TN79 Dr Christoph Zockler and an update on the Spoon-billed Sandpiper


A conversation with Dr Christoph Zockler of ArcCona Consulting and co-ordinator of the EAAFP Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force. The podcast was recorded less than a week after Christoph and I met up at Slimbridge to see first-hand the thirteen Spoon-billed Sandpipers held there as part of a newly-established conservation breeding programme – a conservation strategy that Christoph, who has been surveying the Russian breeding grounds for more than a decade, played an important part in setting up. In a typically frank discussion Christoph talks about the conservation breeding programme, the work he’s done halting hunting of Spoon-billed Sandpipers on the wintering grounds, the threat of reclamation, and his hopes for the survival of this most charismatic and endangered shorebird.

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Aviary at Slimbridge, WWT, 17 Dec 2011


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About the author

Passionate about animal welfare and conservation, veggie and dairy-free, I live in the Wiltshire (UK) countryside. I co-founded Birders Against Wildlife Crime and Birds Korea. Trustee of the League against Cruel Sports On Twitter @charliemoores


  1. Jason Loghry says:

    Again, excellent podcast, Charlie. Thank you. I know that you, Dr. Zockler and many others have seen Saemangeum in perhaps its best condition. I can’t even imagine what that could have been like. Yet, while Saemangeum can never be what it once was, in all its magnificence, I must comment that it is still very much full of life and in need of desperate attention. Just in September of this year, 5 of these Critically Endangered birds were observed at Saemangeum. What is puzzling to us is why so many within the Republic of Korea and outside have given up on Saemangeum. With the proper management of the remaining tidal flats, couldn’t Saemangeum continue to be key to the survival for these and thousands of other shorebirds staging during their migration ? Thanks again for these podcasts.

  2. Charlie Moores says:

    Hi Jason. Thanks for your kind comments. You’re right, of course, I do tend to feel that Saemangeum is a lost cause, whereas – as you say – shorebirds are still using it and what’s left needs to be fought for. Thanks for reminding me and thanks for everything that you’re doing with Birds Korea now.

  3. Nial Moores says:

    Thanks again for this good interview. Would like to clarify timing of moult in SBS (re Christoph’s comments during your interview): here in the ROK we see the birds moult from juvenile into a non-breeding plumage in September and October. I have not yet knowingly seen any unmoulted/non-moulting juveniles in October.

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