Fw: Spoon-billed Sandpipers

To: <>
Subject: Fw: Spoon-billed Sandpipers
From: <>
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2015 09:35:12 +1030

From: Peter Morris 
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2015 3:05 AM
Subject: Spoon-billed Sandpipers

Hi David,


Thanks for your enquiry and your continued interest in these wonderful little 


We have more than 20 spoon-billed sandpipers in a bio-secure facility at WWT 
Slimbridge Wetland Centre. Last summer would have been the first year that we 
might have expected first attempts at breeding. There was pair bonding 
behaviour but that didn’t progress to actual breeding. It was a bit early for 
them anyway, we’re more hopeful for this coming summer. We published this story 
in early 2014 as the birds were moved into the potential breeding facility.


This small flock is a sort of insurance policy, just in case the species goes 
extinct in the wild. The other part of our breeding operation happens in 
northern Russia where we take eggs from the first clutch and hand-rear them 
through the first few weeks when they are vulnerable to predators and bad 
weather – a technique called headstarting. The fledglings then travel south for 
two years and, if they survive, they then return to breed. We had our first 
confirmation last summer that a headstarted bird had returned and successfully 
hatched a chick – as per this news story. 


The other part of the project involves working with governments and partners to 
try and protect at least some of the stopover sites along the migration route, 
which are disappearing fast. This is the key to the species’ long term survival 
and, while the outlook is generally depressing, there have been successes as 
per this story.


You can keep up to date with the ‘spoonies’ via a dedicated website which 
ourselves and the other partners involved all contribute towards.


Regards, Pete


Peter Morris
Head of PR and Campaigns

Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
Slimbridge, Glos GL2 7BT, UK

T        01453 891179
M       07920 151022


Sent: 05 January 2015 06:29
To: Info.Slimbridge
Subject: Spoon-billed Sandpipers


The ABC recently ran a programme  on Heathrow’s animal transit centre.  In it 
was a short section on the transit of 13 Spoon-billed Sandpipers from Moscow to 
Slimbridge for captive breeding.

In Hong Kong I watched the steady decline in the numbers of SPS over the years 
so I am very interested to know what happened to them.  Did they breed?  If so 
what how successfully happened to their progeny?  What is their future?

David Robertson

Life Member

HK Birdwatching Society



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