• Protecting Spoon-billed Sandpipers in Bangladesh and Myanmar

In Brief

Location:

Central coast of the Bay of Bengal at two sites in Bangladesh (Sandwip Island and Sonadia Island) and one at Nan Thar Island in Myanmar.

Goal:

Reduce the impacts of hunting (netting and nooses) on the Spoon-billed Sandpiper to stop and reverse their dramatic population decline.

Threats:

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is the most endangered shorebird species in the world with no more than 228 pairs known as of 2014 (Clark et al. 2016). It is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List.  Throughout its migratory range tidal flats are being converted to industrial use and adult birds are being hunted for food. There are no known immediate threats on its breeding grounds, but sea level rise and other effects of climate change are likely to be an impact throughout its range.  Many other species of shorebirds occupying these same habitatsface the same threats and will also benefit from this project.

Support this project

Actions & Results:

Support for this project began October 1, 2016 and will continue for a year or more.  Planned conservation actions include:

  • guarding sites to protect birds from hunting
  • developing livelihoods in farming and fishing as an alternative to hunting
  • establishing no-hunting bylaws among Village Conservation Groups
  • supporting local non-governmental organizations in increasing awareness of hunting’s impact on this endangered bird.

Cost:

2016-2017 (12 months): ICFC portion: US$30,000, which is 54% of the total budget of $55,400.

This spoon-billed sandpiper chick faces threats on its Asian wintering grounds that are being addressed by this project. Photo credit: Sayam Chowdhury

In More Depth...

Program Partners and Personnel

Our partners are the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project (BSCP) in Bangladesh and the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) in Myanmar. Village Conservation Groups are also key to this effort.  Other supporters of this work are the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund.

Images from the field

Photo credit: Sayam U. Chowdhury, except where indicated.

Project personnel search for spoonbills and other shorebirds. Photo credit: BANCA

Spoonbills feeding at their wintering areas.

A former hunter instructs students on shorebirds and their conservation needs.

A former hunter has a new means to earn his livelihood. photo credit: BSCP

Community meeting.  photo credit: BSCP

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