by Nanditha Chandraprakash on 6 February 2020
- The Rainforest Trust and the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand recently purchased 8 hectares (20 acres) of shoreland in the Gulf of Thailand to protect a vital stopover site for spoon-billed sandpipers (Calidris pygmaea).
- Spoon-billed sandpipers fly annually from Russia to parts of Southeast Asia and depend on sites like the salty coastal wetland of Pak Thale for survival
- The species is critically endangered, with only about 240 to 456 adults globally.
- This stretch of shoreland along the Inner Gulf of Thailand is also an important migrating and wintering site for other waterbirds passing through Thailand.
For the critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper, a tiny shorebird that makes an 8,000-kilometer (5,000-mile) migration each year, wetlands are vital stopover points. To boost the small bird’s population, the Rainforest Trust and the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) have purchased a stopover haven in the Gulf of Thailand from two banks for the species’ winter migration.
“The purchased land is currently an active salt pan which has supported a wintering population of spoon-billed sandpipers regularly every winter,” said Angela Yang, chief conservation officer of the Rainforest Trust.