Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005

Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee
Wetlands International - Asia Pacific, 2001
ISBN 983 9663 30 5

Section B: Action plan for the conservation of migratory anatidae in the East Asian Flyway: 2001-2005

A component of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005

Prepared by
Anatidae Working Group

Summary

This Action Plan has been developed under the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005 to achieve long-term conservation of migratory Anatidae (ducks, geese and swans) and their habitats in the East Asian Flyway. In recognition of the need for international cooperation, this Action Plan outlines priority actions to be undertaken in the flyway, in close collaboration with government agencies, site management authorities, researchers, local communities and non-government organisations.

This Action Plan calls for 13 priority actions to address key elements identified in the Strategy for the conservation of Anatidae and will achieve:

  • expansion of the network of sites of international importance for migratory Anatidae and effective management of these important sites by encouraging development of management plans and site-twinning programmes; n development of action plans for two threatened Anatidae in the flyway (Swan Goose Anser cygnoides and Baikal Teal Anas formosa);
  • development of educational materials and site-based educational programmes to raise awareness on Anatidae and their habitats;
  • implementation of training programmes to increase capacity to implement conservation actions;
  • enhancement of knowledge base by promoting identification of important sites, monitoring populations, migration study and assessment of hunting pressure; and, n enhancement of organisational relationships and exchange of information.

The five-year plan (2001-2005) calls for the investment of USD 2 million to support the implementation of the key actions across the East Asian Flyway. These key actions have been identified following broad consultation with government agencies and non-government organisations. The Anatidae Working Group of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee has been established as a consultative mechanism to oversee and guide the implementation of the Action Plan. The Anatidae Flyway Officer will co-ordinate its implementation and maintain a web site (http://www.jawgp.org/anet) to report on the activities under this Action Plan and the Site Network.

Foreword

Ducks, geese and swans (Anatidae) are among the most familiar migratory birds for the people in East Asia. Japanese ancient poets often referred to the scene of migratory geese flying in the moonlight. In those days, they recognized such scenery as the symbol of natural beauty. However, environmental and social changes in East Asian region in recent years have drastically affected the status of several Anatidae species. The conservation of Anatidae species and their habitats in the region has become an important issue.

The East Asian Anatidae Site Network was launched in May 1999 at the 7 th Conference of the Contracting Parties of Ramsar Convention, as the third migratory waterbird network under the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy 1996-2000. The network aims to promote long-term conservation of Anatidae and their habitats in East Asia through international cooperation. Since 1999, various activities including information exchange, workshops and symposia have been conducted under the network in collaboration with Governments, NGOs, the Anatidae Flyway Officer and others. The Ministry of the Environment, Japan has been supporting the Strategy and the Anatidae Site Network from their inception.

The second phase of the Anatidae Action Plan proposed here under the Strategy 2001-2005 includes 13 priority actions including the expansion of the site network, capacity building and information exchange. At the beginning of the second phase, all concerned government agencies, NGOs, local communities and people in the region are invited to play important roles in implementing the action plan. The efforts will lead to the success in the conservation and sustainable management of Anatidae and their habitats in the coming 5 years.

Kojiro Mori
Director
Wildlife Division
Nature Conservation Bureau
Ministry of the Environment, Japan

Anatidae (ducks, geese and swans) are familiar to many of us and their importance acknowledged for a number of reasons. The spectacular concentrations of Anatidae at their staging and wintering sites are a sight enjoyed by many. Anatidae and their wetland habitats contribute to the study of natural science and ecology. In some regions people depend on Anatidae as food source and accept them as an integral part of their culture. On the other hand, in some places they can cause damage to certain crops. Many Anatidae are migratory, crossing over the borders of many countries in the flyway. Awareness about these species has been raised and the importance of international cooperation to promote the conservation and wise use of Anatidae and their habitats has been recognised.

The Action Plan is aimed at providing a framework for people across the flyway to undertake conservation activities in a cooperative and complementary manner. Local people are encouraged to take part and play key roles in implementing activities for conservation of Anatidae and their important sites. Through the exchange of experiences and expertise, the positive efforts in one site may be used to stimulate and encourage people in other sites to undertake more effective conservation efforts. Government agencies are encouraged to provide the overall legal and administrative framework at a national and site level to facilitate the implementation of conservation action. Non-governmental organisations are encouraged to play an important role by bringing technical and practical support for the people and government agencies. Funding and development assistance agencies are invited to consider financial support to the activities under this Action Plan.

We would like to invite all individuals and organisations interested in Anatidae and their habitats to join various efforts to achieve the long term conservation of Anatidae and their habitats in the flyway. Through international cooperation and commitment from all those involved, the survival of these species can be secured.

Masayuki Kurechi
Chair
Anatidae Working Group
Wetlands International - Asia Pacific

1. Background

In the East Asian Flyway there are 58 populations of migratory Anatidae, namely ducks, geese and swans. This includes 12 species of special conservation concern. The migratory behaviour of these Anatidae means that each year they move through several countries. Consequently their conservation is dependent on international cooperation.

Recognition of the need for international cooperation lead to the development and endorsement of an Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 1996-2000 (Anonymous 1996). The Strategy called for conservation actions for species groups on a flyway basis. It identified the development of action plans and networks of sites of international importance. The Anatidae Site Network in the East Asian Flyway was launched in 1999 with the nomination of 25 sites from 6 countries (http://www.jawgp.org/anet).

Based on the successes of the Strategy over the past five years, the second Strategy for the period 2001-2005 has been developed. This Action Plan draws from the outcomes identified in the Strategy: 2001-2005. It has been prepared by the Anatidae Working Group of Wetlands International - Asia Pacific to provide priority actions to be undertaken for the conservation of migratory Anatidae and their habitats in the flyway, with close involvement of government agencies, site management authorities, researchers, local communities and non-government organisations.

Time Frame: This Action Plan covers the period January 2001 - December 2005.

Mission Statement

To achieve the long-term conservation of migratory Anatidae and their habitats in the East Asian Flyway through international cooperation.

2. Priority Actions

The Strategy: 2001-2005 identifies key elements necessary for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats. This Plan outlines priority actions to be implemented in the five years of 2001-2005 from these key elements to promote the conservation of migratory Anatidae in the East Asian Flyway.

2.1. Effectively Managed Networks of Sites that are Internationally Important for Migratory Anatidae

The Anatidae Atlas (Miyabayashi & Mundkur 1999) in a preliminarily list identified 337 sites of international importance for migratory Anatidae in the East Asian Flyway. At the end of 2000 the Site Network included 7.4% of these sites. Expansion of effectively managed network of sites in the Site Network is a useful mechanism for promoting and delivering conservation efforts. Supporting the appropriate management of habitat and species at each Network Site will be achieved by improving site management skills and building community awareness.

Action 1

Obtain nominations of sites from countries to the Anatidae Site Network in the East Asian Flyway, that include minimum of 10% of Anatidae key sites. [Anatidae Flyway Officer, Anatidae Working Group, Governments, Site Management Bodies, Non-government Organisations]

Action 2

Develop of the site-twinning programme in the Site Network. [Anatidae Flyway Officer, Site Management Bodies, Governments, Anatidae Working Group, Non-government Organisations]

Action 3

Encourage the development of management plans for Network Sites. [Anatidae Flyway Officer, Anatidae Working Group, Site Management Bodies, Governments, Non-government Organisations]

Action 4

Develop the Site Information Sheet and Database for the management of Network Sites, based on the monitoring of the habitats. [Anatidae Flyway Officer, Site Management Bodies, Anatidae Working Group, Non-government Organisations]

2.2. Action Plans for Globally Threatened Species

The Strategy: 2001-2005 identified a key element of development of action plans for selected globally threatened species that have specific needs. Among the Anatidae populations in the flyway, 12 species have been identified as globally threatened.

Action 5

Develop Action Plans for two priority populations of threatened Anatidae in the flyway; Priority species in 2001-2005 are Swan Goose Anser cygnoides and Baikal Teal Anas formosa. Species of special concern including Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus, Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri and Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus are priority species for future Action Plans. [Anatidae Working Group, Anatidae Flyway Officer, Non-government Organisations, Governments, Site Management Bodies, Wetlands International Specialist Groups]

2.3. Raised Awareness of Anatidae and their Link to Wetland Values and Functions Throughout the Region and at All Levels

Public support and participation is essential to ensure the conservation of migratory Anatidae and their habitats. To increase the appreciation of and raise conservation awareness among the people of the region, it is important to expand existing education and public awareness programmes and to develop new programmes.

Action 6

Develop educational materials to promote Anatidae conservation. [Anatidae Flyway Officer, Anatidae Working Group, Non-government Organisations, Wetlands International Specialist Groups]

Action 7

Develop site-based educational programmes to enhance awareness in the local communities living around the Network Sites. [Site Management Bodies, Governments, Anatidae Flyway Officer, Non-government Organisations]

2.4. Increased Capacity of Government Agencies and Non-Government Organisations to Implement Conservation Actions for Migratory Anatidae

The conservation of Anatidae and their habitats requires a variety of skills. As the existing skills and capacity in the countries vary considerably, it is important to assess training needs and subsequently to provide appropriate training and infrastructure support.

Action 8

Provide access to personnel of Network Sites to existing training programmes on species monitoring and wetland management, and develop and implement training activities. [Anatidae Flyway Officer, Anatidae Working Group, Non-government Organisations, Site Management Bodies]

2.5. An Enhanced Knowledge Base and Increased Information Exchange for the Sound Management of Migratory Anatidae and their Habitats

In order to implement appropriate conservation activities for migratory Anatidae, it is essential to understand their biology, movements and habitat requirements. Information on population status and trends are required in order to review their conservation status.

Action 9

Promote the identification of important sites for Anatidae populations. [Non-government Organisations, Research Institutions, Anatidae Flyway Officer, Site Management Bodies, Governments, Anatidae Working Group, Wetlands International Specialist Groups]

Action 10

Promote the monitoring of Anatidae populations in the flyway. [Wetlands International, Research Institutions, Wetlands International Specialist Groups, Non-government Organisations, Site Management Bodies, Anatidae Working Group, Anatidae Flyway Officer]

Action 11

Promote the conduct of research projects on migration of selected Anatidae populations through ringing and satellite tracking. [Research Institutions, Non-government Organisations, Site Management Bodies, Governments, Anatidae Flyway Officer, Wetlands International Specialist Groups]

Action 12

Assessment of hunting pressure for understanding conservation needs of Anatidae. [Anatidae Working Group, Anatidae Flyway Officer, Governments, Non-government Organisations]

2.6. Enhanced Organisational Relationships at all Levels to Increase Cooperation and Deliver Greater Conservation Benefits

Exchange of information on the migratory Anatidae and experiences in management of their key sites is a basic cooperation to enhance the conservation of them on a flyway basis.

Action 13

Establish links among and/or co-ordinate with concerned organisations and experts to assist in the activities of the Network Sites, and enhance the exchange of information on the conservation of Anatidae populations and their habitat. [Anatidae Flyway Officer, Anatidae Working Group, Site Management Bodies, Governments, Non-government Organisations, Research Institutions]

3. Implementation

The Action Plan has been developed to make the maximum use of existing organisational structures and activities. Successful implementation requires cooperative actions between government organisations, site management authorities, local communities and non-government organisations.

3.1. Key Personnel and Organisations

Anatidae Flyway Officer: Implementation of the Action Plan will be coordinated by the Flyway Officer. The Officer is responsible to assist in the priority actions identified in this Action Plan.

National Government Agencies: These agencies are responsible for the endorsement of nominations for sites to be part of the Site Network. It is anticipated that they will provide in-principle support and, where possible, funding for activities associated with implementation of this Action Plan.

Site Management Authorities and/or Local Government Organisations: It is the day-to-day management of sites of international importance that determines the future of migratory Anatidae populations. These organisations need to have access to training opportunities, up-to-date knowledge and resources for appropriate site management. It is anticipated that they will provide opportunities for local communities and local non-government organisations to be involved in the activities in the site.

Non-government Organisations: National and regional specialist group on Anatidae species and non-government organisations having objectives in relation to the conservation of Anatidae habitat will be invited to be involved in implementation of the activities. These organisations will perform a vital role in such activities as monitoring, research, public awareness and the exchange of information.

3.2. Review and Consultation Mechanisms

Implementation of the Action Plan will be guided and monitored on an annual basis. An annual plan will be prepared by the Working Group and Flyway Officer. At the end of each year, an annual report of the activities implemented will be prepared by the Working Group and Flyway Officer. The annual plans and reports will be accessible to all interested parties.

Anatidae Working Group: A consultative committee has been formed consisting of seven members drawn from government and non-government organisation across the East Asian Flyway. The Working Group will promote and review implementation of the activities, assist to identify and secure resources, and review the annual workplan of the Flyway Officer. It will meet at least annually and report to the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee.

Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee: The Committee has 16 members drawn from representatives of governments, the Ramsar Bureau, the UNEP/CMS Secretariat, a development assistance agency, international non-government organisations, three technical Working Groups and Wetlands International Specialist Groups. The Committee oversees the implementation of the Strategy and receives reports from the Working Groups. The Committee reports to the Council of Wetlands International - Asia Pacific.

3.3. Linkages to Major Regional and Global Initiatives

This Action Plan is a component of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005. It links to a number of other initiatives, such as the Convention on Wetlands Strategic Plan 1997-2002 and bilateral agreements for the conservation of migratory birds. The activities in the flyway will link to the closely related initiatives for Anatidae populations under the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, North American Waterfowl Management Plan, African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement and the Convention on Migratory Species.

4. Resource Implications

This Action Plan outlines a targeted program of activities for the 2001-2005 period. An indicative budget has been developed to emphasise the relative priorities of the different actions and to guide fundraising activities.

Table Indicative Budget for implementation of the Action Plan for the Conservation of Anatidae in the East Asian Flyway: 2001-2005

No.
Actions
Sub-total (USD)
%
 
Effectively managed network of sites
462,000
23
1
Nominations of new sites
60,000
 
2
Site-twinning programme
45,000
 
3
Management planning
173,000
 
4
Monitoring sites
184,000
 
 
Action plans for globally threatened species
103,000
5
5
Development of species action plans
103,000
 
 
Raised awareness
398,000
20
6
Educational materials
194,000
 
7
Site-based educational programmes
204,000
 
 
Increased capacity to implement conservation actions
414,000
21
8
Training activities
414,000
 
 
Enhanced knowledge base
564,000
28
9
Identification of important sites
193,000
 
10
Monitoring populations
169,000
 
11
Migration research
169,000
 
12
Assessment of hunting pressure
33,000
 
 
Enhanced organisational relationships
59,000
3
13
Exchange of information
59,000
 
 
Total (5 years)
2,000,000
 

5. Further Reading

Miyabayashi, Y. & Mundkur, T. 1999. Atlas of Key Sites for Anatidae in the East Asian Flyway. Wetlands International - Japan, Tokyo, and Wetlands International - Asia Pacific, Kuala Lumpur. 148pp. [on-line] http://www.jawgp.org/anet/aaa1999/aaaendx.htm

North American Waterfowl Management Plan Committee, the. 1999. 1998 Update, North American Waterfowl Management Plan, Expanding the Vision. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Arlington, Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Hull, and Instituto Nacional de Ecologia, Mexico. 33pp. [on-line] http://www.nawmp.ca/pdf/update-e.pdf