On 5th March 2021 the first council meeting of Incheon Black-faced Spoonbill (BFS) Conservation Guild (hereinafter referred to as “council meeting”) was convened by the National Institute of Ecology (NIE) of the Republic of Korea. The guild is a networking body among the organizations conserving Incheon BFS, which was established during the Incheon-Hong Kong International East Asian – Australasian Flyway Black-faced Spoonbill Conservation Cooperation Forum held on 14th December 2020. A total of 8 organizations and institutions including EAAFP Secretariat, Han-river Basin Environmental Office, National Institute of Ecology, Seoul Grand Park, Korea Water Bird Network, BFS Network, Ecological Education Hub Cooperative Waterbird Egg and Yeongjong Environment Federation, joined the meeting to share its past and future activities for BFS conservation, and potential joint activities were discussed.
Strong emphasis was put on three main sectors during the meeting: Communication, Education, Participation, Awareness (CEPA), capacity building and expanding the BFS network for data and information sharing.
Incheon Metropolitan City focused on the engagement of learning centres across each regional base, and to strengthen research to find more suitable BFS breeding sites. EAAFP Secretariat ensured to support Incheon-Hong Kong cooperation on BFS conservation efforts under EAAFP Sister Site mechanism following the EAAFP BFS Conservation Cooperation Forum. Further initiatives to collaborate and expand the network for BFS conservation efforts were introduced via a virtual exchange program through “the Birds and Schools” and an international BFS forum at the end of this year. BFS Network expressed to enhance local engagement to conserve the breeding sites for BFS as the numbers were declining due to both human disturbance and infrastructure development.
Yeongjong Environment Federation identified two significant nesting sites for BFS and highlighted the need to counteract severe trash problems around the construction areas. Ecological Education Hub MoolSeal Cooperative planned to execute the monthly plan of the 3rd Children Spoonbill Guardian, and furthermore to strengthen the communication channels initiated through the joint project with Team SPOON based in Japan. Korea Water Bird Network shared the pleasant results of the BFS satellite tracking project through the joint project between China and Ro Korea, supported by EAAFP (Census results will be shared on EAAFP website).
For ex situ conservation of BFS, Seoul Grand Park shared its initiatives to continue to artificially hatch BFS rescued from a breeding site with frequent water submersion risk. Endangered Species Restoration Centre of National Institute of Ecology emphasized to conduct BFS ecology and conservation research for better management and technology development. In order to track migratory waterbirds through satellite transmitters and to support the designation of Special Wildlife Protection Zones for Namdong Reservoir in Incheon.
The first meeting well conveyed the initiatives to develop a joint project along the BFS network, nationally and internationally. Furthermore, important factors were recognized regarding the declining breeding number of BFS population, highlighting the need to secure more potential breeding grounds in Ro Korea via information sharing, cooperation and collaboration, producing and executing relevant materials and activities across the region.
More information on Black-faced Spoonbill
EAAFP Black-faced Spoonbill Working Group: Black-faced Spoonbill Working Group – Eaaflyway