The page cannot be found

Possible causes:

  • Baptist explanation: There must be sin in your life. Everyone else opened it fine.
  • Presbyterian explanation: It's not God's will for you to open this link.
  • Word of Faith explanation: You lack the faith to open this link. Your negative words have prevented you from realizing this link's fulfillment.
  • Charismatic explanation: Thou art loosed! Be commanded to OPEN!
  • Unitarian explanation: All links are equal, so if this link doesn't work for you, feel free to experiment with other links that might bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Buddhist explanation: .........................
  • Episcopalian explanation: Are you saying you have something against homosexuals?
  • Christian Science explanation: There really is no link.
  • Atheist explanation: The only reason you think this link exists is because you needed to invent it.
  • Church counselor's explanation: And what did you feel when the link would not open?

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper – Last Ditch Attempt to Save the Species

Saturday 6 August 2016

You are looking at pictures of an incredibly rare bird.  This is the Spoon-billed Sandpiper.  It is thought that less than one hundred and fifty breeding pairs are alive today.  In the next fifteen years this amazingly adapted bird may well slip quietly on to the ever increasing list of species whose extinction has been caused by humans.  

Yet if a group of bird experts succeed the spoon-billed sandpiper may pull back from the brink.

In what amounts to nothing short of an avian international rescue, Birds Russia and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in the UK have joined forces to attempt to save the species.  Their aim – and contrary to their instinct – will be to capture ten pairs of the spoon-billed sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) and commence a captive breeding programme. A part of the problem is that only a very small percentage of the sandpipers survive through their juvenile period and the programme aims to improve on this.

Capturing ten percent of the sum total number of a species is quite a challenge especially when the numbers are so low.  Once captured in its breeding ground of northeastern Russia, pairs of this small wader will breed and the eggs will be removed from the parents, causing them some distress.  Yet by doing so and placing the eggs in incubators it is hoped that more than usual of the broods will survive to adulthood.

This responsibility will be taken from the birds and given to human surrogated in the UK.  Trained staff at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust headquarters in the English county of Gloucestershire will rear the chicks.  This generation will then form the hub of a captive breeding population. Yet the problem is that although the species may be saved in captivity it remains in as great a danger as ever in the wild.

Food.  The spoon-billed sandpiper is considered a delicacy in Burma.  Unfortunately that is where the birds winter.  Then there are the bird’s natural habitats on its migratory path.  An important staging point at the wetlands of Saemangeum, South Korea, has already been partially reclaimed. As Korea, China and Japan become increasingly more urbanised the sandpiper has had less pristine natural habitat in which to be given at least a chance to thrive.

This species is very different to your average sandpiper.  As its name suggests it has a spatulate bill, which evolved to catch, spread and lift food materials.  It has, thanks to this very distinctive bill, a very unusual look which makes it easy to identify.

Efforts will be made by the governments of the countries above to educate their people about the precipitous decline in the bird’s numbers and the need to pass over it when hunting.  Yet until this message has been received and understood the species will remain in the direst of positions.

The decline in population has been the species equivalent of falling off a cliff with the numbers plummeting by a factor in the last decade alone.  However, the captive bred birds would retain their migratory instincts so if they are reintroduced in the future they will be able to re-establish themselves as a species in the wild.

As if there not enough problems facing this beleaguered species, one further fact remains. The spoon-billed sandpiper has never been reared in captivity before.  However, if anyone can do it, it will be the experts at the WWT.

Give a Gift

If you enjoyed this article, please consider making a gift to help Ark In Space to continue to bring you fascinating features, photographs and videos.
Thank you!

Allow the use of cookies in this browser?

Kuriositas uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and to analyse traffic. Learn more about cookies and how they are used.
Allow cookies Cookies settings