IWC photo

In scope of the project “Adriatic Flyway 3″, financed by foundation Euronatur, BIOM organized “International Waterbird Census (IWC)” workshop in Metković, Croatia on 17th and 18th November 2016. A part from BIOM employees, other participants were partners on the AF3 project: Albanian Ornithological Society, Association for the Protection of Aquatic Wildlife Albania, Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia, Center for Research and Protection of Birds of MontenegroCroatian Society for Bird and Nature Protection, Hutovo blato Nature Park and Ornithological Society “Naše ptice” (BiH). The participants of the workshop were also IWC national coordinators from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

The trainers were Szablocs Nagy (Wetlands International) and Marko Šćiban (Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia).

During the training the participants learned about the importance of waterbird census on national and international level and different methods of monitoring the number and trends of these bird populations. The trainers also emphasized the importance of selecting key locations for IWC and different ways of assessing the state of the locations (presence of threats, pressures, changes in habitat).

The last day of the workshop Marko Šćiban, IWC coordinator for Serbia, shared his experience on how to organize and coordinate IWC at the national level – how to organize volunteers and potential problems that occure during organization and how to solve them.

The practical part of the workshop was held on the Neretva Delta, during which the participants worked on two existing IWC sites and counted water birds. Participants also analyzed data from previous IWC and have learned how to get the most out of the data and how to make them more user friendly.

We are really looking forward to the next IWC in January 2017 where we can use the acquired knowledge in practice!

What is IWC?
International Waterbird Census (IWC) began in 1967 and to this day takes place in over 100 countries around the world. The data that is collected in the field is sent to national coordinators, who combine the data on national level. The main organizer of the event is Wetlands International, an international organization that aims to protect and preserve aquatic habitats on a global scale.
IWC takes place usually during the second weekend in January. You can learn more about the bird species of interest in this video lecture, held by Ivana Budinski (Association BIOM). The lecture is in Croatian.
If you are interested in participating in IWC in Croatia, you can contact us by email on info@biom.hr.