Who will be the winner?

WorldWaders made a nice and promising start in its first non complete year. The cute shorebird artworks designed by Jon Villasper made our website a favorite one for many shorebird enthusiasts. Thanks to our partners the news blog could be updated frequently. Since May 4, 2010 96 news items have been produced or reprinted by many international partners resulting almost 32,000 page views.

The Shorebird Mapping Project is aiming to collect data on shorebird numbers both for breeding and non-breeding waders. In the first year we set the goal to learn more on data collection and finalizing an easy-to-use data sheet with clear layout as well as smoothing the data submitting process. Our staff corrected the bugs case by case as they appeared.

604 users have been registered to WorldWaders mapping project who have been submitted over 9,000 records altogether. In 2011 new features, like statistics and simplified data submission will help users to add records and get more out of the data. Outcome of data analysis will be available from the second half of 2011.

Any progress would be possible without the enormous support of our recorders and contributors. I am happy to announce to offer a special gift for some of the lucky data submitters, recorders. Data recorders are eligible for winning one of WorldWaders gifts by meeting any of the criteria as follows:

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Only those users are going to be included in the draw who make the real submissions before 15.01.2011. WorldWaders staff members are excluded from the draw. Five winners will be announced and a copy of the recently published and beautifully illustrated book, the ‘Invisible Connections: Why Migrating Shorebirds Need the Yellow Sea‘ written by Phil Battley et al, will be happily mailed. Winners will be announced on WorldWaders News Blog as well as will be informed by eMail.

We are working hard to offer something really special and useful for our regular and trustworthy recorders. Details will be announced in the second half of 2011. We encourage field workers, birdwatchers and researchers to take part of our long-term project and regularly submit data on both breeding and migrating waders. Do it for the shorebirds and not only for the prize we offer.

Please, keep following the WorldWaders News Blog in the coming year with more details of our beautiful waders.

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Spoony needs your vote!

Written by BirdLife International

Ed: More detail on the Disney voting.

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Spoon-billed Sandpiper chick. © John O’Sullivan, RSPB

BirdLife’s work to save two key resting and feeding sites in China, used by one of the world’s oddest and most appealing waterbirds is to receive support from Disney’s Friends for Change initiative.

The project, ’Saving Spoony’s Chinese Wetlands’ will receive at least $25,000. But if children around the world decide to give it their vote, that support could rise to $50,000, or even $100,000.

Spoony – the Spoon-billed Sandpiper – is one of the rarest birds in the world. It gets its name from its spoon-shaped beak, which it uses to pick up food from the mud left uncovered when the tide goes out.

Every year it flies over 9,000 km from the Arctic tundra in Russia, where it nests, to the tropics of southern Asia, where it spends the winter. Then, in spring, it flies all the way back again.

But the bird that carries its own cutlery is in danger of having nowhere to go to eat. The tidal mudflats it depends on to rest and refuel on its incredible journey are being drained and covered with houses and factories.

Fewer and fewer Spoon-billed Sandpipers make it back to breed each year, and unless we act quickly, this tough and determined little bird could soon be gone for ever. There may be as few as 400 left, down from 2,000 just 10 years ago.

BirdLife’s China Programme, the Hong Kong Birdwatching Society and friends in China, including the Wild Bird Society of Shanghai and Fujian Bird Watching Society will work at two wetlands near Shanghai, which Spoon-billed Sandpipers stop at on their way round China’s coast. Gathering information about all the waterbirds that use these two wetlands will help us protect them better.

Talks, games and field trips will be organised for children at local schools, to inspire them about the values of wetlands and wildlife. Students will be encouraged to form Conservation Groups, and become the ambassadors for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, telling local people and the government that there is a bird nearby that needs their help.

Voting opened on 29th November. You can help the Spoon-billed Sandpiper with registering on the Disney website by going to one of the following links and giving Spoony your vote:

United Stateshttp://disney.go.com/projectgreen/explorevote.html

Germanywww.disney.de/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

Francehttp://www.disney.fr/ensembleonchangetout/explore_and_vote.jsp

Netherlandswww.disney.nl/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

Belgiumwww.disney.be/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

Polandwww.disney.pl/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

UKwww.disney.co.uk/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

Italywww.disney.it/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

Swedenwww.disney.se/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

Finlandwww.disney.fi/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

Norwaywww.disney.no/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

Denmarkwww.disney.dk/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

“We were thrilled to receive the news that our Spoon-billed Sandpiper project had been selected for Disney’s Friends for Change Initiative”, said Richard Grimmett, BirdLife’s Head of Conservation. “This gives us a great opportunity to tell people who live near these sites that their wetlands support a bird rarer than the Giant Panda.”

In the past, Disney has provided support for a range of BirdLife projects, from saving the forest home of the Philippines Eagle, to protecting and restoring one of Sumatra’s last intact areas of rainforest. “We really appreciate Disney’s continued support of our species and habitat conservation programmes, together with our education, awareness and outreach work”, Richard Grimmett added.

BirdLife International is coordinating a wide programme of work on Spoon-billed Sandpiper through the Preventing Extinctions Programme. For more details visit www.birdlife.org/extinction

About Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green

Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green is a multiplatform initiative that helps kids help the planet. To date, more than $2 million has been distributed to environmental charities worldwide, via the Friends for Change/iTunes initiatives, annual grants programs and Youth Service Awards. Through the program, kids can learn practical ways to help the environment, get their friends involved, track their collective impact and have the opportunity to help Disney decide how $1 million in donations to various environmental causes will be made over the course of a year.

Kids can join online at www.Disney.com/projectgreen, where they’ll pledge to take simple everyday actions, such as turning off the lights and switching to reusable water bottles, and find out more about why these actions matter.

Source: BirdLife Community

Thank You For Your Support!

December 23, 2010

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I’d like to express my gratitude for those who advised, supported WorldWaders in its first year. Thanks for the many participants who helped to grow the WorldWaders Mapping Database this big. Please keep up your attitude for the coming year and return back regularly. We can’t wait to see your records submitted to our database. 2011 will bring more very nice features to the website as well as the foundation which can finally start supporting shorebird projects worldwide. Stay tuned.

www.worldwaders.org

New hope for migratory grassland birds of South America

Written by BirdLife Americas

The rich grasslands in South America, home to one of the world’s most valuable ecosystems is fast disappearing and migratory grassland birds, which play an important role by dispersing seeds and controlling insects, are also rapidly declining in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

In order to reverse this trend, the Convention on Migratory Species of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/CMS), in collaboration with BirdLife International and Guyra Paraguay (BirdLife Partner), convened a one-day meeting in Asunción, Paraguay, where Government representatives, scientists and conservationists adopted an action plan for urgent conservation measures to ensure the survival of these birds and their habitats.

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The Buff-breasted Sandpiper breeds in North America and covers a distance of 20,000 km to its non-breeding sites in South America to feed and recharge its batteries. Credit: Seabamirum / Flickr

CMS Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said: “The CMS action plan does not only address threats to migratory grassland birds in South America. By preserving their habitat, we safeguard many other endangered species. At the same time we help mitigating climate change because it aims to conserve the grasslands that produce oxygen and act as carbon sinks.”

Grassland birds are the gardeners of this formerly rich ecosystem. However, their habitats in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay have been destroyed in recent years due to agricultural and aquacultural activities as well as the timber industry.

Agriculture, in particular the cultivation of soya, has put these important ecosystems at risk as pollution from pesticides and other agrochemicals are carried by drainage and run-off directly into marshes and wetlands.

In addition the natural grasslands are being converted into pastures for cattle and meat export to the world’s markets and pastures are frequently burnt to accelerate the food supply for grazing cattle.

The afforestation of pampas with Eucalyptus and pine trees also contributes to widespread habitat loss. This monoculture of non-endemic trees drains valuable wetlands, crucial for species conservation, to satisfy the global demand for paper.

The grassland bird species covered under the CMS agreement are highly-prized as caged song birds which have been illegally captured and kept in cages in private households all over the world.

A major priority of the CMS action plan is protecting and managing the habitats for these migratory grassland birds. New protected areas will be identified to create a viable network of ecosystems and the conservation of the birds needs to be included in their management plans.

Source: http://www.birdlife.org/community

Vote to give a chance for the incomparable Spoon-billed Sandpiper

December 17, 2010

I am sure every WorldWaders followers heard or read about the critical status of the World’s Spoon-billed Sandpiper population. This beautiful species is in danger by habitat loss, climate change and hunting. Now there is some chance to stop the worst thing to happen.

Disney is ready to donate one outstanding conservation project of five listed on its website. This is a amazing opportunity to make the BirdLife International’s project the winner. All you need to do is taking a few seconds of your time to register at Disney and make your vote on “BirdLife International – Saving Spoony’s Chinese Wetlands” project.

It is about an $1,000,000 donation!!!

Hear your voice and click on the green tick dot just left to the Spoon-billed Sandpiper image. Vote as many times as you want.
Vote page is here: http://www.disney.co.uk/friendsforchange/explore_and_vote.jsp

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The future of Spoon-billed Sandpiper is in your hand. Act NOW!