Monitoring the health of our coastal wetlands – the Wetland Index: Case studies across the Mediterranean

Jun 28, 2022 | Webinars

This webinar was organized by BirdLife Europe & Central Asia, in the framework of the ‘Wetland-based Solutions’ project on June 23th, 2022, with the participation of speakers from different organizations.

Almost every factor linked with the current water crisis globally, such as the scarcity of freshwater resources, a rapidly growing population, changing levels of economic development, and poor water management can be observed within the Mediterranean.

Wetlands themselves and the species living in them can also be impacted by water issues. The five top pressures faced by bird species using wetlands in the Mediterranean are recreational activities, use of pesticides and herbicides in agriculture, predation, surface and groundwater pollution from agriculture and urban areas and from lead, drainage, and changes in hydrology for agricultural and urban/recreational purposes, droughts and decreases in rainfall due to climate change and purposeful and incidental killing.

The Wetland Index (WI) is a tool that aims at monitoring the health of wetlands using a simple, cost-efficient, and replicable method. The assessment, based on the IBA monitoring framework, can be undertaken each year even with limited resources. The scoring approach enables the situation to be easily compared over the years: what the threats are, what the state of the site is, in terms of habitat or species population changes, what are the conservation actions taken at the site, and how each of these factors evolves over time.

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