Breeding Spoon-billed Sandpiper found in Chukotka

Spoon-billed Sandpiper by Nkenji on FLickr

by Gunnar on July 10, 2011 · 1 comment

in Birding News

BirdLife Species Champions strike gold in Chukotka

The other day, I listened to one of Charlie Moores’s excellent podcasts. This one was recorded the 31st of January telling the story how a commercial tour company Heritage Expeditions became species champions for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and this way could design a tour that would be useful both for accompanying researchers as well as their own clients. The result was an expedition to expected breeding areas of the Spoony at far eastern Russia, close to Kamtchatka peninsula. There were some amazing interviews on the podcast worth listening to again. Now the news hit us. They struck gold at Chukota.  Here is an excerpt of the newsrelease from BirdLife International community website.

Spoon-billed Sandpiper James Gilroy

Spoon-billed Sandpiper by James Gilroy

Heritage Expeditions – a BirdLife Species Champion supporting Spoon-billed Sandpiper conservation through the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme – struck gold this week when they, and the passengers they have taken to the Russian Far East, helped discover a previously unknown breeding population of these rapidly declining waders.

Searching for breeding Spoon-billed Sandpipers in the vast coastal expanses of Arctic Russia is like looking for a needle in a haystack, so Heritage’s passengers, guides and crew were delighted when they encountered this Critically Endangered species at a remote location on the Chukotka coast. The first sighting they made was of a pair with three eggs and another bird, they found close by, was behaving in a manner indicating it was also breeding there. A further Spoon-billed Sandpiper was found by a second search team at another suitable breeding location a little way along the coast.

Read the rest of this article here.
Big congrats to the expedition team and to Heritage Expeditions for this success story in the 11th hour.

Top Photo: Spoon-billed Sandpiper by Nkenji

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

NigelH November 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Spoon-billed Sandpipers are amazing, but in such big trouble.  I will be running the London Marathon in April 2012 to raise funds for the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s work to save this species.  Please visit to donate or find out more.


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