Co-ordinated Waterbird Counts
Since July 1993 the Tygerberg Bird Club (TBC) has done Co-ordinated Waterbird Counts
(CWAC) on a regular basis at Botriviervlei. The standard protocol requires counting in
Summer and Winter but, from time to time, counts are done at a higher frequency for specific
purposes. The counting teams comprise mainly TBC members together with some birders
from the vicinity of Kleinmond and Hermanus.
For CWAC purposes Botriviervlei is divided into six sections: A1, A2, B, C, D, and E. Species
counts vary with the seasons and, in particular, breaching of the mouth. Breaching can occur
naturally as a result of high rainwater inflow. However, given the varied interests of
Conservation, birdwatchers, fishermen, Department of Water Affairs and others, CapeNature
implements artificial breaching according to a management plan.
CWAC Data and Purpose
The data is submitted for inclusion in a database that is maintained by the FitzPatrick Institute
of African Ornithology. Anybody wishing to view the data for any CWAC site in the country
may do so by visiting the website http://cwac.birdmap.africa/. Click on “Sites – List”, select
Province, scroll down and select the desired site. This will open a new browser tab displaying
a list of species found and show Min / Avg / Max counts for each.
To view a list of count cards, in the header towards the top of the page, select “View Cards”.
This will show card numbers, dates, season and other information. Clicking on a card number
will open a new tab and display information for that particular count.
CWAC data acts as a long-term waterbird monitoring tool, benefiting conservation efforts,
planning and research purposes. It feeds into the African Waterbird Census Programme and
international agreements such as Ramsar.