Nick C Davidson

Nick C Davidson
Nick Davidson Environmental

PhD

About

130
Publications
105,364
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Introduction
Currently focussed on better assessing the status and trends of coastal and inland wetlands and their ecological character; and what are the proximate and ultimate drivers of wetland loss and deterioration; and given the dire and long-term continuing destruction of wetlands worldwide (despite almost 50 years of global government commitments to stem this loss and deterioration), how to turn this round through new paradigms.
Additional affiliations
February 2000 - October 2014
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Position
  • Deputy Secretary General

Publications

Publications (130)
Article
Full-text available
The 'Ramsar' Convention on Wetlands was the first of the modern era global biodiversity conventions and remains the only multilateral environmental agreement focused on a single group of ecosystem types. At the time of initial discussions within the wetland conservation science community in the late 1960s, its ambition was unprecedented, with no su...
Article
This article has been developed from the presentations made in the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Ramsar Section’s symposium during the SWS virtual conference on December 3, 2020. It sets out a variety of challenges faced by wetlands and prposes a vision for their future.
Article
The Ramsar Convention's criteria for the identification of wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites) and its associated guidance have been widely influential, not only in the selection of Ramsar sites, but also in the development of similar criteria to identify internationally or nationally protected areas for biodiversity through other p...
Article
We reply to the main concerns raised by Bridgewater (2021) in his response to Davies et al. (2021a), ‘Towards a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands’. We appreciate the contribution of Bridgewater (2021) to this emerging conversation and, although we disagree with some of his assessments and statements, we do not find his points to be in...
Article
Current approaches to wetland conservation, restoration and protection have failed to stop global loss and deterioration of wetlands. This is leading to the consideration of complementary approaches to augment existing international and national approaches, and could possibly lead to their replacement. Recognition of the inherent rights of wetlands...
Article
Full-text available
Citizen science is increasingly recognised as a valuable approach to improve the knowledge and understanding required for robust environmental management. We report on the results of a citizen science survey conducted on the status and trends of over 500 wetlands from across the globe. Whilst many wetlands were reported as being in fair or good eco...
Article
The rights of Nature, a concept recognised by several courts, legislatures and international governance institutions, is being promoted by some non-governmental organisations, scientists, attorneys, Indigenous peoples, local communities, and others. In this article we propose a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands, consistent with the 19...
Article
Ecological character and wise use are central tenets underpinning the Ramsar Convention’s global wetland ambitions. In this paper, we postulate that, given on-going and progressive degradation and destruction of wetlands, these concepts require reframing. So as to overcome the human–nature dualism, which underpins current wetland conservation, we p...
Article
We assessed trends in the ecological character of wetlands generally and of Ramsar Sites reported in 2011, 2014 and 2017 by the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in their national reports. There was more widespread deterioration than improvement in the ecological character of wetlands generally, with deterioration increasingl...
Article
Full-text available
We review the mechanisms established by the Ramsar Convention for reporting on the status and change in the ecological character of wetlands. We assess the extent of their implementation and compliance, but not issues of the adequacy of their design nor the consequences of their extent of implementation. We conclude that, with the exception of qual...
Article
Aquatic ecosystems are exposed to a host of anthropogenic stressors whose combined effect can be synthesized with cumulative stress indices. The reliability of cumulative stress indices depends primarily on: 1) stressor incidence maps derived from remote sensing or modeling but rarely validated against on-the-ground observations , and 2) the weight...
Article
Global and regional areas and trends in area of unvegetated tidal flats, salt marshes, mangroves and seagrass beds are updated and corrected from those published in Davidson and Finlayson (2018). The global area of coastal wetlands is now estimated as a minimum of 1.42 Â 10 6 km 2 , ,8.9-9.5% of an updated global wetland area of 15.0 × 10 6-16.0 Â...
Article
In this study, we have re-estimated the 2011 global monetary values of natural wetland ecosystem services using new information on the areas of different coastal and inland wetland classes, and included estimates for forested wetlands. The 2011 global monetary value of natural wetland ecosystem services is now estimated at Int$47.4 trillion per yea...
Article
Indicators of status and trends in wetland extent are essential for monitoring progress towards the environmental targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Here, we test the value of the Wetland Extent Trends (WET) index as an updatable...
Article
Stop draining the swamp: it's time to tackle wetland loss - Volume 52 Issue 4 - Matt Walpole, Nick Davidson
Technical Report
Full-text available
There is a growing awareness that data obtained from Earth Observation (EO) has the potential to provide the information needed for accurate wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring, and for updating a number of data fields in the Ramsar Sites Information Sheets (RIS). The latter includes: the physical features of the wetland, the presence and...
Article
We compiled available data and information on the global and regional areas (Ramsar regions), and changes in area, of 22 classes of marine or coastal and inland wetlands. From those classes for which there is information, inland natural surface wetlands (forming ,77% of total surface wetland extent) are dominated by non-forested peatlands, marshes...
Chapter
Although the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is the primary multilateral intergovernmental environmental agreement (MEA) addressing inland and coastal wetlands, the scope and mandate of a number of other such MEAs also cover issues relevant to wetland conservation and wise use and the conservation of wetland-dependent species. Efforts are underway to...
Chapter
The Wetland Book 1 is designed as a 'first port-of-call' reference work for information on the structure and functions of wetlands, current approaches to wetland management, and methods for researching and understanding wetlands. Contributions by experts summarize key concepts, orient the reader to the major issues, and support further research on...
Chapter
Migratory species, including waterbirds, cetaceans and turtles, face many challenges as they cross national borders. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals - or as it is more commonly referred to as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention - is an environmental treaty that provides a global p...
Chapter
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is the longest established of the modern global intergovernmental environmental agreements (often known as multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs)). The text of the Convention was opened for signature in the town of Ramsar, Islamic Republic of Iran, on 2 February 1971. The Convention was developed in the 1960s...
Chapter
A geomorphologically-based typology of ten estuary types is described. The estuary types are: Fjord, fjard, ria, coastal plain, bar-built, barrier beach, linear shore, embayment and delta. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018. All rights reserved.
Chapter
The Indus River is among the longest rivers in Asia and the transboundary Indus River Basin is one of the largest in the region. Rising in the Tibetan Plateau of the Himalayas, the Indus flows through Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan, discharging through the Indus Delta into the Arabian Sea near Karachi. The largest areas of the Basin lie in...
Chapter
Many waterbirds are migratory along flyways which connect their breeding, staging and non-breeding areas, and for conservation purposes can be considered under single-species migration systems, multispecies flyways and global regions for water-bird conservation management. There are different types of flyway-scale initiatives: Facilitative, formal...
Book
In discussion with Ramsar’s Max Finlayson and Nick Davidson, and several members of the Society of Wetland Scientists, Springer is proposing the development of a new Encyclopedia of Wetlands, a comprehensive resource aimed at supporting the trans- and multidisciplinary research and practice which is inherent to this field. Aware both that wetlands...
Article
Herein we review estimates of global and regional wetland area from ‘bottom-up’ approaches of site or national wetland inventories and ‘top-down’ approaches from global mapping and remote sensing. The trend for increasing wetland extent reported in the literature over time is a consequence of improved mapping technologies and methods rather than a...
Book
In discussion with Ramsar’s Max Finlayson and Nick Davidson, and several members of the Society of Wetland Scientists, Springer is proposing the development of a new Encyclopedia of Wetlands, a comprehensive resource aimed at supporting the trans- and multidisciplinary research and practice which is inherent to this field. Aware both that wetlands...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on the experience and lessons of wetland researchers and managers in Australia and New Zealand, we examined the implications of climate change for wetland policy and management, and identified potential adaptation responses and the information needed to support these. First, we considered wetland vulnerability to climate change, focusing on...
Chapter
Many waterbirds are migratory along flyways which connect their breeding, staging and non-breeding areas, and for conservation purposes can be considered under single-species migration systems, multispecies flyways and global regions for waterbird conservation management. There are different types of flyway-scale initiatives: facilitative, formal o...
Article
We present a method for estimating broad trends in ecosystem area based on incomplete and heterogeneous data, developing a proof-of-concept for the first indicator of change in area of natural wetland, the Wetland Extent Trends (WET) index. We use a variation of the Living Planet Index method, which is used for measuring global trends in wild verte...
Article
Full-text available
The Convention for Wetlands was signed in 1971 as part of a global measure to mitigate the loss and degradation of the world's wetlands. Signatory nations nominate wetlands as internationally important and commit to maintaining their 'ecological character'. In many cases the character that has been maintained was that occurring at the time of nomin...
Chapter
Rising in northern Mongolia, the Yenisei (sometimes spelled Yenisey) River flows predominantly northwards through Russia into the Kara Sea part of the Arctic Ocean. The largest of the major Siberian rivers, its basin is the fifth largest in the world. A major and important feature of the upper part of the Yenisei River Basin is Lake Baikal, conside...
Chapter
Tidal vegetated marshes (saltmarshes) are widespread around all the coastlines of Europe, from the Mediterranean and Black Seas in the south to the Arctic Ocean in the north. Largest areas of European saltmarsh are on the Atlantic and North Sea coasts, particularly in the many estuaries around the coast of Great Britain and the international Wadden...
Chapter
For its relatively small geographical size, Great Britain (comprising England, Scotland, and Wales and their associated islands) is uniquely well endowed with estuaries, and these vary greatly in their geomorphologic origins, size, shape, extent of freshwater influence, tidal range, and their variety of coastal and marine habitats. They form a majo...
Chapter
The tidal embayment of The Wash and its associated barrier island system of the North Norfolk Coast extending eastwards along the north coast of East Anglia is the largest estuarine area in the United Kingdom. Their total area is 729.5 km2 (12.5 % of the UK estuarine area and about 3.5 % of estuarine area of northwest Europe), with intertidal flats...
Chapter
The Indus River is among the longest rivers in Asia and the transboundary Indus River Basin is one of the largest in the region. Rising in the Tibetan Plateau of the Himalayas, the Indus flows through Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan, discharging through the Indus Delta into the Arabian Sea near Karachi. The largest areas of the Basin lie in...
Chapter
A geomorphologically-based typology of ten estuary types is described. The estuary types are: fjord, fjard, ria, coastal plain, bar-built, barrier beach, linear shore, embayment and delta.
Chapter
Human-kind has been draining, infilling, and converting both coastal and inland wetlands for many centuries. Recent estimates suggest that wetland losses have been as much as 87 % since 1700 AD, 70 % since 1900 AD, and 30 % since 1970 AD. Rates of loss in the twentieth century were almost four times faster than in earlier centuries, and wetland con...
Chapter
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is the longest established of the modern global intergovernmental environmental agreements (often known as multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs)). The text of the Convention was opened for signature in the town of Ramsar, Islamic Republic of Iran, on 2 February 1971. The Convention was developed in the 1960s...
Chapter
The Wetland Book 1 is designed as a ‘first port-of-call’ reference work for information on the structure and functions of wetlands, current approaches to wetland management, and methods for researching and understanding wetlands. Contributions by experts summarize key concepts, orient the reader to the major issues, and support further research on...
Chapter
Migratory species, including waterbirds, cetaceans and turtles, face many challenges as they cross national borders. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals – or as it is more commonly referred to as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention – is an environmental treaty that provides a global p...
Article
The concepts of ecosystem regime shifts, thresholds and alternative or multiple stable states are used extensively in the ecological and environmental management literature. When applied to aquatic ecosystems, these terms are used inconsistently reflecting differing levels of supporting evidence among ecosystem types. Although many aquatic ecosyste...
Article
While it is acknowledged that changes in the condition of a wetland can be detected through contemporary monitoring programs, this paper explores the extent to which palaeoecological approaches can be used in concert with contemporary techniques to understand benchmark conditions, rates and direction of change. This is done within the context of th...
Article
Full-text available
It has been frequently stated, but without provision of supporting evidence, that the world has lost 50% of its wetlands (or 50% since 1900 AD). This review of 189 reports of change in wetland area finds that the reported long-term loss of natural wetlands averages between 54–57% but loss may have been as high as 87% since 1700 AD. There has been a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This TEEB for Water and Wetlands report underlines the fundamental importance of wetlands in the water cycle and in addressing water objectives reflected in the Rio+20 agreement, the Millennium Development Goals and forthcoming post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The report presents insights on both critical water-related ecosystem services an...
Technical Report
Full-text available
1. SUMMARY REPORT OF THE WORK OF THE EXPERT GROUP ON MAINTAINING THE ABILITY OF BIODIVERSITY TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE WATER CYCLE.(15p.) http://www.cbd.int/doc/meetings/cop/cop-11/official/cop-11-30-en.pdf 2. REPORT OF THE WORK OF THE EXPERT GROUP ON MAINTAINING THE ABILITY OF BIODIVERSITY TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE WATER CYCLE. (180p.) http://w...
Article
The wise use of wetlands is expected to contribute to ecological integrity, as well as to secure livelihoods, especially of communities dependent on their ecosystem services for sustenance. This paper provides a conceptual framework capable of examining the goals of wetland management, poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods. The framework hi...
Chapter
This chapter examines the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the global intergovernmental treaty that promotes wetland conservation worldwide. When one is studying or seeking to protect a particular wetland, it is important to look beyond the wetland’s delineated borders. As discussed in Chap. 1, the health of a wetland is influenced by its placement i...
Article
Full-text available
Earlier studies have indicated that the diet of egg-laying female birds which eat only terrestrial arthropods has to be supplemented with calcium if they are to produce high-quality eggshells without interruption. During egg laying, females of tundra-breeding shorebird species may supplement their diet with fragments of mammalian skeletons, but as...
Book
Full-text available
People depend upon ecosystems to supply a range of services necessary for their survival and well-being. Ecosystem service indicators are critical for knowing whether or not these essential services are being maintained and used in a sustainable manner, thus enabling policy makers to identify the policies and other interventions needed to better ma...
Article
Full-text available
In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species’ population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and cond...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity indicators used by policy-makers are underdeveloped and underinvested.
Article
Pectoral muscle size (as an index of protein reserves) was measured in Dunlins during midwinter on five British estuaries, and examined in relation to latitude and midwinter air temperature. In adults, pectoral muscle size was greater on more northerly and colder estuaries. Pectoral muscle size of juveniles varied less than that of adults between e...
Article
Full-text available
The functions of the long, decurved bill of the Common Curlew are compared with those of the straight bill of the Bar-tailed Godwit. Comparison is also made with the dimensions of other species of curlews and godwits. We argue that decurvature is adapted to a technique of prey capture in which the bill tip follows a complex three-dimensional search...
Article
Over one hundred wetland specialists and Earth Observation experts from around the world gathered at the European Space Agency's ‘GlobWetland Symposium: Looking at wetlands from space’ in Frascati, Italy, from 19 to 20 October, 2006. The aim of the Symposium was to stimulate discussion between the two communities by reviewing the latest development...
Article
Full-text available
This article was submitted without an abstract, please refer to the full-text PDF file.
Article
Full-text available
The African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) came into force on 1 November 1999. Effective implementation of the AEWA Agreement and Action Plan requires that detailed knowledge be readily available on the limits of the populations of migratory waterbirds covered by the Agreement; their migration routes; the sizes and trends of their po...
Article
Reports on weight changes in grey plover Pluvialis squatarola wintering on the Tees estuary, NE England, during the severe winter of 1978-79. Wind strength and chill may be of greater importance than low temperature for shorebirds of open habitats.-P.J.Jarvis
Article
Full-text available
Severe summer weather in Greenland and Arctic Canada in 1972 and 1974 caused very poor breeding success and elevated adult mortality in red knots Calidris canutus islandica. We show that those individual knots that are known to have survived these summers were in better than average nutritional condition shortly before departure from their late spr...
Article
Full-text available
The conservation and sustainable use of marine resources is a highlighted goal in a growing number of national and international policy agendas. Unfortunately, efforts to assess progress, as well as to strategically plan and prioritize new marine conservation measures, have been hampered by the lack of a detailed and comprehensive biogeographic sys...
Article
1.Wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring are widely recognized as essential tools for a range of purposes that underpin sound decision-making and the management of wetlands so as to maintain their ecological character, including the critical services they provide to people worldwide.2.In recognition of this, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Using information from many sources, but especially data collated for the third edition of Wetlands International’s Waterbird Population Estimates, we review the status of the world’s waders in the late 1990s. There are widespread declines in most regions and biotopes caused principally by loss and degradation of wetland (and other) habitats. On di...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper reviews the status of the 762 biogeographical populations of waterbirds (of 307 species in 33 families) which depend upon the African-Western Eurasian region. Fifty-four percent are inter-continental migrants and the remainder are resident or short-distance migrants, the status of which is particularly poorly known. Despite a huge wealth...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Using information from many sources, but especially data collated for the third edition of Wetlands International’s Waterbird Population Estimates, we review the status of the world’s waders in the late 1990s. There are widespread declines in most regions and biotopes caused principally by loss and degradation of wetland (and other) habitats. On di...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews the status of the 762 biogeographical populations of waterbirds (of 307 species in 33 families) which depend upon the African-Western Eurasian region. Fifty-four percent are inter-continental migrants and the remainder are resident or short-distance migrants, the status of which is particularly poorly known. Despite a huge wealth...
Article
Full-text available
We examined changes in body composition of Red Knots (Calidris canutus islandica) following arrival on their High Arctic breeding grounds at Alert, Ellesmere Island, Canada. Knots arrived in late May and early June with large fat and muscle stores. In the next two weeks, fat and protein stores (pectoral muscles) declined, while increases occurred i...