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.

Sunday 20 January 2013

Spoon-billed sandpipers threatened by trapping in China

Endangered spoon-billed sandpipers arriving at their wintering grounds in China are being threatened by nets designed to trap shorebirds.

The spoon-billed sandpiper is one of the world's rarest birds.

Recent sightings of the bird at several new sites along the coast of southern China indicate the species is more widespread than thought.

But the study also found evidence of large-scale shorebird trapping using "mist nets" in some of these key areas.

Last month four spoon-billed sandpipers were sighted at new wintering grounds in Fucheng, south-west Guangdong Province: the latest evidence that the bird is migrating to more widespread areas in China than previously known.
Members of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society discovered a group of the critically endangered birds in partially drained fishponds in Fucheng.

During winter, spoon-billed sandpipers(Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) migrate from their breeding grounds in northeastern Russia and travel 8,000km to south and southeast Asia.

The sparrow-sized wading bird is the only species to be born with its distinctive spoon-shaped bill, which it uses to peck and probe in mud to find food.

The latest sightings, along with reports of the bird at several other sites in southern China in recent years, "[indicate] that this is a more important wintering area for the species than was previously known", according to BirdLife International.


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