International Waterbird Census done in Croatia successfully this winter

According the preliminary results, during this year's IWC, volunteers counted a total of 104,053 birds

  • 01.03.2024.

Mali ronac (Mergus serrator), foto: Elvis Vuleta

The winter monitoring and collecting of information on the numbers of waterbirds at wetland sites (the International Waterbird Census, or IWC) is a long-lasting traditional international action of citizen science where volunteer birdwatchers collect valuable data on the state of bird populations.

Data from the International Waterbird Census was collected this year from January 13 to February 15, thanks to the efforts of 133 volunteers at 311 locations in Croatia. During this activity, a total of 104,053 birds belonging to 151 bird species were counted.

According to the data delivered to us so far, the largest number of birds was counted on the reservoir lake near Varaždin (10016). From other locations, significant number of birds was counted in Stobreč (6116), on Lake Vrana (4229), on the ponds of Končanica (4040), near Grabovački rit (4002), at the Podunavlje-Kozjak location near the Nature Park Kopački rit (3911), on the Drava river near Osijek (3461), in the Brijuni National Park (2378), on the Pantan near Split (1683), on the Draganić ponds (1673), in the fields near Topolje (1018), in the Kopački Nature Park rit (1274), on the seashore near Split (1603), on the Paška salt pan (1322), at the Neretva river mouth (1232) and the Siščani ponds (1048).

Mala bijela čaplja (Egretta garzetta); foto: Goran Stjepić

The coordination of the IWC at the Croatian national level is led by the Croatian Society for Bird and Nature Protection from Osijek, and the associations Biom, ZEUS, and Geonatura participate in the regional coordination.

Data on the number of waterbirds in certain areas helps to identify internationally important wetlands, and numerous decisions on bird protection are made on the basis of this data, both at the international, national, and local levels. Waterbirds, which include various birds associated with water habitats, are a particularly sensitive group and are directly threatened by the disappearance of such habitats.

Morski vranac (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), foto: Elvis Vuleta


Translated into English by Maja Dragojević