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.

Pavel Tomkovich

Pavel has been leading expeditions to Chukotka and researching spoon-billed sandpipers since the 1980s.

Pavel is Curator of Birds at the Moscow State University Zoological Museum. His scientific interests include the distribution, geographic connectivity, ecology, taxonomy, evolution and conservation of arctic birds, mostly Calidrid waders. Between 1972 and 2012, he spent over 35 summer field seasons studying waders in various parts of the Russian Arctic and Subarctic from Franz Josef Land to Chukotka and Kamchatka as well as in Alaska. He has produced around 200 scientific publications from this work. Pavel conducted detailed studies of spoon-billed sandpiper natural history in northern Chukotka in 1986-1988; then with other colleagues he revealed for the first time the spoon-billed sandpiper’s steep population decline in 2000. He participated in spoon-billed sandpiper breeding surveys in 1975, 1976, 2002 and 2005 and has monitored the key breeding populations from 2009 to 2012. Dr. Tomkovich is one of the world’s leading experts on spoon-billed sandpipers.