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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.

Baz Scampion

Baz lives in North Norfolk and has been to Kamchatka and Chukotka on two previous expeditions. In 2011 he was an integral part of a small team which discovered Spoon-billed Sandpipers at a new breeding site in Northern Kamchatka, and is passionate about this important project. He is a
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Richard Smith

Like his namesake, this Richard also started his career at WWT Slimbridge before moving north to WWT Caerlaverock. Richard Smith spent two years on the avicultural staff at Slimbridge and three years as a Reserve Warden at Caerlaverock, contributing to research on whooper swans and ba
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Richard Hesketh

Richard manages the reserve at WWT’s Caerlaverock Wetland Centre on the shores of the Solway Firth. He joined WWT in the 1970s and worked at Slimbridge with both the captive collection birds and on the reserve. Since moving to Caerlaverock in 1986 he has mainly been Reserve Manager. R
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Phil Palmer

Phil first visited Chukotka with Dr Evgeny Syroechovskiy as it became obvious that the spoon-billed sandpiper was heading towards extinction. Since then he has helped Evgeny and Christoph survey other parts of Eastern Russia as well as studying spoon-billed sandpipers in China. Phil w
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Martin McGill

Martin is usually found looking after the acclaimed wildfowl reserve at WWT Slimbridge but for the Chukotka expedition he dusted off his feathery fingers for a return to the world of aviculture, to deliver some hands-on bird care. One of Martin’s passions is wading birds and his skill
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Liz Mackley

Liz started her career as a research assistant at WWT Caerlaverock in 1999 working on barnacle geese. She returned for another winter in 2004 and then joined present team mates Richard Hesketh and Richard Smith on a whooper swan expedition to Iceland in 2008. In between, she has worke
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Liz Brown

Liz has worked at the New Zealand Department of Conservation since 2004. No stranger to working with endangered birds, the aviculturist has ongoing commitments helping to save the rare kakī -black stilt, a wading bird regarded by Māori as a taonga species – a living treasure, at a cap
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Karin Eberhardt

Karin works for BANCA (Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association) based in Yangon, Myanmar.
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Juri Bragin

Juriy has helped with the headstarting fieldwork and is taking the knowledge and practical skills he has learned about raising waders back to colleagues at the Moscow Zoo. Juriy is a fifth-year student in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the Moscow Academy of Veterinary Scienc
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Jochen Dierschke

Jochen Dierschke, 42, freelance biologist and volunteer in the project, mid May to mid July. Interested in bird ecology, rare birds, football and politics. Mainly birding on Helgoland and in the German Wadden Sea. He is on the editorial Board of the popular birdwathing magazing “Falke
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