How can you save wildlife if you don’t know what’s out there? Which species do you choose to spend your precious resources on?

Monitoring and priority setting is the foundation of effective conservation. In order to understand where valuable conservation resources should be used, we need to know which species are most in need of conservation action – which are rare, and which are declining.

WWT’s monitoring team supports global waterbird monitoring by organising and undertaking surveys that collect these data, by supporting the assessment of conservation status and other priority setting, and by transferring relevant skills to organisations working in other regions of global importance for waterbirds.

This work is a large collaborative effort involving governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as many thousands of volunteers. As a result, we have some of the longest-running single species studies in the world, providing valuable data for science and conservation.

Our programmes include:

The Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme  – monitors 14 different populations of native goose and migratory swan: Bewick’s Swan, Whooper Swan, Bean Goose, Pink-footed Goose, White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Barnacle Goose and Brent Goose.

Seaduck monitoring  – seaducks such as Velvet Scoter and Long-tailed Duck are an increasing conservation concern and WWT and WWT Consulting have been working to help improve our understanding of their status in the UK since the early 1990s, through active surveying and helping to improve coordination with others.

Indicators & Assesments  – we work with partners to support a number of assessments of the status of waterbirds through the provision of data and species expertise. These include State of the UK’s Birds, Birds of Conservation Concern and the Avian Population Estimates Panel.

Capacity building  – WWT have supported the development of waterbird monitoring globally through a number of projects; our main focus currently is the Yangtze Waterbird Monitoring Network where we are working with WWF China to develop waterbird monitoring in this globally important region for wintering waterbirds.

Further details about these projects, and how you can get involved, can be found on the Waterbird Monitoring website.

There are also reports and newsletters to download, including GooseNews, and much more information. We hope you like it!