Thousands of species of birds dominated the skies during the conduct of the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office IX (DENR- RO IX) last January 3-7, 2022. This event runs parallel in other waterbird censuses with regional programs in Africa, Europe, West Asia, Neotropics, and the Caribbean.
In Zamboanga Peninsula, it is participated by 9 CENR Offices which covers eight ( 8 ) enrolled sites in Zamboanga Del Sur, seven (7) in Zamboanga Del Norte, and fourteen (14) in Zamboanga Sibugay. AWC dates back to '87 in the Indian sub-continent and has been adapted by neighboring regions such as the majority of Asia, from Afghanistan eastwards to Japan and Australasia. It is participated in by thousands and thousands of volunteers across Asia and Australasia, counting waterbirds the whole month of January.
It has been observed during the event that there was an increase in the number of Frigatebirds within the Olutanga Island. But what does this mean? One might wonder what makes these waterbirds so special that people all over the globe unite in counting them. It is because waterbirds are one of the key indicators of wetland's health. By knowing the state of the population of the waterbirds, we can track the progress of the environment, which would then support the evaluation of existing policies for conservation measures and public information.
Below are some photos taken during the event.