Assessments & Gap analysis

Important Bird Areas and potential Ramsar Sites in Europe (BirdLife International, 2001)

The method used in this report for selecting potential Ramsar sites has been applied, not to all wetlands in Europe, but to those sites identified by BirdLife International as Important Bird Areas (Heath and Evans, 2000). Twenty criteria have been developed for the selection of IBAs in Europe. These allow the identification of IBAs based on site's international importance for: threatened bird species, congregatory bird species, assemblages of restricted-range bird species, and assemblages of biome-restricted bird species. A number of IBA criteria are related directly to the Ramsar criteria. Hence, potential Ramsar Sites of international importance for wetland-dependent birds can be identified with relative ease from IBA inventories. 

Please click on the right to download a PDF version (2MB) of this study. 

Important Bird Areas and potential Ramsar Sites in Africa (BirdLife International, 2002)

A product of the BirdLife Africa Partnership's IBA Programme, the report is the first to identify the 503 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Africa which contain wetland areas that would qualify as Ramsar Sites, but currently are not recognized as such. Along with other BirdLife data that identifies the main threats affecting these areas, as well as the birds that depend on them, the report constitutes a powerful conservation tool to improve the protection of Africa's wetlands, birds and the key human resources they contain.

A PDF version of this study can be downloaded on the website of BirdLife International.

Important Bird Areas and potential Ramsar Sites in Asia (BirdLife International, 2005)

The purpose of this document is to contribute towards the adequate representation of important areas for waterbirds in the List of Wetlands of International Importance in Asia. Data on the 2,293 IBAs in the Asian region have been analysed using a set of standard, internationally recognised criteria. In total 1,111 IBAs have been identified that contain areas that qualify as potential Ramsar Sites. 

A PDF version of this study can be downloaded on the website of BirdLife International. 

The Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool

The Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool is an online resource for the conservation of 294 species of waterbirds and the important sites upon which they depend in Africa and Western Eurasia. Leading global conservation organisations working for the protection of waterbirds and their habitats joined forces to develop this tool, strengthening the implementation of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

The tool makes it easy to obtain information on the sites critical for waterbird species by accessing several independent databases and analysing information at the biogeographical population level, so providing a comprehensive basis for management and decision making. It is designed to help a range of different users from site managers to national authorities and international organisations. The CSN Tool, one of the major achievements of the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) project, is also an important example of the added value of cooperation between likeminded conservation organisations, international conventions and agreements, governments, UN agencies and other donors.

The CSN Tool supports both AEWA and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. It is also relevant to the EU Birds Directive and the Bern Convention’s Emerald Network.

Freshwater biodiversity assessments

IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit is conducting regional assessments of the status and distribution of a number of priority groups of freshwater taxa, available here.