The critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper has been added to the surveyed shorebird species list for the first time during the February survey weekend. A young supporter of the African-Eurasian Shorebird Survey from Thailand spotted a wintering, unflagged, Spoon-billed Sandpiper on the salt pans of the famous Pak Thale Nature Reserve.
Only about 348 (average population size) Spoon-billed Sandpipers are believed to be survived in the wild and the conservationists fear the worst that this unique shorebird species will be gone forever in the next decade or so.
While Muangpai Suetrong and Vatcharavee Sriprasertsil's 'Spooie' observation represents only 0.3% of the global population, the record is significant and encourages us to do promote this shorebird monitoring program more intensively. We target to increase the number of surveyors by the next survey weekend in March. Birders generally don't like to commit themselves to regular bird monitoring programs despite knowing this would be the base of all the conservation efforts. Luckily, there are hundreds of like-minded birders who are happy to support our monumental efforts.
Last week a reward program has been introduced to encourage surveyors for consistency and recruiting new surveyors. We believe in the power of the local communities and we are pleased by some extraordinary partnerships with national or local communities.
To read more about the African-Eurasian Shorebird Survey please visit https://www.shorebirdconservation.org/shorebird-survey
To learn more about the community which runs this and other programs, visit https://www.shorebirdconservation.org and consider joining or supporting it.