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TitleSTATUS AND TRENDS OF BIODIVERSITY OF INLAND WATER
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11STATUS AND TRENDS OF BIODIVERSITYOF INLAND WATER ECOSYSTEMS
CBD Technical Series No.Secretariat

of the Convention on
Biological Diversity

Also available

Issue 1: Assessment and Management of Alien Species that Threaten Ecosystems,
Habitats and Species

Issue 2: Review of the Efficiency and Efficacy of Existing Legal Instruments Applicable
to Invasive Alien Species

Issue 3: Assessment, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Forest Biodiversity

Issue 4: The Value of Forest Ecosystems

Issue 5: Impacts of Human-Caused Fires on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning,
and Their Causes in Tropical, Temperate and Boreal Forest Biomes

Issue 6: Sustainable Management of Non-Timber Forest Resources

Issue 7: Review of the Status and Trends of and Major Threats to Forest Biological
Diversity

Issue 8: Status and Trends of and Threats to Mountain Biodiversity, Marine, Coastal
and Inland Water Ecosystems: Abstracts of poster presentations at the eighth
meeting of the Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technical and Technological
Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Issue 9: Facilitating Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity: Abstracts of
poster presentations on protected areas and technology transfer and coopera-
tion at the ninth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and
Technological Advice

Issue 10: Interlinkages Between Biological Diversity and Climate Change: Advice on
the integration of biodiversity considerations into the implementation of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto
Protocol

Cover_11.qxd 12/15/03 10:51 PM Page 1

Page 2

STATUS AND TRENDS OF BIODIVERSITY
OF INLAND WATER ECOSYSTEMS

December 2003

CBD11_Interior_v04.qxd 12/19/03 6:03 PM Page i

Page 63

pollution from pesticides, eutrophication, siltation,
recreation activities in lakes and wetlands, and the
introduction of fish and other predators and com-
petitors. The regions where the pressures on
grebes and their habitats are greatest are Central
and South America, followed by Southeast Asia
and Australasia.

The IUCN/SSC Grebe Specialist Group has
created a “Global Conservation Strategy to
ensure the successful recovery of grebe popula-
tions and the management of wetlands.” This
Strategy includes 8 priority areas ranging from
the immediate development and implementation
of recovery plans for critically endangered grebe
species and subspecies including lake restoration,
public awareness campaigns, further assessment
of grebe species listed as “data deficient,” moni-
toring key grebe populations listed as vulnerable,
and the development of methods for using
grebes as keystone indicator species for monitor-
ing wetland health and biodiversity (O’Donnel
and Fjeldsa 1997). In terms of grebe population
trends, out of a total of 73 identified populations,
12 populations are decreasing, 9 are increasing
and 17 are stable. Trend information for the
remainder of the populations is not available. It is
however possible to highlight some regional
trends. For example, of the decreasing popula-
tions, the majority are found in the Andean
region, particularly populations in Peru and
Bolivia, and in Africa, particularly in Madagascar
(Wetlands International 2002).

3.10.3 Pelecanidae (pelicans)

There are 8 species of pelicans with 20 distinct
populations, the majority of which are found in
Asia, Africa, and the neotropics and fewer popu-
lations in North America, Eastern Europe, and
Australasia. Because the available information does
not separate the inland water populations from
coastal or marine ones, we have included all pop-
ulations in the trends analysis. In terms of the con-
servation and threat status of pelican species,

IUCN lists only one species, the spot-billed peli-
can (Pelecanus philippensis) as vulnerable (IUCN
2002). There are 5 increasing populations all in the
western hemisphere, 5 declining populations and
5 stable populations. Information on the remain-
der of the populations is not available (Wetlands
International 2002).

3.10.4 Phalacrocoracidae (cormorants)

There are 40 species of cormorants and 77 identi-
fied populations worldwide. None of the freshwa-
ter dependent species within this family is listed as
threatened by IUCN, however there are 10 species
of marine cormorants that are threatened and one
species, the Palla’s cormorant (Phalacrocorax per-
spicillatus), that is extinct. The Pallas cormorant
inhabited the Commander Islands in the Bering
Sea and it went extinct in the late 1800s (IUCN
2002). Information on trends for other populations
indicates that there are a total of 21 stable cor-
morant populations, 9 increasing and 8 decreasing
(Wetlands International 2002).

3.10.5 Anhingidae (darters)

There are 4 species of darters, and nine distinct
populations. No darter species is currently listed as
threatened by IUCN. In terms of population trends
there is information for only 7 populations, 5 of
which are decreasing (Wetlands International 2002).

3.10.6 Ardeidae (herons, egrets
and bitterns)

There are 65 species of herons and 261 populations
distributed in all regions of the world. IUCN cur-
rently lists 8 species as either endangered or vulner-
able. There are also 4 species that have gone extinct,
including the New Zealand little bittern, the
Réunion night heron, the Mauritius night heron and
the Rodrigues night heron (IUCN 2002). Thirty-six
populations are decreasing, 18 are increasing, and 42
are stable (Wetlands International 2002).

Status and trends of biodiversity of inland water ecosystems

58

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Page 64

3.10.7 Balaenicipitidae (shoebill)

The single species in this group, Balaenices rex, is
found exclusively in tropical Central Africa. The
species is listed as near threatened by IUCN (IUCN
2002). The current population estimate is around
5,000-8,000 individuals with a decreasing popula-
tion trend (Wetlands International 2002).

3.10.8 Scopidae (hammerkop)

This is also a single-species family found in Africa.
There are 3 distinct populations of Scopus umbretta
or hammerkop, however population trend infor-
mation is only available for Madagascar. The
Malagassy population, estimated at 60,000 to 90,000
individuals, is believed to be stable or possibly
increasing (Wetlands International 2002). The
species is not listed as threatened by IUCN.

3.10.9 Ciconiidae (storks)

There are 19 species of storks and 39 distinct pop-
ulations. In terms of their conservation status,
there are 3 species listed as endangered and 2 as
vulnerable (IUCN 2002). The endangered species
include the Japanese white stork (Ciconia biy-
ciana), Storm’s stork (C. stormi) and the greater
adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius). The two vulnerable
species are the lesser adjutant (L. javanicus) and
the milky stork (Mycteria cinerea). Information
on population trends is available for 29 of the 39
populations; of these 17 are decreasing, 4 are
increasing and 8 are stable (Wetlands Inter-
national 2002). Many of the decreasing popula-
tions are found in Southeast Asia and China,
while most of the increasing populations are in
Southern Africa and Europe.

3.10.10 Threskiornithidae
(ibises and spoonbills)

There are 39 species of ibises and spoonbills and
67 identified populations. One wetland-depend-

ent species, the Réunion flightless ibis (Thres-
kiornis solitarius) has already gone extinct. Four
other freshwater dependent species are threatened.
These include 2 endangered species in Asia: the
Japanese crested ibis (Nipponia nippon) and the
Black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor); and 2 crit-
ically endangered species found in Southeast Asia:
the White shouldered ibis (Pseudibis davisoni),
and the Giant ibis (Thaumatibis gigantean)
(IUCN 2002). Of the populations for which there
is trend information, 19 are decreasing, 16 are sta-
ble and 4 increasing.

3.10.11 Phoenicopteridae (flamingoes)

There are 5 species of flamingoes and 17 identified
populations, most of them in Africa and the
neotropics. Only 1 species, the Andean flamingo
(Phoenicoparrus andinus) is listed as vulnerable to
extinction (IUCN 2002). Of the populations, 3 are
known to be decreasing, 6 increasing and 8 stable
(Wetlands International 2002).

3.10.12 Anhimidae (screamers)

There are 3 species and 3 populations within this
family. None of the species is listed as threatened
by IUCN, but 2 of the populations are decreasing,
while 1 is stable (Wetlands International 2002).

3.10.13 Anatidae
(ducks, geese and swans)

There are 164 species and 462 identified popula-
tions within this family. With regard to their
conservation status, IUCN lists 25 freshwater-
dependent species as threatened and 5 as extinct.
The extinct species include the Mauritian shelduck,
the Mauritian duck, the Amsterdam Island duck,
the Réunion shelduck and the Auckland Island
merganser. There is also an additional marine
species that has gone extinct, the Labrador duck.
Among the threatened species, there are 5 critically
endangered, three of which are probably extinct;

Status and trends of biodiversity of inland water ecosystems

59

CBD11_Interior_v04.qxd 12/19/03 6:05 PM Page 59

Page 125

Status and trends of biodiversity of inland water ecosystems

119

Map 3a. Per Capita Water Supply by River Basin in 1995

Source: Revenga et al. 2000.

Map 3b: Projections of per capita water supply for 2025.

Source: Revenga et al. 2000.

CBD11_Insert_1217.qxd 12/17/03 2:57 PM Page 119

Page 126

Status and trends of biodiversity of inland water ecosystems

120

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Source: Revenga et al. 2000.

CBD11_Insert_1217.qxd 12/17/03 2:57 PM Page 120

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