The spoon-billed sandpiper is facing extinction.
Action is underway throughout the flyway by a wide range of people and organisations working in partnership to halt the decline.
Some of the progress so far:
- For the first time, spoon-billed sandpiper migration is being tracked with satellite tags.
- A captive population has been established as a safe-guard against extinction
- Headstarting efforts have released over 100 birds
- The EAAFP Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force working with villagers in Myanmar and Bangladesh is easing the pressure of trapping
- Advocacy work is raising the profile of the critically important intertidal wetlands in the Yellow Sea
- Awareness raising activities are introducing this incredible bird to children in the flyway
- Annual surveys of breeding sites on Chukota have been undertaken with over 250 birds colour-marked since 2012
- A new breeding site, “Okeanskoe,” has been discovered
- An environmental documentary series from multiple BAFTA winning filmmaker, Phil Agland, ‘Between Clouds and Dreams,’ shot for Chinese Central Television has been broadcast highlighting the plight of the spoon-billed sandpiper for audiences in China and worldwide
- Plus many other initiatives
But there’s much more to do
There are now encouraging signs that conservation measures are reducing the impacts of some threats and bolstering the population but there is also the continuation of some key threats and the emergence of new ones. There remains a great deal of work to do. The most important and challenging aspect of which is maintaining and protecting habitat at key sites, particularly stopover sites in the Yellow Sea. At least one key stopover site remains unknown, and only a portion of the population can be found during breeding and wintering seasons indicating there are also breeding and wintering sites yet to be found.
The ultimate goal of spoon-billed sandpiper conservation is a secure future for the species. Conservationists have set an ambitious but achievable aim to not only halt the decline by 2025, but increase the population by 50% (to 300 pairs) over that same period.