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.
Between Clouds and Dreams

Don’t miss ‘China: Between Clouds and Dreams’: Episode 1 airs in the UK on Sat 5 Nov at 7pm on Channel 4

The new environmental documentary series, ‘China: Between Clouds and Dreams’, which features the plight of the spoon-billed sandpiper, is premiering on UK television at 7pm on Saturday 5 November on Channel 4. A must watch! This stunning new documentary series was made for Chinese Cen
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One of the three Spoon-billed Sandpipers fitted with a satellite tag at Tiaozini, October 2016

The world’s smallest satellite tag helps one of the world’s rarest species!

From Nigel Clark, Guy Anderson and Baz Hughes Very exciting news from the international research efforts helping the Spoon-billed Sandpiper – one of the world’s most endangered birds. We now have three wild adult ‘spoonies’ fitted with satellite tags – brand new tiny tags that are the
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Satellite tags to track critically-endangered sandpipers

The smallest satellite tag ever made is set to play a vital role in the battle to conserve the spoon-billed sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus ). The species, classified as ‘critically endangered’ on the IUCN Red List, numbered fewer than 100 pairs in 2010. Now a conservation programme
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News from the field: And they’re off!

Yesterday, the Spoon-billed Sandpiper headstarting programme successfully released 30 fledglings. That’s the most in a single year and means we’ve now released over 100 Spoon-billed Sandpipers (111 to be exact)! Roland has let us know that the release went to plan with all
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The release pen set-up with four rearing coups inside, 14 July 2016. Photo by Roland Digby/WWT.

News from the field: One more week until release

There are now 30 chicks thriving under the team’s care and living in the release aviary. The chicks have one more week to get accustomed to their surroundings with release planned for early next week! In the last blog, we reported that 22 chicks had successfully hatched and ten
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Eggs in hatcher all imminently about to hatch, 2 July 2016. Photo by Roland Digby/WWT.

News from the field: Chicks, chicks and more chicks

The team reached their target of collecting 36 eggs and within days, 22 of those eggs hatched! The chicks are doing well and should all be ready for a single release in a few weeks time.  Last time we heard from Roland he reported that the incubator was almost full with 32 eggs but th
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First chick keeping warm on hatch day, 2 July 2016. Photo by Nicola Hiscock/WWT.

Hatching and heartbreak for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper captive breeding programme

From elation to devastation. Over the last few days, the two viable eggs at Slimbridge successfully hatched producing two perfect looking Spoon-billed Sandpiper chicks. The chicks seemed to do well initially but their health deteriorated and within 60 hours of hatching both chicks die
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32 eggs safely in an incubator at Meinypil’gyno base camp, 22 June 2016. Photo by Roland Digby.

News from the field: An almost full incubator, a breakdown and T8!

A quick update to let you know that the team in Russia now has 32 eggs, not all the collection trips have gone smoothly with the quad bike transporting the last clutch breaking down at the western oil drills, and another headstarted bird, White T8, has been spotted. Roland has let us
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Two of the eggs at Slimbridge are fertile and developing well

On Tuesday, the eggs at Slimbridge were candled (tested for fertility) and at least two eggs are looking good! One egg from the first clutch and one from the second. As described in the blog announcing the eggs, the captive Spoon-billed Sandpipers at Slimbridge produced two clutches o
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News from the field: More eggs and some good and bad news from the western oil drills

Update just in from Roland: the western area of Meinypil’gyno is proving good for pairs this year, a bird from the 2014 headstarting cohort has been spotted and 20 eggs are in the incubator. On the 15 June, a small team including Nikolai, Egor and Roman and Sveta’s family, heade
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