South African Coordinated Waterbird Counts


The Coordinated Waterbird Count Project monitors South Africa's waterbird populations and the conditions of the wetlands which are important for waterbirds. The species ocurence data are available at OBIS. The OBIS compiled data includes species name, individual count, lat/lon, and some environmental correlates like depth and salinity. 

Dataset Location: OBIS South African Waterbird Counts

Direct Download: OBIS South African Waterbird Counts

Site Location: South Africa

Site(s) Georeferenced: Yes

Timespan: 1983 - 2006

Sampling Frequency: biannual; mid-summer & mid-winter

Data Collection Summary / Methods: The CWAC project directly monitors over 400 wetlands twice annually and currates data for over 600 wetlands. From the CWAC website - "All the counts are conducted by volunteers; people and organisations with a passion for waterbird conservation. It is one of the largest and most successful citizen science programmes in Africa, providing much needed data for waterbird conservation around the world."

CWAC Aims and Protocol -

Data collected: species id, location

OBIS data schema: species name, individual count, date, location, temperature, depth, salinity, nitrogen, oxygen, silicate.

Known Issues: The project was launched in 1992 but records go back to 1983.

Best Practices: tips for separating the wheat from the chaff
Conditions for use: 'freely available' and 'open-access' as per OBIS:

From CWAC About Us- "We encourage the use of the CWAC data for conservation, education, and recreational purposes. This information may not be incorporated into other websites, or used for explicit commercial gain."

Citation/ Distributing Authors: AfrOBIS - Animal Demography Division Coordinated Waterbird Counts 

Supplemental resources:

Coordinated Waterbird Count Project -

Animal Demography Unit - (CC BY 3.0)


Scouth African Data Centre for Oceanography - 

Related Publications -

Nishibe, Y., Ikeda, T. 2004. Vertical distribution, abundance and community structure of oncaeid copepods in the Oyashio region, western subarctic Pacific. Marine Biology, 145, 931-941

Available via the EcoData Retriever: No

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