British Columbia Coastal
The BC Coastal Waterbird Survey aims to coordinate
the efforts of people who care about waterbirds in British Columbia.
Anyone who can identify coastal waterbird species in their area can
participate in the BC Coastal Waterbird Survey! The goal of such
coordinated collective efforts is the conservation of coastal
waterbird populations in British Columbia.
coastlines of British Columbia are of international importance for
waterbirds, especially during winter when vast numbers of loons,
grebes, cormorants, herons, swans, geese, ducks, shorebirds, and
gulls can be found feeding and roosting in bays, estuaries and along
the rocky inter-tidal beaches of the BC coast. Thousands of
individual birds of many different species use the sheltered
near-shore waters, the expansive wetland areas and estuarine
habitats to roost, to feed, to over-winter and to stop and restore
their fuel supplies during long migratory journeys.
With the coastlines of BC under increasing pressure
from development and human population expansion, long-term data on
the abundance and distribution of waterbird species will enable us
to monitor and track changes in waterbird populations and habitat
The BCCWS has the following specific objectives:
- To assess the annual changes and long-term trends in population
size and distribution of coastal waterbirds in BC.
- To collect data that contribute to population estimates of
coastal waterbird species in BC.
- To advance our understanding of the ecology and the effects of
human activity on coastal waterbirds in BC.
collected in a sound sampling frame, such as the BC Coastal Waterbird
Survey, can provide valuable baseline information in the event of a
disaster such as an oil spill. The BC Coastal Waterbird Survey
protocol is designed to collect coastal waterbird data specific to the
objectives of the monitoring program. The survey data will be used for
detecting population trends and distribution patterns, as well as
addressing the other program objectives outlined. The protocol
guidelines are designed to be scientifically defensible. The
guidelines are meant to assist volunteer counters, encourage
consistency between volunteer counters, waterbird counts, and survey
sites. The BC Coastal Waterbird Survey guidelines attempt to be
flexible without compromising the standardized methods of the survey
In addition in the current BCCWS newsletter which can be
previous editions are available by contacting
Monitoring coastal bird populations in BC: the
first five years of the Coastal Waterbird Survey (1999-2004)
The British Columbia Coastal Waterbird
Survey: An Evaluation of Survey Power
and Species Trends After Five Years of
A Coastal Waterbird Survey in British Columbia BirdWatch Canada.
Spring 1999, Number 10
The BC Coastal Waterbird Survey: A Fabulous Start in 1999 BirdWatch
Canada. Winter 2000, Number 12
Black Oystercatcher Population Status and Trends in British
Columbia. Bird Trends Spring 2000, Number 8
British Columbia Coastal Waterbird Survey: Salish Sea
Sentinels BirdWatch Canada. Spring 2010, Number 51