As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Experts hail rare sandpiper success

Twenty critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper chicks have been successfully bred in captivity in Britain and released into the wild. 

A team of British and Russian ornithologists collected the eggs from remote breeding grounds in the Russian Far East and brought them back to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, for incubation.

Nine spoon-billed sandpipers were also successfully reared in the village of Meinypil'gyno, in the Chukotsk peninsula.

All the birds were then released as fledglings to make their 4,971-mile (8,000km) migration to Burma.

The conservationists hope their work will ensure the survival of the rare species, which is unique in the animal kingdom for being born with a spoon-shaped beak.

There are thought to be fewer than 100 breeding pairs of spoon-billed sandpipers left in the world.

In recent years they have been declining steadily and it is thought they could be extinct within five to 10 years.

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