84 rare spoon-billed sandpipers found in Myanmar
February 14, 2008
BirdLife International has found 84 critically endangered spoon-billed sandpipers in coastal Myanmar (Burma). The discovery is welcome news for a species down to 200 to 300 pairs remaining in the wild.
“The number of breeding pairs in Chukotka, Siberia, fell by 50 percent between 2006 and 2007, and no birds have been seen this year at their traditional wintering sites in Bangladesh,” said Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, Vice President of the Russian Bird Conservation Union (BirdLife in Russia).
“Thirty-five Spoon-billed Sandpipers were counted at one high-tide roost in Arakan, including one juvenile ringed at the breeding ground in Chukotka last summer. The team at Martaban found a total of 48 Spoon-billed Sandpiper, scattered over the huge mudflats of the bay but included a flock of 39 birds. The Arakan coast has never been surveyed before, and Martaban Bay only marginally in 2003,” said Christoph Zöckler of ArcCona Cambridge.
New wintering sites for Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus have been discovered in Myanmar. Photo by Peter Ericsson
“Our surveys have covered only a small section of the promising Arakan coast,” Zöckler added. “Although small-scale reclamation of the mudflats for prawn ponds has been observed, the coastal zones are largely healthy ecosystems, which provide both crucial habitat for tens of thousands of arctic waders, and livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of people.”