Asian coastal zones

Can the Spoon-billed Sandpiper be saved from Extinction?

With this transnational project we are investigating the causes of the drastic decline in the population of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus), which breeds in Siberia and migrates as far as India, and are committed to its survival. 


This charismatic wading bird with its spoon-shaped beak is on the verge of extinction and in 2008 BirdLife International classified it as globally "threatened with extinction" in the Red List. The population has shrunk by a good 80% since the 1970s to an estimated 200-300 pairs today.

Since 2000 Dr. Christoph Zöckler, pioneering expert of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and employee of our foundation since 2004, is documenting the dramatic decline of breeding pairs in Siberia. All signs indicate that the rapid changes and developments along the coasts of China, Korea and Japan have significantly contributed to the decline of this species and other waders. The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is an important indicator of the state of these coastal ecosystems.

Together with Birds Russia we have established a "Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force". We have succeeded in uniting twelve coastal states from Russia to Bangladesh for the protection of the charismatic Spoon-billed Sandpiper. The objectives are the preservation, restoration and sustainable protection of the Asian coastal regions. We support the political work through our own campaign office in Shanghai as well as with projects to raise awareness among local people (e.g. against bird-catching in Bangladesh and Myanmar).


2020 in Myanmar: Wintering area in the Gulf of Mottama with 160,000 ha protected as Ramsar area!

2018 in China: 40,000 ha of Spoon-billed Sandpiper resting area and further tidal flats protected as a natural heritage proposal in the Yellow Sea!

Survey of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper in the Southern Gulf of Mottama, Myanmar (photos: EAAFP / C. Zöckler)

Our project activities and cooperations in detail

2004-2007: The search for the wintering area

International Cooperation

Further information

Newsbulletin of the "Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force"
October 2019 [4,8 MB]
Mai 2019 [8,66 MB]
November 2018 [6 MB]
März 2018 [4,9 MB]
April 2017 [4,76 MB] 
Oktober 2016 [1,61 MB]
April 2016 [1,55 MB]