Saving Spoony

Pete Morris/Birdquest; Spoony and friends!

Spoony and Friends!

Long-term conservation of Spoon-billed Sandpiper will require protection of the key breeding, passage and non-breeding sites, with special measures to address the threat from hunting. Conservation of inter-tidal wetlands at these sites would be of benefit not only to Spoon-billed Sandpiper, but to the many other shorebirds that rely on this rare and threatened habitat, such as Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer and Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis. The broad migratory range of Spoon-billed Sandpiper means that action will be required in many countries for its effective conservation. The conservation efforts for the species will be coordinated by the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force (SBS TF), which was recently established under the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership, which is an informal and voluntary initiative, aimed at protecting migratory waterbirds, their habitat and the livelihoods of people dependent upon them. Birds Russia has been invited to coordinate the SBS TF, with Evgeny Syroechkovskiy as Chair and Christoph Zöckler as the Secretary, who have both played a leading role in Spoon-billed Sandpiper research and conservation over the past decade.

Spoon-billed Sandpiper being released (Rob Robinson; BTO)

Who’s doing what? Efforts to save Spoony are already underway! In Russia, scientists have been monitoring and protecting the largest known breeding population of Spoon-billed Sandpiper, at Meinopylgino in Chukotka, for more than 10 years. BirdLife and Birds Russia were recently awarded a major grant to continue this work at Meinopylgino, to survey potential breeding sites in northern Chukotka, and to address the threat posed by hunting of shorebirds in the Russian Far East. Projects are underway in Myanmar and Bangladesh to study the wintering populations of Spoon-billed Sandpiper, and to address the threat posed by shorebird trapping, including by providing alternative livelihoods for local bird hunters and trappers. Efforts are underway in Thailand and Myanmar to strengthen the protection of the key sites for Spoon-billed Sandpiper, including by promoting their designation as new Ramsar sites.

To find out more about what each of the BirdLife Partner organisations is doing to conserve the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, click here.

Funding – the keystone: These conservation efforts for Spoon-billed Sandpiper are being supported by two Species Champions, WildSounds and Heritage Expeditions. Several major grants have been secured for projects on the species and donations received from many other supporters. Further fundraising will be essential to save Spoon-billed Sandpiper from extinction.

To find out more about the Species Champions and other supporters of Spoon-billed Sandpiper conservation, click here.


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