Friday 8 February 2013

Here's why Wader Quest is worth supporting.

Elis and I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk to the people who run the Spoon-billed Sandpiper captive breeding programme at WWT Slimbridge.

There are multiple facets to the saving of the spoonies and we found out that one of them, a very important one, has a current budget shortfall of £26,000 and it is not alone. Saving a species from extinction is an expensive business!

Contrary to popular belief it seems the WWT are not blessed with huge donations from magical sources, like every other charity they have to go out and attract money from a variety of places. One of these sources is what they lovingly call 'community fundraisers' and that is exactly what Wader Quest is. It is not a mythical 'they' that will be the saving of this unique bird, it is us, all of us.

It is true that we realistically don't expect to raise £26k but everything we do raise will be a little less that the WWT team has to find. The project is not just about this year, they will have fundraising problems every year for many years to come so it is vitally important that we all help them along.

There have been other fund raising schemes in addition to Wader Quest: one guy ran a marathon in aid of the spoonies; a lady commissioned paintings that would be sold with the profits also destined for the spoonies. None of these alone will change the course of history, but together they can make a difference, and they all deserve support.

There is of course nothing to stop anyone from starting a fundraising venture, large or small, but not everyone is in the position to actually do it due to work or family commitments. This however should not preclude anyone from becoming involved and donating through other schemes that are up and running such as Wader Quest.

Great Knots share the East Asian Australasian Flyway with the spoonies;
90k of them disappeared when the barrier at Saemangeum in Korea was built.
Surveys showed they were not displaced , they simply perished.
The saving of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper is vital, not just for its own sake, but because the knock-on effect of saving the flyway and habitat of this species will be to benefit around 50 million other birds of various species. If the spoonies habitat is allowed to disappear it will not be just them that will be heading for extinction.

Give now, give a little if that is all you can spare, but please give, this is not benefiting us in any way, just the spoonies. Giving a little regularly is equally as valuable as giving a lot in one go, whatever you can afford to give will be of immense value to the birds; their lives and indeed their very existence are in your hands.


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