Monday 15 April 2013

Sonadia Island; Progress in critically important area for the spoonies.

The RSPB as part of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper partnership is carrying out a project on the island of Sonadia and other areas in Bangladesh where the Spoonies spend their winter.

It seems that all the effort and hard work is paying off, at least in terms of raising local awareness; there are many posters appearing all over the place in the local towns and villages. here is the poster that is being distributed.

Rob Sheldon the RSPB's Head of International Species Recovery Team is in Bangladesh right now and says that he thinks that progress has been fantastic, 'Today in Ghotibanga village and everywhere you go there are spoon-billed sandpiper posters and calendars!"
Rob Sheldon beside one of the posters on display.

This is excellent news and invaluable work that is being supported by Save Our Species and WWT.

Part of the project is aimed at finding alternative ways of making a living for those engaged in subsistence hunting. These hunters pose one of the biggest threats to the species on its wintering grounds. Although perhaps only a few are actually killed in this way in terms of numbers, in terms of percentages their loss is catastrophic. These people are not actively targeting spoonies, but inevitably some are accidentally caught in nets erected to collect other species. If this practice can be eradicated or even greatly reduced, it will be another example of how protecting one species, in this case the spoonies, will directly benefit other species that occur in the same habitat and along the same flyway as them.

Engaging with local subsistence hunters. Much pride has been engendered
among local people that their area is very important for the survival of
the Spoon-billed Sandpiper.
The project is being run locally by Sayam U. Chowdhury and Mohammad Foysal of the Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project.

As our aim is to raise awareness it is fantastic to see the results that have been achieved by these hard-working and dedicated people, it is encouraging to see the world coming together to save this fantastic wader.

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