Now here is a fascinating migratory bird that has really caught our attention. Not only is it one of the world’s most threatened shore birds, it is also the only one to build its nests in trees!
Spotted Greenshank (Tringa guttifer) is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List, with the remaining global population estimated at approximately 1,500 individuals. It currently faces an ongoing decline, driven principally by habitat loss and degradation, at unprotected non-breeding sites.
“In winter, most of the known population appears largely concentrated in Thailand and Malaysia”, Ding Li Yong, BirdLife’s Flyways coordinator for Asia explains. Data from mid-winter counts demonstrates that wetlands along the Inner Gulf of Thailand form the most important areas for the species. The Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST), the BirdLife national Partner, reports that two vital sites, the Pak Thale Nature Reserve salt pans and the Laem Phak Bia mudflats may hold one-third of all wintering Spotted Greenshanks.
A critical action, now planned for the conservation of this species, is to increase the number and area of protected sites and, in doing so, bring them all under conservation management, whilst strengthening the engagement of communities living in and around their locations.
To enact this plan, BirdLife Asia is supporting a new project led by BCST which will build upon their solid track record of shorebird conservation established over the past five years. This includes its work to establish a new nature reserve for shorebirds, while extending its monitoring and management knowledge to adjacent areas of wetlands on the western Gulf of the Thailand coastline.
Alongside the primary goal of protecting habitat, another key challenge will be to strengthen local interest and engagement in the conservation of this and other threatened shorebird species. BCST plans to achieve this by establishing local conservation groups and strengthening engagement with local government to help address threats such as illegal hunting and disturbance.
“We are delighted to become a BirdLife Species Champion for Spotted Greenshank and support this new project. Spotted Greenshank is another example of a threatened migratory bird that needs urgent help, so we are pleased to support BirdLife’s vital research and conservation action to help protect it on its wintering grounds.”Petra Kregelius-Schmidt, Global Marketing Manager for Nature Observation from ZEISS
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