Yangtze Waterbird Monitoring Network

The Yangtze floodplain is of huge global importance for waterbirds. It is the most important region in Asia for wintering migratory waterbirds, supporting most of the worlds Siberian Crane, Swan Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose and Oriental Stork, as well as other globally threatened waterbirds and significant proportions of many other waterbird species.

Since 2009, WWT has supported the efforts of WWF China and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration to develop a comprehensive waterbird monitoring network in the Yangtze floodplain. This work began in 2004, when WWF China supported a census of most of the key sites within the region, which was largely undertaken by the late Mark Barter. This was repeated in 2005, and the combined results revolutionised the knowledge of waterbird abundance in the Yangtze, and within Asia generally. The census was repeated again in 2011 and most recently in January 2015. Reports from these surveys are available to download below.

In the years since WWT became involved, we have worked with WWF to produce a strategic plan for the development of the Yangtze Waterbird Monitoring Network (YWMN), conducted a number of training workshops and other liaison events with reserve managers, local bird watching societies and university students.

All of this is significantly improving our ability to track the conservation status of many Asian waterbird populations, a number of which are of high conservation concern.


  • Download Yangtze waterbird census reports

    Barter, M., L.W. Chen, L. Cao & G. Lei. 2004. Waterbird Survey of the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Floodplain in Late January and Early February 2004. WWF China, Wuhan. Download

    Barter, M., G. Lei, L. Cao et al. 2005. Waterbird Survey of the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Floodplain (February 2005). WWF China, Wuhan. Download

    Lei, G., J. Lei, X. Tao & R.D. Hearn. 2011. Report on Waterbird Survey of the Middle and Lower Yangtze in 2011. WWF China, Wuhan. Download

    Tao, X., J. Lei, R.D. Hearn & G. Lei. 2017. Report on the coordinated survey for wintering waterbirds of the Central and Lower Yangtze in 2015. WWF China, Wuhan. Download

  • Download other related reports

    Hearn, R.D., X. Tao & G. Hilton. 2013. A species in serious trouble: Baer’s Pochard Aythya baeri is heading for extinction in the wild. BirdingASIA 19: 63-67. Download

    Hearn, R.D. 2015. The troubled Baer’s Pochard Aythya baeri: cause for a little optimism? BirdingASIA 24: 78–83. Download

    Lu, Q., S. Li & X. Tao. 2015. Baer’s Pochard Aythya baeri: breeding in central Yangtze region, China. BirdingASIA 24: 84–86. Download


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