The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) V conducted the annual Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) in selected areas in the Bicol Region, two of which are in Juban and Prieto Diaz in the province of Sorsogon.
The AWC was led by the Conservation and Development Division (CDD) through its Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section (PAMBCS) Team and was participated in by representatives of the Regional Office and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Camarines Sur. Because of the threat brought about by Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), the organizers limited the number of participants to adhere to the strict compliance of health standards.
About 140 waterbirds such as Great Egrets, Grey Herons, Whiskered Terns, Common Moorhens, Little Egrets, Yellow Bitterns, Javan Pond Herons were sighted at the proposed Juban Wetland Critical Habitat in Juban, Sorsogon.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica), a vulnerable species, was sighted at Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon.
The number of sightings was affected due to the weather conditions during the activity. Also, gathered data serves as the baseline data for the said proposed critical habitat.
The AWC is conducted annually every second and third week of January, simultaneously observed with the other international censuses of waterbirds in Africa, Europe and Neotropics under the umbrella of the International Waterbird Census (IWC).