Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unique Spoon-billed Bird Facing Extinction

Date:
October 17, 2007
Source:
BirdLife International
Summary:
Populations of one of the world's strangest birds have crashed over the last decade, and surveys this summer of its breeding grounds in the remote Russian province of Chukotka suggest that the situation is now critical. The charismatic, and rather aptly named, Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus, is now worryingly close to becoming extinct. With only 200-300 pairs left, conservationists are calling for urgent help to tackle the decline.

Populations of one of the world’s strangest birds have crashed over the last decade, and surveys this summer of its breeding grounds in the remote Russian province of Chukotka suggest that the situation is now critical. The charismatic, and rather aptly named, Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus, is now worryingly close to becoming extinct. With only 200-300 pairs left, conservationists are calling for urgent help to tackle the decline.

Related Articles


“We’ve seen a 70% drop in the number of breeding pairs at some sites over the last couple of years. If this decline continues, these amazing birds won’t be around for much longer,” says Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, Vice President of the Russian Bird Conservation Union (BirdLife in Russia).

The reasons for these losses are complex, involving changes to habitat during migration and loss of breeding areas. What is clear is that nest predation by foxes and disturbance by people and dogs could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for the few birds left.

“Action to safeguard the remaining breeding pairs needs to be taken now for there to be any chance of saving them. We are planning to put wardens in place at these critical sites. Once they are protected and the birds are successfully fledging young, we can get on with the task of trying to save areas that they use whilst on migration,” Evgeny adds.

"If this decline continues, these amazing birds won’t be around for much longer" —Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, Vice President of the Russian Bird Conservation Union

Spoon-billed Sandpipers’ spoon-shaped bill is still something of a mystery, the exact use for which is still unknown. They breed during June–July in a small strip of coastal Arctic tundra in Chukotka, NE Russia. They then migrate thousands of kilometres to winter along coasts in South and South-East Asia. Spoon-billed Sandpipers are one of several species to depend on the rich tidal coasts of the Yellow Sea in east Asia, where they stop to refuel on their way to and from their breeding grounds.

“Coastal reclamation in South Korea is currently destroying over 40,000 ha of habitat; coastal habitats are being converted into saltpans and shrimp farms in Bangladesh and Chinese coasts have been rapidly developed in recent years,” says Christoph Zöckler, international coordinator of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Action Plan, “They are just running out of places to stop and feed on migration.”

What seems certain is that if these changes continue there will soon be no place left for Spoon-billed Sandpipers.

“The recent declines have shocked those concerned about the species, but with investment and the dedication of those involved we can still save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper.” says Richard Grimmett, BirdLife’s Global Conservation Manager.

BirdLife International has launched the Preventing Extinctions initiative to try and turn the tide for Spoon-billed Sandpiper and species like it, and is looking for companies, institutions and individuals to step up and provide funding by becoming BirdLife Species Champions.

With the right conservation action plan in place it is possible to save a species. It has been done before, but it takes hard work and hard cash but aren’t we all the better for knowing that a bird with a spoon for a bill exists out there, somewhere?


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BirdLife International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BirdLife International. "Unique Spoon-billed Bird Facing Extinction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071012163234.htm>.
BirdLife International. (2007, October 17). Unique Spoon-billed Bird Facing Extinction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071012163234.htm
BirdLife International. "Unique Spoon-billed Bird Facing Extinction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071012163234.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) — A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — A 20-year-old competition surfer said on Thursday he accidentally stepped on a shark's head before it bit him off the Australian east coast. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic has seen Senegal and Guinea Bissau close its borders with Guinea and the economic consequences have started to be felt, especially in Fouta Djallon, where the renowned potato industry has been hit hard. Duration: 02:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) — Just in time for Halloween, a glowing flower goes on display in Tokyo. Instead of sorcery and magic, its creators used science to genetically modify the flower, adding a naturally fluorescent plankton protein to its genetic mix. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins