[Oversea] Waterbird Population Estimates, 4th edition

Waterbird Population Estimates, 4th edition

News from Wetlands International

Waterbird Population Estimates, 4th edition

The long-awaited 4th edition of Waterbird Population Estimates (WPE4) has just been published by Wetlands International. The 239-page full-colour volume provides the most comprehensive information on the numbers, distribution and population trends of 878 waterbird species. In addition, WPE4 now provides 1% thresholds for 79% of the 2,305 biogeographic populations of these species, as the authoritative source of guidance to Ramsar Contracting Parties in their application of Criterion 6 for the designation of Wetlands of International Importance.

The information in WPE4 should now be used by Ramsar Parties in their site designations, as it supersedes the previous 3rd edition (2002).

The summary of the WPE4 report makes alarming reading: nearly half of all waterbird populations are decreasing, whilst only one in six is increasing, with the conservation status of waterbirds being most critical in Asia where nearly two-thirds of known populations are in decline.

Wetlands International's press release can be seen at, and the one-page announcement with order form (PDF) is at -- the book can also be ordered on-line from the Natural History Book Service (NHBS), price £25, by following the link provided. An Excel spreadsheet version of the species tables in WPE4 will be available for free download from the Wetlands International Web site ( in the coming weeks.

-- Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General

Dwight Peck
Communications Officer
Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland,