04 Jul 2016

Unknown Breeding Ground of Rare Spoonbilled Sandpiper Located by Expedition

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is a critically endangered bird and with a current estimate at less than 100 breeding pairs this species only breeds in the Russian Far East. Heritage Expeditions has been a supporter of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Project and this particular expedition donates time, expertise and logistical support to the project.

Yesterday afternoon a previously unknown breeding area was located by our current expedition.  Three search teams from this expedition, led by the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Team and staff from Heritage Expeditions, positively identified a total of eight individual birds.  This in itself is incredibly important and will contribute considerably to the conservation of the species and the experience literally brought tears of joy to many of those present.

The encounter was made even more special by one of the birds who continued feeding apparently unconcerned by our group and passengers were able to get some absolutely stunning photos and observations of this charismatic wader. Very, very few people have seen this species in breeding plumage on their breeding ground with most birders viewing it in non-breeding plumage on the wintering grounds in Asia where it faces many threats ranging from loss of habitat and hunting.

We hope that through these expeditions, the work of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Recovery Team and our continued support that more people will have the opportunity to see this incredibly unique wader – it needs all the advocacy it can get if it is going to survive. I will give you an update on today’s activities later, the experiences just keep coming.

Join the Heritage Expeditions team in the field and help support the Spoon-billed Sandpiper research and conservation efforts on our Siberia's Forgotten Coast.

© K.Ovsyanikova Spoonbilled Sandpiper July 2016

Photo credit: K.Ovsyanikova


© KOvsyanikova Spoonbilled Sandpiper July 2016

Photo credit: K.Ovsyanikova

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