Where’s Spoony?

Spoon-billed Sandpiper breeds along the wild and remote coastline of north-east Russia. It then migrates over 8,000 km down the western Pacific coast to reach its non-breeding grounds in south and east Asia, with the largest numbers in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

James Gilroy; Baby Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Breeding One of the greatest challenges faced by conservationists hoping to save Spoon-billed Sandpiper from extinction has been to establish exactly where they breed along the extensive coastline of the Russian Far East. Over the last 20 years, Russian and international scientists have monitored the declining breeding populations at several sites in Chukotka and Northern Kamchatka. A number of other areas with potential breeding habitat have been identified, but it has not yet been possible to survey these areas because they are so remote and inaccessible.

Spoon-billed Sandpiper distribution

Passage Spoon-billed Sandpiper migrates over 8,000 km down the western Pacific coast through Russia, Japan, the Korea peninsula and China to its non-breeding grounds in southern Asia. Effective conservation of a bird that passes through so many countries is no easy task! However, virtually all of its range is now covered by the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), an initiative aimed at protecting migratory waterbirds, their habitats and the livelihoods of people dependent upon these waterbirds and habitats.

Non-breeding Spoon-billed Sandpiper, like many other birds that breed in the Arctic, likes to spend the non-breeding season in a warmer climate. The largest known non-breeding populations of the species are in Myanmar and Bangladesh, with smaller numbers in India, Thailand, Vietnam and Fujian Province in southern China, and it is a rare visitor to Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.

Spoony in Peril

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