Spoon-billed Sandpiper


Spoon-billed Sandpiper © Phil Palmer

In 2004 several partners active in the conservation of the globally threatened Spoon-billed sandpiper joined the Recovery Team chaired by Evgeny Syroechkovskiy and later by Christoph Zöckler. With the growing demand of work, the finalization of the action plan in 2008 and the continuing support from BirdLife and many other organizations, it became necessary to formalize the active team to better coordinate the conservation activities along the entire flyway. In February 2010 the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Recovery Team (SBS RT) joined with the EAAFP and in December 2010 was officially endorsed by the partnership as a species Task Force (SBS TF) under the Shorebird working group. The Lead Organization for the EAAFP Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task will be BirdLife International through its partner Birds Russia. It is chaired by the Governmental Partner from Russia and coordinated by Christoph Zöckler from ArcCona Consulting on behalf of Birds Russia, supported by BirdLife International. Task Force members will consist of EAAFP Governmental Partners of key range states (Russian Federation, Japan, People’s Republic of China, People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Union of Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh and India), the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT), Wetlands International, a representative of the EAAFP Shorebird Working Group and experts and conservation organisations from principal range states and other partners. The main aim is to coordinate the conservation activities that have been identified in the CMS Single Species Action Plan for the species commissioned by BirdLife International and regularly updated.


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Task Force Chair

Dr. Evgeny Syroyechkovsky
All-Russian Research Institute for Nature Conservation The estate Znamenskoe-Sadki Moscow 117628 Russian Federation
Tel: +7 495 423 03 22
E-mail: ees_jr@yahoo.co.uk

Task Force Coordinator

Dr. Christoph Zöckler
ArcCona/Birds Russia
ArcCona Consulting 30 Eachard Road Cambridge CB3 0HY, U.K.
E-mail: Christoph.Zockler@unep-wcmc.org
E-mail: cz@arccona.com


Spoon-billed sandpiper – they’re back! The first spoonie seen at Sonadia Island

Sayam Chowdhury and Md. Foysal searching for spoon-billed sandpiper on Sonadia island  ©BSCP

Earlier this year, Sonadia Island was declared an Important Bird Area (IBA) due to its importance for shorebirds, especially the Critically Endangered spoon-billed sandpiper (Sonadia Island is the most important site in Bangladesh for this highly threatened species). The Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project (BSCP, see their Facebook page) is supported by the RSPB through an SOS grant to WWT, and they are one of many partners trying to save this unique species from extinction (see the Saving the Spoon-billed Sandpiper web-site).


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  • Journey of Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Spoon-billed Sandpiper Exhibition Opens in Chukotka, Russia:

Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Exhibition in Anadyr, ©Chukotka, Russia

The conservation exhibition “Spoon-Billed Sandpiper – life saved” opened in Anadyr, Chukotka in the Russian Arctic, at the Museum Center “Chukotka Heritage”, on October 8, 2012. The exhibition is supported by BirdLife’s “Preventing Extinction” Program.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Governor of Chukotka, Roman Kopin, all regional conservation officials, local Parliament representatives, Indigenous People’s organizations and many other authorities, as well as over 50 invited guests from Anadyr. The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group (CAFF) of the Arctic Council met in Anadyr at the same time, so representatives of Environmental Agencies from all Arctic countries also participated in the opening of the exhibition.
This may be the first time in Russia for an entire exhibition of that level to be devoted to a single species of bird. The Spoon-billed Sandpiper (SBS) is the most critically endangered and most rapidly declining species in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation and one of the hundred most threatened birds in the world. Its population has plummeted by 90% in the last 30 years. Only 100 breeding pairs are estimated to remain, mostly in Chukotka.[12/11/2012] Read More

One quarter of the world population of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpipers on Rudong mudflats, Jiangsu, China:

A Spoon-billed Sandpiper feeding at Rudong on Rudong mudflats, Jiangsu, China © Tong Menxiu, China Wild Tour 2012

A record total of 106 Spoon-billed Sandpiper was counted over a 120 km stretch of mudflats in the wider Rudong area, Jiangsu (near Shanghai) China, between 12-15 October. This number amounts to one quarter of the estimated world population of this critically endangered bird species and is the highest number observed since conservation activities started in 2000.

Rudonghas been known for some time to be a critically important staging area (where birds stay to rest and feed before continuing their journey) for the migration of this critically endangered species. An international team of experts conducted the survey to evaluate the importance of the site to the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and other species.[30/10/2012] Read More

Check out this video of Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project led by EAAFP SBS task force:

Go to watch a video clip from Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project

Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project has been working in Bangladesh in an organized manner since 2009. The goal of the project is to conserve and conduct research on the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpipers Eurynorhynchus pygmeus wintering along the coast of Bangladesh especially on Sonadia island. The project discovered local hunters were hunting SBS along with other shorebirds. Since 2011 the project has been working with the hunters to provide alternative income generation options. Things are now changing and here is a glimpse. [09/08/2012]

Go to watch

The podcast Charlie Moores from Talking Naturally interviewing Dr Christoph Zockler on SBS conservation recently.
&copy Nigel Jarrett (WWT)

Juvenile Spoon-billed Sandpipers in quarantine at Moscow Zoo © Nigel Jarrett (WWT)

The podcast was recorded less than a week after Christoph and Charlie Moores met up at Slimbridge to see first-hand the thirteen Spoon-billed Sandpipers held there as part of a newly-established conservation breeding programme – a conservation strategy that Christoph, who has been surveying the Russian breeding grounds for more than a decade, played an important part in setting up. In a typically frank discussion Christoph talks about the conservation breeding programme, the work he’s done halting hunting of Spoon-billed Sandpipers on the wintering grounds, the threat of reclamation, and his hopes for the survival of this most charismatic and endangered shorebird.

Go to listen podcast of article.