is being used to provide information on wetlands and waterbirds and to encourage local or national conservation measures for important wetlands. The primary role of Wetlands International in co-ordinating the census is to raise awareness on the importance of waterbirds and wetlands at international level and for this it collates information at regional level. The census is primarily carried out by volunteers from all walks of life: university and school staff and students, nature club members, amateur and professional ornithologists, government and non-governmental agencies and others. Sites covered include rivers, lakes, reservoirs, tanks, swamps, coastal sites, mangrove and mudflats, reefs, sandy beaches, etc. All species of waterbirds associated with wetlands are entered onto standardised count forms.

Further information on the AWC is available on


  1. Count at the most important waterbird sites (including wetland sanctuaries, Ramsar sites, IBAs and Flyway Network sites). A reference list of internationally important sites covered during the census which can be accessed on the website:

  2. For each count, kindly complete the two forms accompanying this guidance.

  3. The standard AWC Methodology to undertake the counts is downloadable on the AWC website  

  4. Please try to count all waterbirds present. Also, give a count for a single day.

  5. Give that figure of each species which you consider the best estimate and avoid giving ranges, e.g. 100-200.Terms such as “hundreds” and “thousands” are not very helpful.

  6. If you fail to find any waterbirds at a wetland which is known to have held significant numbers of birds in the past, please complete a census form anyway, and note that no birds were present. If possible, give the reason for the absence of birds (e.g. wetland completely dry, wetland frozen over or site much disturbed by fishermen/hunters).

  7. It is very important that you try to visit all the sites that you visited last year, try to use the same name for them and please do not amalgamate several sited which were previously counted separately. Kindly visit the sites visited in previous year(s).

  8. Try to avoid duplication of effort. In previous years, we often received two or more census forms from the same site on different dates. Whenever possible, counters should liaise together and agree on ONE census form which gives the results of your combined efforts.

  9. Please double-check all your entries on the count forms. In particular check to see that you have not inadvertently inserted a figure on the wrong line, or confused species names.

  10. If you experience difficulties with the bird names on the count form, please mention this in the Comments section. Some English and Latin names vary for the same species depending on the guide book used. We have largely adopted the global standard set by BirdLife International (2014).

  11. If you see any species of waterbird which is not listed on the count form, please add this in the space provided at the end of the list and give some additional information on its identification in the Comments section; photos may be submitted.

  12. Please be sure to give your full name, address and email on the Waterbird Count Form. Otherwise we might not be able to email you a copy of the final Report.

  13. Threatened wetlands - if you feel that the wetland at which the count is conducted is under severe threat of destruction or degradation, please inform your State or National Co-ordinator, who can advise on whether action could be taken.

  14. Please rename the form for each site and year before submission. For eg. Kanha National Park Jan2016

  15. If you have any query in filling the form, kindly mail us at and

Many thanks for your participation.
Please return the filled forms to your AWC state coordinator and cc and by end of February 2016

Asian WaterbIRD Census – India SITE FORM 2016



Nearest Large Town/City:






deg min E

STATUS: (Please circle the relevant figures)

  1. National Park 2. Wildlife Sanctuary 3. Bird Sanctuary, 4. Community Reserve, 5. Ramsar Site

Name of protected area(s): List all appropriate names. For e.g. Keoladeo National Park; Keoladeo Ramsar Site.

Name of Important Bird Area and Biodiversity Area (IBA):

(enter the name of the IBA if known)

WETLAND TYPE: (Please circle the relevant figures/alphabets)

0 Open seas, bays, straits 6 Reservoirs, barrages, tanks

1 Estuaries, tidal mudflats, salt marshes 7 Gravel pits, mineral workings, mining pools

2 Brackish or saline lakes, lagoons, salt pans 8 Fish ponds, shrimp ponds

3 Rivers, streams, canals, drains 9 Grassland, arable land

4 Freshwater marshes, flooded areas 10 Mangrove, nipah

5 Freshwater lakes, ponds 11 Freshwater swamp forest, Peat swamp forest

DESCRIPTION OF SITE: (Please circle the relevant figures/alphabets)
a. Months of maximum flooding ___________________

b. Annual rainfall _________ mm

c. Source: 0. unknown 1. local rains 2. river/stream 3. sea 4. other_______________

d. Maximum depth of water (in meters) ___________

e. Tidal variation: 1. present 2. absent 0. unknown

f. Salinity: 1. freshwater 2. brackish 3. saline 4. unknown

g. Is the site: 1. permanent 2. temporary 0. unknown

h. Vegetation cover of wetland: 1. none 2 half area 3. complete 4. recently cleared 0. unknown

i. Vegetation type: 1. growing on bank 2. submerged in water 3. free floating 4. floating-leaved rooted 5. emergent 0. unknown

k. Fishing: 1. None 2. little 3. moderate 4. large scale 0. unknown

l. Hunting/trapping/poaching of birds: 1. none 2. little 3.moderate 4. large scale 0. unknown

m. Agriculture: 1. None 2. little 3. moderate 4. large-scale 0. unknown

n. Cattle grazing: 1. None 2. little 3. moderate 4. large-scale 0. unrecorded

o. Are there signs of pollution? If so with what (e.g. foam, coloured water, solid waste)___________________

MAP: Outline map of wetland count unit (limit of the area covered by the count) with important geographical features (cities, roads, rivers, hills included). Please enclose a copy of map.



Please return the filled forms to your AWC state coordinator and cc and by end of February 2016

Asian WaterBIRD Census – India COUNT FORM 2016
Name of Site: District:

Nearest Large Town: State:

Date: ________________Time of Count: START:___________AM/PM END:_____________AM/PM




Little Grebe /Tachybaptus ruficollis

Red-necked Grebe / Podiceps grisegena

Black-necked Grebe / P. nigricollis

Great Crested Grebe / P. cristatus

Unidentified grebes


Great White Pelican / Pelecanus onocrotalus

Dalmatian Pelican / P. crispus

Spot-billed Pelican / P. philippensis

Unidentified pelicans


Great Cormorant / Phalacrocorax carbo

Little Cormorant / P. niger

Indian Shag / P. fuscicollis

Unidentified cormorants


Grey Heron / A. cinerea

Purple Heron / Ardea purpurea

White-bellied Heron / A. insignis

Goliath Heron / A. goliath

Great White Egret / Ardea alba

Median Egret / Mesophoyx intermedia

Little Egret / Egretta garzetta

Cattle Egret / Bubulcus ibis

Western Reef Egret / E. gularis

Indian Pond Heron / Ardeola grayii

Brown-crowned Night Heron / Nycticorax nycticorax

Striated Heron / Butorides striatus

Malayan Night Heron / Gorsachius melanolophus

Unidentified herons and egrets

Eurasian Bittern / Botaurus stellaris

Yellow Bittern / Ixobrychus sinensis

Black Bittern / Dupetor flavicollis

Cinnamon Bittern / I. cinnamomeus

Unidentified Bitterns


Painted Stork / Mycteria leucocephala

Asian Openbill / Anastomus oscitans

Black Stork / Ciconia nigra

White Stork / C. ciconia

White-necked Stork / C. episcopus

Oriental Stork /C. boyciana

Black-necked Stork / Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus

Lesser Adjutant / Leptoptilos javanicus

Greater Adjutant / L. dubius

Unidentified storks



Black-naped Ibis / Pseudibis papillosa

Eurasian Spoonbill / Platalea leucorodia

Black-headed Ibis / Threskiornis melanocephalus

Glossy Ibis / Plegadis falcinellus


Greater Flamingo / Phoenicopterus ruber

Lesser Flamingo / Phoeniconaias minor

Unidentified flamingos


Large Whistling Duck / Dendrocygna bicolor

Lesser Whistling Duck / D. javanica

Bar-headed Goose / Anser indicus

Greylag Goose / A. anser

White-fronted Goose / A. albifrons

Unidentified geese

Brahminy (Ruddy) Shelduck / Tadorna ferruginea

Common Shelduck / T. tadorna

White-winged Duck / Cairina scutulata

Cotton Teal / Nettapus coromandelianus

Mallard / Anas platyrhynchos

Northern Pintail / A. acuta

Common Teal / A. crecca

Spot-billed Duck / A. poecilorhyncha

Garganey / A. querquedula

Marbled Teal/ Marmaronetta angustirostris

Common Pochard / Aythya ferina

Ferruginous Pochard / A. nyroca

Baer’s Pochard / A. baeri

Tufted Pochard / A. fuligula

Common Goldeneye / Bucephala clangula

White-headed Duck / Oxyura leucocephala

Comb Duck / Sarkidiornis melanotos

Eurasian Wigeon / Mareca penelope

Gadwall / M. strepera

Falcated Teal / M. falcata

Northern Shoveler / Spatula clypeata

Red-crested Pochard / Rhodonessa rufina

Common merganser / Mergus merganser

Unidentified ducks


Black-necked Crane / Grus nigricollis

Siberian Crane / Leucogeranus leucogeranus

Common Crane / G. grus

Sarus Crane / G. antigone

Demoiselle Crane / G. virgo

Unidentified cranes



Water Rail / Rallus aquaticus

Slaty-legged Crake / Rallina eurizonoides

Ruddy-breasted Crake / P. fusca

Slaty-breasted Rail / Gallirallus striatus

Baillon’s Crake / Porzana pusilla

Brown Crake / Amaurornis akool

Watercock / Gallicrex cinerea

Purple Swamphen / Porphyrio porphyrio

White-breasted Waterhen / A phoenicurus

Common Moorhen / Gallinula chloropus

Common Coot / Fulica atra



Masked Finfoot / Heliopais personata

Bronze-winged Jacana / Metopidius indicus

Pheasant-tailed Jacana / Hydrophasianus chirurgus



Greater Painted Snipe / Rostratula benghalensis

Crab Plover / Dromas ardeola

Ibisbill / Ibidorhyncha struthersii

Avocet / Recurvirostra avosetta

Eurasian Oystercatcher / Haematopus ostralegus

Black-winged Stilt / Himantopus himantopus

Great Stone Plover / Esacus recurvirostris

Oriental Pratincole / Glareola maldivarum

Small Pratincole/ G. lactea

Collared Pratincole/ G. pratincola

Northern Lapwing / Vanellus vanellus

Yellow-wattled Lapwing/ V. malabaricus

White-tailed Lapwing / V. leucurus

Red-wattled Lapwing / V. indicus

River Lapwing / V. duvaucelii

Sociable Lapwing / V. gregarius

Grey-headed Lapwing / V. cinereus

Pacific Golden Plover / Pluvialis fulva

Grey Plover / P. squatarola

Long-billed Plover / Charadrius placidus

Little Ringed Plover / C. dubius

Kentish Plover / C. alexandrinus

Greater Sand Plover / C. leschenaultii

Lesser (Mongolian) Plover / C. mongolus

Black-tailed Godwit / Limosa limosa

Bar-tailed Godwit / L. lapponica

Asiatic Dowitcher / Limnodromus semipalmatus

Whimbrel / Numenius phaeopus

Eurasian Curlew / N. arquata

Spotted Redshank / Tringa erythropus

Marsh Sandpiper / T. stagnatilis

Spotted (Nordmann’s) Greenshank / T. guttifer

Wood Sandpiper / T. glareola

Common Redshank / T. totanus

Common Greenshank / T. nebularia

Green Sandpiper / T. ochropus

Common Sandpiper / Actitis hypoleucos

Red-necked Phalarope / Phalaropus Iobatus

Red Phalarope / P. fulicaria

Eurasian Woodcock / Scolopax rusticola

Solitary Snipe / Gallinago solitaria

Swinhoe’s Snipe / G. megala

Pintail Snipe / G. stenura

Common Snipe / G. gallinago

Terek Sandpiper / Xenus cinereus

Ruddy Turnstone / Arenaria interpres

Jack Snipe / Lymnocryptes minimus

Great Knot / Calidris tenuirostris

Little Stint / C. minuta

Temminck’s Stint / C. temminckii

Long-toed Stint / C. subminuta

Curlew Sandpiper / C. ferruginea

Sanderling / C. alba

Dunlin / C. alpina

Spoonbilled Sandpiper / C. pygmeus

Broad-billed Sandpiper / Limicola falcinellus

Ruff / Philomachus pugnax

Unidentified shorebirds



Sooty Gull / Larus hemprichii

Pallas’s Gull / L. ichtyaetus

Black-headed Gull / L. ridibundus

Lesser Black-backed (Heuglin's) Gull / L. fuscus heuglini

Caspian Gull / L. cachinnans

Brown-headed Gull / L. brunnicephalus

Slender-billed Gull / L. genei

Unidentified gulls

Whiskered Tern / Childonias hybridus

White-winged Black Tern / C. leucopterus

Gull-billed Tern / Gelochelidon nilotica

Caspian Tern / Sterna caspia

Common Tern / S. hirundo

Little Tern / S. albifrons

Saunders’ Tern / S. saundersii

Sandwich Tern / S. sandvicensis

River Tern / S. aurantia

Great Crested Tern / S. bergii

Lesser Crested Tern / S. bengalensis

Unidentified terns

Indian Skimmer / Rynchops albicollis




White-bellied Sea-Eagle / Haliaeetus leucogaster

White-tailed Sea Eagle / H. albicilla

Pallas’s Fish-Eagle / H. leucoryphus

Lesser Fish-Eagle / Ichthyophaga humilis

Greater Fish-Eagle / I. ichthyaetus

Western Marsh-Harrier / Circus aeruginosus

Eastern Marsh-Harrier / C. spilonotus

Eastern Imperial Eagle / A. heliaca

Peregrine Falcon / Falco peregrinus

Brahminy Kite / Haliastur indus

Greater Spotted Eagle / Aquila clanga

Osprey / Pandion haliaetus



Brown Fish-Owl / Ketupa zeylonensis

Buffy Fish-Owl / K. ketupu

Tawny Fish-Owl / K. flavipes



Blyth’s Kingfisher / Alcedo hercules

Small Blue Kingfisher / A. atthis

Blue-eared Kingfisher / A. meninting

Stork-billed Kingfisher / Halcyon capensis

White-breasted Kingfisher / H. smyrnensis

Ruddy Kingfisher / H. coromanda

Black-capped Kingfisher / H. pileata

Brown-winged Kingfisher / H. amauroptera

Collared Kingfisher / Todiramphus chloris

Lesser Pied Kingfisher / Ceryle rudis

Greater Pied Kingfisher / Megaceryle lugubris

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher / Ceyx erithacus



Common Swallow / Hirundo rustica

Wire-tailed Swallow / H. smithii

Red-rumped Swallow / H. daurica



White Wagtail / Motacilla alba

White-browed Wagtail / M. maderaspatensis

Yellow Wagtail / M. flava

Citrine Wagtail / M. citreola

Grey Wagtail / M. cinerea

Red-throated Pipit / Anthus cervinus

Water Pipit / A. spinoletta



White-throated Dipper / Cinclus cinclus

Brown Dipper / C. pallasii



(include English and Latin name)


VISIT INFORMATION: (Please circle the relevant number/s or alphabet/s)

Disturbance of birds during count: Provides an indication of whether disturbance of the birds may have affected your counts, e.g. were there any fishermen or hunters causing any disturbance.

  1. No effect 2. Little effect 3. Moderate effect 4. Strong effect 5. Disturbed (unqualified)

Weather: Provides an indication of negative effects of weather conditions (wind, rain, fog) on counts.

  1. No effect 2. Little effect 3. Moderate effect 4. Strong effect

Condition Of Wetland: 1 Wet; 2. Totally dry; 3. Totally frozen
Area Coverage: V- 1-25%; W- 25-50%; X- 50-75%; Y- 75-99% Z- 100%
Threats And Uses: 0. Unknown; 1. None; 2. Sedimentation, 3. Excessive growth of vegetation; 4. Cutting/ clearance of vegetation, 5. Eutrophication; 6. Agriculture along drying margins; 7. Cattle grazing; Pollution by: 8.domestic sewage; 9. solid waste A. industrial waste; B. oil; C. pesticides; D. fertilizers; E. Mining; F. Hunting/ trapping/poaching of birds; G. little fishing; H. Large scale fishing; I. Partial reclamation J. Complete reclamation; K. Dam/ barrage construction. L. Tourism/recreation
Many thanks for your participation.
Please return the filled forms to your AWC state coordinator and cc and by end of February 2016

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