“All our efforts to safeguard the breeding area in Russia and most important wintering sites in Myanmar and Bangladesh will be in vain if we are unable to protect the Rudong mudflats…”
A conversation with the co-ordinator of the EAAFP Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force Dr Christoph Zockler. Christoph, an old friend and regular interviewee here on Talking Naturally, has just returned from Rudong in China, where he joined a Chinese team surveying the Rudong tidal flats and where – over a week – they recorded at least 106 Spoon-billed Sandpipers, perhaps more than a third of the remaining global population…
The following photographs taken at Rudong were supplied by Dr Christoph Zockler and show both the important tidal-flats and their flocks of shorebirds and the industrialisation and associated pollution impacting so much of the Yellow Sea’s remaining tidal areas. The finding of the poisoned birds is described in the podcast.
Shorebirds at Rudong, and a high tide roost
Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Rudong. Copyright Tong Menxiu
The not so good:
Christoph (centre) and other researchers looking at poisoned shorebirds found at a high-tide roost
Poisoned birds (mostly Kentish Plovers) found at a high-tide roost
Pollution along the edge of the tidal-flats
Industrial park at Rudong
Windpark along the edge of the tidal-flats at Rudong
One quarter of the world population of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpipers on Rudong mudflats, Jiangsu, China
- A record total of 106 Spoon-billed Sandpiper was counted over a 120 km stretch of mudflats in the wider Rudong area, Jiangsu (near Shanghai) China, between 12-15 October. This number amounts to one quarter of the estimated world population of this critically endangered bird species and is the highest number observed since conservation activities started in 2000.
Rudong has been known for some time to be a critically important staging area (where birds stay to rest and feed before continuing their journey) for the migration of this critically endangered species. An international team of experts conducted the survey to evaluate the importance of the site to the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and other species.
- For the full text click here