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.