2 Dec 2016

One to Watch - Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Spoon-billed Sandpiper © Kajornyot Wildlife Photography/Shutterstock
Spoon-billed Sandpiper © Kajornyot Wildlife Photography/Shutterstock
By Irene Lorenzo

In our "One to Watch" series, we take a quick look at the status of some of the iconic species we're working on. 

Fondly known in birding circles as Spoonie, the charismatic Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea occupies a limited breeding range in north-eastern Russia, from where it migrates down the western Pacific coast to its main wintering grounds in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Due to the Spoonie’s particular liking to certain types of mudflats - lagoon spits with crowberry-lichen vegetation or dwarf birch and willow sedges - it has probably always been a scarce species.

However, numbers have dropped by 88% in just 10 years according to our latest surveys. Their favourite stopover sites are being reclaimed for industry, infrastructure and aquaculture and the mudflats that remain are getting heavily polluted. With only less than 200 pairs left in the wild, we’re taking urgent action to save the species from imminent extinction. Do you want to help? 

Read more about our work to help Spoonie and donate to scale it up