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Wetlands

Waterbird Counts in Botswana

Counts of waterbirds at wetlands in Botswana began in 1991 for the African Waterbird Census. This census is co-ordinated by Wetlands International and relies on volunteers counting the number of each species of waterbird present at each site. Information on the counts made in Botswana during the ten years up to 2000, were published in a Babbler Special Supplement in 2001.

Initially counts were mainly carried out at sewage ponds and dams in southeastern Botswana but gradually other sites in the east and in the Makgadikgadi Pans, in the Okavango Delta and along the Chobe River were included.  Coverage of sites is now much more comprehensive and we have good data from many natural and artificial wetlands throughout Botswana.

Counts do depend on a relatively small number of volunteers who commit to surveying site(s) every January and July. BirdLife Botswana would like to encourage more volunteers to help in this project especially at natural pans when these hold water and around towns such as Palapye and Mahalapye where no sites are presently covered.

Counting can be great fun and the data collected helps us identify important sites for different species, make population estimates and show trends in numbers. If you would like to take on a site or help other volunteers please contact the AfWC co-ordinator for Botswana – Stephanie Tyler


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Birdlife Botswana - PO Box 26691, Game City, Gaborone, Botswana
Tel. +267 3190540 - Email: blb@birdlifebotswana.org.bw