Spoon bill sandpiper huddles in grass
Spoon-bill sandpiper chick
Photo: John O’Sullivan/RSPB

One of the Far North’s most interesting (and odd-looking) shorebirds may be sliding ever closer toward extinction due to habitat loss in the Asian Far East.

The spoon-billed sandpiper — which breeds in summer along the Russian coast of the Bering and Chukchi seas west of Alaska — has been losing population for years. This summer uncovered more bad news.

“With only 200-300 pairs left, conservationists are calling for urgent help to tackle the decline,” reported an on-line story posted by Birdlife International.

“We’ve seen a 70 percent drop in the number of breeding pairs at some sites over the last couple of years,” says Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, Vice President of the Russian Bird Conservation Union (BirdLife in Russia). “If this decline continues, these amazing birds won’t be around for much longer”

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