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Conserving Wetlands for Migratory Waterbirds in South Asia

  • Judit K. Szabo
  • Taej Mundkur
Chapter

Abstract

Wetlands are highly productive ecosystems and provide many crucial services. Most waterbird species depend on wetlands throughout their life cycle. The Central Asian Flyway covers a large continental area of Eurasia bounded by the Arctic and Indian Oceans, connecting breeding grounds in Siberia and temperate Eurasia with nonbreeding grounds in West and South Asia. Species that breed in wetlands in the Arctic and northern latitudes of Central Asia migrate along different routes, stopping to rest and refuel in wetlands, grasslands and sometimes in deserts on the way to their nonbreeding grounds, where they spend the northern winter. Over 180 species of waterbirds use the Central Asian Flyway, among which are pelicans, ducks, geese, swans, cranes, waders (also called shorebirds), herons, storks and cormorants. Due to past and ongoing destruction, and degradation of coastal and inland wetlands, many of these species are now threatened with extinction. Strict habitat protection, adaptive management of both protected and unprotected areas (including managing water for wildlife) and, when necessary, restorations of wetlands are essential to maintaining functional wetland ecosystems and combating declines of wetland-dependent bird species. Most importantly, monitoring is crucial to guide effective management and conservation.

Keywords

Central Asian Flyway Conservation Migration routes Migratory species Waterbirds 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership SecretariatIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Charles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia
  3. 3.Wetlands InternationalEdeThe Netherlands

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