Spoon billed sandpiper is one of the most threatened birds on the planet. He breeds on the Chukotsk and Kamchatka peninsulas in the
Russian Far East, migrates through Russia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and China to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thai Lan and Vietnam for advoiding freezing winter.
This species has declined from an estimated 2,000-2,800 breeding pairs in the 1970s to 1,000 pairs in 2000 to less than 100 pairs in 2011, and in recent years the population has been declining at 26% per year. If this trend continues, the population could be extinct in 5-10 years.
Each year, they are breeding in Chukotka and the extreme north of Kamchatka, NE Russia in early June. First chicks hatch around the end of June and early July and fledglings occur in late July and August. Most birds leave the breeding area by mid-August and migrate across the Sea of Okhotsk First migrants are observed in Japan and Korea from early August with the peak in late September. By early to mid-October the first migrants arrive at regular staging sites in the Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, where some birds overwinter. Wintering birds in Vietnam arrive at Mid-November with some birds staying until the end of March. By then most birds have started migration passing Chinese coasts between March and May, reaching Korea in April and peaking in mid-May, and Kamchatka in late May before arriving back on the breeding grounds.
So the good time for watching Spoon-billed Sandpiper wintering in Vietnam are from Mid-November to the end of March.
Mekong Delta is one of key remaining SBS wintering sites. The survey done by Birds Russia collaborated with the University of Science in Ho Chi Minh city in 2011 had recorded up to 8 or at least 5 birds (Vladimir et al., 2012). In addition, by personal observations, there was 1 record in Can Gio area in end of April 2010 (Nguyen Hoai Bao) and 1 record also in Can Gio in October 2010 (Jonathan Eames, personal communication). An older survey in 2000 by Moores, N. and Nguyen Phuc Bao Hoa has recorded up to 5 individuals in Ba Tri area.
From the first survey done in Tan Thanh, SBS often leaving in there during wintering time from the end of Nov to March
Table 2: The number of SBS each year in Tan Thanh, Go Cong, Tien Giang (note: TT: Tan Thanh, N: ngang)
Habitats of SBS:
Threat to SBS
It’s no direct threat to Spoon-billed Sandpiper as well as other shorebirds, there was no hunting or trapping. However, habitats lost probably the main issue. The roosting sites along coastal areas in Ben Tre province have changed to aquaculture might impact wader population. The less sediment also is considered a threat to SBS feeding habitats.