The MOU provides an intergovernmental framework for governments, scientists and other groups to monitor and coordinate ongoing conservation efforts. Progress in MOU and Action Plan implementation is described in the Secretariat’s Overview Report provided at regular MOU Signatory meetings.
Governments and conservation groups throughout the species’ range are working actively to conserve the Aquatic Warbler and its breeding and migratory habitats. Several large-scale projects have been successfully implemented or are underway in key Aquatic Warbler flyway countries in order to secure breeding and stop-over sites. Additionally, CMS has worked with BirdLife International to establish a jointly-funded MOU coordinator. Working out of Belarus, the MOU coordinator supports partner organizations all over the species range with the development, fundraising and implementation of conservation projects aimed at this species, working in close cooperation with the CMS Secretariat, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and the International Aquatic Warbler Conservation Team (AWCT). The coordinator oversees the publication of the Aquatic Warbler Flyway Newsletter, and maintains the website (www.aquaticwarbler.net) and Arc GIS data base for the species.
In January of 2007, the BirdLife International Aquatic Warbler Conservation Team discovered a key site within the Aquatic Warbler’s wintering grounds in West Africa, which were completely unknown until then. According to first estimates, the Djoudj National Park in Northwest Senegal and its surroundings are believed to harbour a major part of the world population. Later on three more sites were discovered, they are located in southern Mauritania and in the Niger River delta in Mali Much of the Aquatic Warbler’s presumed historic wintering habitat has been converted into farmland and sugarcane plantations. Drought conditions caused by climate change could put increasing pressure on the Aquatic Warbler’s remaining habitat.
The discovery of the wintering sites contributes to implementing the MOU and Action Plan. In 2010, signatories included Mauritania and Mali into the geographical scope of the MOU. This would allow Senegal, Mauritania and Mali to coordinate their conservation efforts. Additionally, the discoveries create an extra incentive for European conservation efforts to be extended into Africa to truly encompass the bird’s full migratory range.