Successfully conserving the Aquatic Warbler
The numbers of Aquatic Warblers are declining in Europe mainly due to habitat loss and changes in water management. The Polish Society for Bird Protection (OTOP, BirdLife Partner in Poland) started a project to protect Aquatic Warbler back in the 1990s and conservation measures have focused on two projects financed by the LIFE Programme. In 2012, OTOP conducted a national Aquatic Warbler count, in which birds were counted not only in the places where conservation measures, like mowing and bush removal are taking place, but also at smaller sites throughout Poland.
During these counts, thanks to an enormous effort of over 120 volunteers, OTOP now estimates the population at 3,256 male birds. This result supersedes the count in both 2007 and 2009; so it seems the decline has stopped. Compared to other countries it appears like the Polish population of Aquatic Warblers is the only one that is stable. In Belarus and Lithuania the population decreased in 2012. Fortunately, conservation measures of restoration or increasing the quality of habitats are being implemented also there. In Germany, after several years of absence, three singing males have been observed in the Lower Odra Valley. Due to lack of research the situation of the species in the Ukraine and Russia is not known at the moment. For more information, please contact Antoni Marczewski, OTOP. Find out more about Aquatic warbler migration.