World Migratory Bird Day 2017 – Wasur

WMBD2017 - Wasur

Event Title:
Migratory Bird Monitoring and Campaign to Celebrate WMBD 2017 in Wasur National Park, Papua, Indonesia

Wasur National Park

Number of Participants:
21 students, 16 Wasur NP Staff members, and one Wetlands International Staff member participated directly in the event. During the public event, hundreds of beach visitor participated indirectly.

World Migratory Bird Day, 10 May 2017, was proudly celebrated by many institutions and individuals all over the world, including Indonesia. This year’s theme, healthy planet for birds and people, their future is our future reflected the urgent need to provide a better planet for birds, which at the end will also benefit human beings. As part of the global celebration, Wasur National Park Management and Wetlands International Indonesia participated in this year’s WMBD, located in Tomer, Rawa Biru, Sota and Payum areas.

The organizer received generous support from the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Secretariat and the National Geographic Society (through Wetlands International Indonesia) to carry out the following events:

  1. TV interview. The Head of Wasur National Park, Donal Hutasoit, and Head of Programme Wetlands International Indonesia, Yus Rusila Noor, were interviewed by the national online TV/Media source, Detik TV. The interview focused on the importance of Wasur National Park as an internationally important habitat for waterbirds, including migratory waterbirds. Information on WMBD history and the event were also featured. The short report has been featured on the website of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
  2. Yus Rusila Noor of Wetlands International Indonesia provided a lecture on “Waterbirds and their Habitat”, moderated by the Head of the National Park. The main aim of the lecture was to improve NP Staff and Students’ knowledge on the following topics: i) Basic waterbird identification skills, ii) survey techniques, and iii) Reporting techniques. During the Q&A session, enthusiastic participants raised many basic and advanced questions and ideas on the lecture topic. At the end of the session, all participants were asked to put their comments and ideas on waterbird conservation on a piece of silhouetted flying waterbird paper. The session closed with a group photograph;
  3. Observation and monitoring of migratory and resident waterbirds in Tomer coastal areas of Wasur National Park, 13 – 14 May 2017. Yus Rusila Noor provided coaching on waterbird identification and counting to Wasur NP Staff and Students. The site (in addition to Dogamit Swamp and Ndalir Coast) has been designated as a permanent monitoring site for migratory waterbirds in Wasur National Park, as part of the National Park Management’s commitment on the conservation of this EAAFP and Ramsar site.

A total of at least 3,000 individuals of at least 16 species have been identified and recorded, both in non-breeding and breeding plumages. These species were including: Himantopus leucocephallus, Chlidonias hybridus, Sterna albifrons, Sterna bergii, Sterna hirundo, Numenius madagascariensis, Numenius phaeopus, Limosa lapponica, Limosa limosa, Stiltia isabella, Charadrius mongolas, Calidris tenuirotris, Calidris canutus, Calidris ferrugina, Tringa stagnatilis, and Pelecanus conspicillatus. In addition, we observed resident waterbirds, such as Platalea regia, Ardea picata, Vanellus miles, Casmerodius albus, Egretta garzetta and Tadorna radjah.

  1. Communication with University Lecturer and high ranking military officers on the future planning program for development of eco-tourism, community development and waterbirds conservation in Papua. In addition, informal communications were also held with the military officers at the Indonesia – PNG border, Chief of Kampong and local communities along the visiting areas. The main issues raised during these communications were focused on the management of Wasur NP, and how the community at large could help to conserve waterbirds and their habitat in the national parks. The potential threats to the national park and how to solve the problem through community-based initiatives were also discussed.
  2. General awareness by National Park Staff and Students targeted at the general public during a Sunday afternoon gathering at the famous off-street motor cycle racing event in Payum beach. A leaflet distributed to the visitors, contained information on migratory waterbirds (introductory information, migration facts, international importance of Wasur NP, threats, and efforts on conservation of migratory waterbirds and how general public can participate in such initiatives. We hoped that this initiative will increase the awareness of public visitors who mostly have lacked knowledge on migratory waterbirds and their phenomenon;

The following points are recommended for the management of wetland biodiversity, especially for migratory waterbirds, based on the current activities:

  1. Improvement of protection and law enforcement in the national park areas, especially at the waterbirds habitat, in order to reduce the illegal hunting;
  2. More active and intensive socialization on the Wasur NP status as an internationally important Ramsar and EAAFP site, as well as its ecosystem service provision for the local community;
  3. Engage more experts and scientists to work on the monitoring of biodiversity, especially waterbirds, as the support to the management of national park;
  4. Invite wider collaboration and networks to support the management and sustainable use of natural resources of Wasur National Park;

Improvement of National Park Staff capacities through on-site training, flyway level training as well as Staff exchange, especially with other flyway network sites. Training needs to be focused on wetland biodiversity and their habitat management, including survey techniques, data and information analysis, and reporting.  


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