Spoon-billed Sandpipers on the brink

As has been publicised here, there is a project underway to try to set up a captive population of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, one of the world’s rarest waders.  The project is being led by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in partnership with Birds Russia, working with colleagues from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Birdlife International, ArcCona, the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Taskforce and Moscow Zoo..  (that’s quite a cast list!).  Anyway, the plan is to collect some eggs from this year’s breeders, hatch them in captivity and transport them to the WWT’s headquarters at Slimbridge in the UK.

I am not sure of the wisdom of this project, but I know that if anyone can do it, this team can.  I very much hope they succeed.  You can follow the expedition’s blog from the front line in Chukotka here.

There is also a fascinating interview with “Mr Spoon-billed Sandpiper”, Dr Christoph Zockler, on Charlie Moore’s Talking Naturally website.

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About Terry Townshend

I am a British birder living and birding in Beijing from August 2010 until 2015. Through this blog I hope I can convey a sense of what it is like to live in this thriving, confident and contrasting city and the birdlife that can be found in its environs. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it! Terry Townshend, Beijing September 2010
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2 Responses to Spoon-billed Sandpipers on the brink

  1. Hi Terry, thanks for the link – and I will now forever have to call Christoph ‘Mr Spoon-billed Sandpiper’!

  2. Hi Charlie,
    I know birders in China will be following the progress of ‘Mr Spoon-billed Sandpiper’ closely! Hopefully the project can help raise awareness of the Spooners’ plight here in China and thus increase the chances of pockets of the coastline being protected from large-scale development. If you are interested, there is a report of the Spooner project at Rudong from last year at http://www.shanghaibirdingtour.com/report/SpoonercountRudong2010.htm.
    Keep up the good work!
    Cheers, Terry

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