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The value of WATERBIRDS

Waterbirds constitute a natual resource of great intrinsic, human, and ecological value.   

  • Spectacular in appearance or in numbers, waterbirds are conspicuous representatives of their exotic, mysterious, and wild aquatic worlds.
  • Throughout history, they have figured prominently in human culture, serving as sources of food and ornamentation, as well as folkloric or totemic figures. Even today, many serve as symbols of cultural identity, conservation organizations, environmental programs, or locales.
  • Waterbirds are a favorite of birdwatchers, who number nearly a hundred million people and contribute significantly to communities and businesses in their pursuits. Some species are a boon to sportsmen, such as the seabird flocks leading anglers to their catch.
  • Beyond their cultural significance, waterbirds are often useful as indicators of environmental quality and ecosystem health. The conservation of waterbirds can help protect the broader landscape in which they occur.

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Last Updated November 30, 2007
U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) is supporting the Waterbird Conservation for the Americas Home Page as part of its contribution to North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (NAWCP). It is being served by the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Information provided in this site does not necessarily have the endorsement of the USGS.