Here we show the results of the waterbird counts made at the peak of Winter (January) since 1994. It is the result of the voluntary effort of several researchers during 26 years, making this the longest non-interrupted time series of the total abundance of waterbirds in a Portuguese estuary, using the same methodology.
Download Shorebirds Data. Other species coming soon.
You can hide a species by clicking in their name, in the legend at the bottom. Ultimately you can see a single species by deselecting all the others.
The IWC (International Waterbird Census) is a monitoring programme operating in 143 countries to collect information on the numbers of waterbirds at wetland sites. It requires a single count at each site, which should be repeated every year. The precise dates vary slightly from region to region but take place in January or February. In the Africa-Eurasia regional scheme, where Portuguese wetlands are located, they take place in January.
Coordinates the IWC at the international level, to provide data to monitor waterbird populations and their habitats
Every January, thousands of aquatic birds are counted all over the world by a team of dedicated ornithologists
In Portugal the IWC is coordinated by the ICNF, allowing the estimation of trends on wintering aquatic birds
All types of waterbirds regularly encountered at wetlands: grebes, cormorants, pelicans, herons, egrets, storks, ibises, spoonbills, flamingos, ducks, geese, swans, cranes, rails, jacanas, shorebirds, gulls, terns and skimmers. In addition raptors, kingfishers and other birds largely dependent on food resources in these habitats are often reported. In this gallery are shown many of the species that were already photographed during the Mondego IWC monitoring.
Many thousands of volunteers join the IWC every year, making it one of the largest citizen science programmes in the world. In the Mondego Estuary, there were irregular counts since the ’80s. However, the standardized regular January counts in the Mondego Estuary started in 1994 by Tiago Múrias Santos and João Alexandre Cabral for their post-graduation thesis. Ricardo Jorge Lopes joined in 1995 and after the end of his PhD thesis in 2004 continued to run the census to this day.
Many people helped on the census, especially Tiago Múrias Santos, Paulo Tenreiro and Luis Silva. Many other volunteers joined, including Carlos Pacheco, Patricia Pedro, Jaime Ramos, David Monticelli, João Pedro Neves and we are probably missing someone!
The data from the Mondego IWC has been critical for the identification and the designation of the Mondego Estuary as an important site for biodiversity at the international level.
The data from the Mondego IWC has been important to understand the importance of the Mondego Estuary and as a case study to address many important scientific questions. Here we show some of the outputs that used the Mondego IWC data.
The estuary of the longest river exclusively in Portuguese territory is unique among the Portuguese estuaries due to the presence of a large alluvial island (Morraceira island). This isolation prevented the development of large industries and preserved a set of habitats, from intertidal mudflats to a well preserved set of artisanal saltpans. In this gallery are shown many of the habitats that makes this estuary an important site to conserve.
During all this time we are indebted for the institutions that supported the Mondego IWC, either financially or by supporting the researcher’s activities.