Scaly-sided Merganser Research: February 9th-20th

Dear Birds Koreans and Birds Korea Supporters,

With best wishes for the Lunar New Year…

Between February 9th and 20th 2022 in our role as the only active ROK member of the EAAFP’s single species Task Force, Birds Korea will conduct a nationwide count of the globally Endangered Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus 호사비오리, a species of rivers that is especially sensitive to disturbance.

Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus 호사비오리, Republic of Korea © Robin Newlin

Our previous nationwide surveys of the species were in 2012 and 2014, when between 140 and 149 Scalies were counted both winters.

The aim this year will be again to count Scalies at all sites known to us for the species, so that we can compare counts between years; and also gather photographic information on the rivers where they are and where they were found to improve understanding of habitat quality

At the time of writing (January 31st), we know we can cover several of the most important sites during the survey period. We are now looking for volunteers to help us count some additional sites, especially sites near to Gwangju, Daejeon, Andong and Gyeongju.

Are you able to help?

Please let Birds Korea and / or Nial Moores know by email or Facebook Messenger or by text if you would like to involve. We will then send you exact coordinates of previous sites, and be happy to answer any and all further questions you might have.

Thank you!

Following the survey, the data and analysis will be shared with the EAAFP Secretariat, with other Task Force members and in one or more areas with local governments, to encourage increased conservation efforts for the species.   The count data will also be included in the eBird online Birds of the World species account for the Scaly-sided Merganser; and will likely be included in future peer-reviewed papers on the global non-breeding distribution of the species.

The more birders willing to involve in or support this work in other ways, the better. As noted before, there is real “Strength in Numbers!” Looking forward to hearing from you: thank you!

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