Mediterranean Waterbird network(MWN)


This aim of this project is to improve the quality and quantity of data from the international waterbird censuses (IWCs) that take place every year throughout the Mediterranean region. The results of this monitoring are directly used in the application of international initiatives (the Ramsar Convention and/or the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA)). It also contributes to improving our knowledge and management of wetlands, in collaboration with different local and international partners.

Actions and methodology

This network emerged through cooperation between national IWC coordinators in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt) and France (Tour du Valat and the French Office for Biodiversity, ex-National Office for Hunting and Wildlife) in the context of the AEWA Plan of Action for Africa.

The network initially worked on improving the quality and quantity of count data by providing economic, logistical and technical assistance in the five North African countries. Since 2017, it has opened up to a more open and regular collaboration with other Mediterranean countries and other international projects (the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory and the Mediterranean Wetlands Alliance). The network proposes:

  • training for conducting censuses, and also for data entry and/or processing;
  • the creation of tools to improve the censuses in the long term (ornithological field guides, media for trainers, purchasing optical equipment, etc.);
  • promoting the efforts of those who participate in the network, with scientific and more general publications, as well as posters and talks at international conferences;
  • active collaboaration with other international networks on various activities and studies.


Two major results have been made possible via the MWN:

  • the IWC North Africa database has been updated: more than 38,000 data items have been added to the data set used by Wetlands International to determine the trends of waterbird populations and their status;
  • more than 100 people have been trained during the annual training organised by the Tour du Valat/AAO BirdLife Tunisia team.



Technical partners

Financial partners

Publications & Resources

  • Dakki M., Robin G., Suet M., Qninba A., El Agbani M.A., Ouassou A., El Hamoumi R., Azafzaf H., Rebah S., Feltrup‐Azafzaf C., Hamouda N., Ibrahim W.A.L., Asran H.H., Elhady A.A., Ibrahim H., Etayeb K., Bouras E., Saied A., Glidan A., Habib B.M., Sayoud M.S., Bendjedda N., Dami L., Deschamps C., Gaget E., Mondain‐Monval J., Defos du Rau P. 2021. Imputation of incomplete large‐scale monitoring count data via penalized estimation.Hodgson D, editor. Methods Ecol Evol:2041–210X.13594. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.13594
  • Dakki M., Azafzaf H., Bendjeda N., Sayoud S.M., Etayeb K., Latif W.A.I., Suet M., Defos du Rau P., Mondain-Monavl J.-Y., Dami L. (2019) COUNTS IN NORTH AFRICAN COUNTRIES AND WATERBIRD TRENDS BETWEEN 1990 AND 2017. European Bird Census Council, Evora.
  • Dami L. et al. 2017. Overview of national IWC schemes around the Mediterranean: a call for more pan-Mediterranean collaboration. Poster présenté à l’Union Internationale des Biologistes du Gibier, France 2017.
  • Dami L. et al. 2017. Medwaterbirds network. Communication orale aux Journées Internationales des Oiseaux d’Eau et des Zones Humides, Maroc 2017.
  • Dami et al. 2017 Confiance et respect des besoins. Espaces Naturels n°59, Juillet-septembre 2017.
  • Sayoud M.S., Salhi H., Chalabi B., Allali A., Dakki M., Qninba A., El Agbani M.A., Azafzaf H., Feltrup-Azafzaf C., Dlensi H., Hamouda N., Abdel Latif Ibrahim W., Asran H., Abu Elnoor A., Ibrahim H., Etayeb K., Bouras E., Bashaimam W., Berbash A., Deschamps C., Mondain-Monval J.Y., Brochet A.L., Véran S., Defos du Rau P. 2016. The first coordinated trans-North African mid-winter waterbird census: The contribution of the International Waterbird Census to the conservation of waterbirds and wetlands at a biogeographical level. Biological Conservation 206:11–20. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.12.005
  • Dami al.  2016. Needs and prospects for waterbird monitoring in the Mediterranean. European Bird Census Council, Allemagne.