Over 4,000 waterbirds were sighted during the Annual Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) conducted by DENR CENRO Calaca this month of January.

Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is conducted annually every month of January to provide a basis for estimates and monitor changes in the waterbird population in all types of natural and man-made wetlands, including, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, freshwater swamps, mangroves, mudflats, coral reefs, rice fields, and sewage farms. Birds from other countries migrate to the Philippines to escape the winter, find shelter, feed and some of them even breed.

On January 11 and 12, 2021, over 4,000 waterbirds were sighted by a team from the DENR CENRO Calaca Conservation and Development Section during the monitoring of the migratory birds conducted in Brgy. San Diego, Lian and Brgy Palanas, Lemery Batangas. Most of the waterbird species observed in the area were: Little Egret and Great Egret, with a total count of approximately 3,100 in Brgy. San Diego, Lian and 1,200 in Brgy. Palanas, Lemery, Batangas.

Per evaluation and assessment compared to the monitoring conducted last January 2021, waterbird species observed in both areas showed a significant decrease in the number of populations in Brgy. Palanas, Lemery while only a minor decrease in Brgy. San Diego, Lian.

The decrease in the number of waterbirds in Lemery, Batangas could be attributed to the changes in geographical factors including the increase in tidal height of the ocean brought by the Taal Volcano Eruption which further cause the destruction of mangrove areas that serves as the roosting site of the waterbirds in Brgy. Palanas.