The spoon-billed sandpiper is facing imminent extinction
The operation to save it is underway
In 2011, on its remote breeding grounds in the Russian Far East, we took the first steps to establish a conservation breeding programme. The descendents of these birds, now housed in a specially-designed aviary at WWT Slimbridge, will be released if the wild population continues to plummet.
But this is just the beginning. This summer we return to Russia to boost numbers in the Slimbridge flock to a critical mass to prompt breeding next spring. We’ll trial a new conservation tool for spoon-billed sandpipers – head-starting – hand-rearing birds for the first three critical weeks of their lives.
At the other end of the birds’ flyway, in Myanmar and Bangladesh, conservation teams are stopping the killing of spoon-billed sandpipers by helping hunters set up new sustainable businesses. As these measures take effect, the boost to numbers from the breeding grounds should help speed the spoon-billed sandpipers’ recovery