The first Waterbird winter census in the Republic of Moldova
Vitalie Ajder, Emanuel Ștefan Baltag, Laurențiu Petrencu, Igor Roșca, Lucian Eugen Bolboacă
The Republic of Moldova is an Eastern European country with high biodiversity but with few monitoring programs. The first International Waterbird Census in this country was conducted in 2013. During the monitoring 23 wintering waterbird species were recorded with a total of almost 80000 individuals. The wintering seasons differ significantly between them, with a mild winter in 2014, ensuring high numbers of species and large numbers of waterbirds, and a harsh winter in 2015 when most of the water bodies were frozen. In the last winter season fewer species and numbers were recorded, but the species adapted to harsh winter conditions were well represented. The most important wintering area for waterbirds is the Upper Dniester River, between Naslavcea and Soroca, which ensures suitable conditions for more than 20000 birds during this harsh season. This is the first country-wide monitoring programme on wintering waterbirds for the Republic of Moldova.