The creation of reserve populations of the spoon-billed sandpiper

The creation of reserve populations of the spoon-billed sandpiper

The main objective of the project is to create stable breeding population of the spoon-billed sandpiper in captivity in order to possibly return the birds in the wild and reintroduce the species in the places of former breeding. Stages of the program include:

refinement of the technique of collection and transportation of eggs (breeding nestlings in Meinypil’gyno) – establishment of a 30-40 birds captive population in Slimbridge; 

refinement of the technique of breeding the species in captivity, the division of the captive population into 2-3 groups to improve its stability and genetic biodiversity;

possible additional collection of eggs in other areas of Chukotka to create the optimal genetic structure of the aviary population;

the beginning of reintroduction (return) of birds to Chukotka (not earlier than in 8-9 years after the start of the project).



Works on the creation of the reserve population of the spoon-billed sandpiper in Slimbridge (the UK) started in 2011 within the framework of the agreement with Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust – WWT. On the Russian side, the work is coordinated by BirdsRussia and supported by the Moscow zoo. The project coordinators are Baz Hughes from the English side and Elena Lappo from the Russiam side. Russian contributors to the project – P. S. Tomkovich, N. N. Yakushev, E. U. Loktionov – are assisted by annually invited volunteers. Active assistance is provided by the New Zealand travel company Heritage Expedition.


The main results of the project:

  1. 40 eggs of the spoon-billed sandpiper were collected at the nesting sites in the last two years.
  2. In 2011, 14 nestlings were hatched, grown and shipped to the UK, and 20 eggs were shipped in 2012. Currently, the artificial population consists of 28 birds, one third of which are females.
  3. The techniques of removal and transportation of the spoon-billed sandpiper eggs as well as the technique of incubation and growing of nestlings were refined.
Read more on the website about the spoon-billed sandpiper:

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