Waterbird Population Dynamics in the Middle Mahakam Wetlands of East Kalimantan over 23 years

Christian Goenner, Susanne Schwarz, . Budiono, Danielle Kreb, Agoes Soeyitno

Abstract


Between 1988 and 2011, a total of 57 species of waterbirds, as well as twelve raptor and six kingfisher species regularly utilizing wetlands, were recorded in the Middle Mahakam Wetlands of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Waterbirds included 27 shorebird species from five families, twelve herons (Ardeidae), six rails and crakes (Rallidae), four terns (Sternidae), three ducks (Anatidae) and two storks (Ciconiidae). Based on IUCN (2013) criteria, six listed species are threatened: one (White-shouldered Ibis) is Critically Endangered, another (Storm's Stork) is Endangered and four (Chinese Egret, Lesser Adjutant, Wallace's Hawk-Eagle, Blue-banded Kingfisher) are Vulnerable. The Middle Mahakam Wetlands are one of Borneo’s most important wetland areas. They are part of a highly dynamic landscape that has historically changed its appearance many times. Today, the birds of these unique wetlands are endangered by a plethora of threats comprising large scale land conversion, fire, hunting and live capture of waterbirds, illegal logging and pollution. Despite the considerable efforts of local NGOs to address some of these issues, conservation measures are still limited and insufficient to protect this natural asset.

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