Headstarting is a collaborative effort between WWT, BirdsRussia and the RSPB, and occurs as part of the International Arctic Expedition mounted each year by BirdsRussia under the leadership of Dr. Evgeny Syroechkovskiy.

Spoon-billed sandpiper gets renewed commitment from Leica Camera AG

WWT's Roland Digby  in the field in Chukotka using Leica optics

WWT’s Roland Digby in the field in Chukotka using Leica optics

The Critically Endangered spoon-billed sandpiper has received renewed support from German optics company, Leica Camera AG.

The miniature wader is the focus of an intense international conservation bid to save it from extinction, that’s included starting a conservation breeding programme from scratch and hand-rearing chicks in the Russian Far East.

Leica stepped in last year with substantial support, including the loan of optical equipment so that fieldworkers could monitor the remaining individuals in their remote breeding grounds. They also championed the plight of the spoon-billed sandpiper to their customers, which helped to encourage birdwatchers to log record numbers of sightings along the spoon-billed sandpiper’s Asia Pacific flyway. Leica has now announced it will renew its support for another year.

Dr Debbie Pain, WWT Director of Conservation said:

“Leica and WWT are kindred spirits when it comes to the incredible spoon-billed sandpiper. Leica are passionate about the mission to bring it back from the brink of extinction and we’re delighted that they’re going to continue supporting the project and spreading the word.”

Leica’s stand at Birdfair 2014 on the 15th, 16th and 17th August will again be dedicated to spoon-billed sandpiper conservation and Dr Debbie Pain will be on the stand for an hour each afternoon.

Stephan Albrecht, Director of Sport Optics Division at Leica Camera AG said:

“Leica puts a particular focus on long-term and sustainable support of selected nature conservation projects. It was, therefore, a logical decision for us to continue with our support for the WWT project to save the endangered spoon-billed sandpiper from extinction. Our binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras are the perfect tools for the fieldworkers who monitor the sensitive breeding grounds from a distance without disturbing this amazing wader.”

  1. Helena Jefferson Reply

    Thank you Leica for your continued support for this charismatic little bird which is the flag bearer for millions of migrating birds from hundreds of species that are affected by mankind’s behaviour on the East Asian Flyway. I will be visiting your stand at the Birdfair for definite.

  2. Baz Reply

    That’ll be Roland watching the Monument Male, that will. He’d gone out to take some pics for Leica and the Monument Male flew across to be photographed with him. What a bird!

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