Birdie | South Africa Biodiversity Data Pipeline for Wetlands and Waterbirds

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An online platform for African wetland and waterbird data

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interactive map viewer

Sites and Species

summaries and trends

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Ramsar and Waterbirds

The Ramsar Convention provides a framework for the conservation and wise use of all wetlands. The Convention applies nine criteria to facilitate the designation of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites). Recognising the critical importance of waterbirds to the biodiversity and ecological character of wetlands, four criteria stand out for waterbirds.

Ramsar Criterion 2 (C2) identifies sites that support Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable species (all of which are considered to be threatened species [TSP]), including waterbirds.
Ramsar Criterion 4 (C4) identifies sites which provide critical life stage support to species, including waterbirds.
Ramsar Criterion 5 (C5) identifies sites that regularly support 20,000 or more waterbirds.
Ramsar Criterion 6 (C6) identifies sites that regularly support 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of waterbird.

Waterbird Status per Ramsar Site

NOTE: click on the "Ramsar Site" column header to align columns

*Research within the BIRDIE project led by Sol Plaatje University has resulted in an additional index, the Waterbird Conservation Value (WCV) index. This index sums the ratio of each species’ abundance to its published 1% threshold across all species to give an overall measure of the 'value' of the waterbirds at a wetland. Large values indicate that large proportions of the total populations of waterbird species are present at the wetland.

Waterbird Conservation Value Index categories
Index Range Description
Low 0-10 Site may support threshold populations for a few species; conservation value is low
Medium 11-24 Site supports important threshold populations for some species; conservation value is medium
High 25-49 Site supports important threshold populations for numerous species; conservation value is high
Very high 50+ Site supports significant threshold populations for numerous species; conservation value is significant