Spoon-billed Sandpiper Animation Project

Students at Shingok Middle School in Busan. Image courtesy of Birds Korea
Students are asking questions at Shingok Middle School in Busan. Image courtesy of Birds Korea

There is not much needed for a bird enthusiast to feel really touched when learning about the struggle of a little bird species for survival. Vivian Fu knew what was needed to touch thousands of hearts worldwide when she created the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Animation Project. This outstanding international project was initiated by her from the Hong Kong Birdwatching Society and went as far as the Chukotka Peninsula. Dozens of volunteers, teachers and lots of children have been involved in the project to make the beautiful animation clip live.

Anim4
Student colouring in the image, at Shingok Middle School in Busan. Image courtesy of Birds Korea
Students at Chadwick School, as they shouted "Save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper". Image courtesy of Birds Korea
Students at Chadwick School, as they shouted “Save the Spoon-billed
Sandpiper”. Image courtesy of Birds Korea

The story of the animation is about the struggle of a Spoon-billed Sandpiper during migration as it faces the habitat loss and other threats across the whole flyway. Under Vivian’s coordination, schools from Russia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the Republic of Korea have joined and students of different ages contributed in the colouring of the drawings while learning about the issues shorebirds are facing.

“We too think it is a great project, initiated and led by the wonderful Ms. Vivian Fu in Hong Kong. We are confident that it also touched the hearts and minds of many students and not a few teachers.”

said the renowned ornithologist, Dr. Nial Moores, the director of the organization Birds Korea.

Students in Gimhae working to help Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Image courtesy of Birds Korea
Students in Gimhae working to help Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Image courtesy of Birds Korea
Anim2
Students are showing the coloured sheets. Image courtesy of Birds Korea
Anim6
The process of animation. Image courtesy of Birds Korea

Dr Moores shared an article with me (in Korean) written by one of the students. He says about it:

“This latter article has already been accessed by more than 12,000 viewers since posting in April – a pretty good response to an article written by a young student about her feelings and learning about the Spoon-billed Sandpiper conservation.”

While the alarm bell is still ringing for bringing back the Spoon-billed Sandpiper from the brink of extinction, there is a little hope that more and more of the next generation learns of the issues. At present, the life of those cute birds is in our hands but the future of Spoon-billed Sandpiper is in those students’ hands, who will definitely spread the word from now on.

Children drawing Spoon-billed Sandpiper for the animation, Sonadia Island, Cox's Bazar Bangladesh. Sayam U. Chowdhury
Children drawing Spoon-billed Sandpiper for the animation, Sonadia Island, Cox’s Bazar Bangladesh. Sayam U. Chowdhury
An ex-hunter of Sonadia Island talking to the school kids about the conservation of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper. © Sayam U. Chowdhury
An ex-hunter of Sonadia Island talking to the school kids about the conservation of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper. © Sayam U. Chowdhury

Last, but not least here is the video including the animation.

To support Birds Korea, visit their website.

Advertisements

This is Our Beach Too! Kill S 486!

Written by Audubon North Carolina
These birds are too tiny to protect themselves. They need our help! Piping Plover. © Jeff Lewis
These birds are too tiny to protect themselves. They need our help! Piping Plover. © Jeff Lewis
Cape Hatteras National Seashore is in jeopardy, and WE NEED YOUR HELP!
If Senate Bill S 486 is passed on Tuesday, the mandated regulation that balances the protection of wildlife with use of the beach for recreation will disappear and protections for wildlife will go with it.
We have been too quiet – it is time to make some noise if we value a reasonable management plan carefully crafted by many and supported by science.  Please don’t stay silent and let a minority dictate the rules for this National treasure!
Several years ago a new management plan for Cape Hatteras National Seashore was crafted to provide a balance between beach driving, pedestrians and wildlife. It was supported in most comments the National Park Service received, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the US Geological Survey. The plan allows beach driving on 41 of the 67 miles of the Seashore either year-round or seasonally.
Since the plan went into effect both tourism and nesting sea turtles have set records and beach nesting birds have rebounded.
Unfortunately, a small, but vocal, group of ORV users has convinced both Senators Hagan and Burr to sponsor legislation, SB 486, that rescinds the present plan and returns to the situation of virtually no management, where families, turtles and birds were seriously impacted by beach drivers.
Federal law mandates that national parks have management plans that balance wildlife, recreational uses and vehicle access. SB 486 would violate that mandate.
This bill comes up in committee in just days, and must stop there.
Please call both Senators Burr and Hagan and ask them to pull SB 486 from consideration.
Hagan: 202-224-6342 & Burr: 202-224-3154.
You can also email, tweet and post to the Facebook pages of Hagan and Burr letting them know that you oppose S486 and want the current management plan to stand.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT- ACT NOW
This is our beach too! Help us save Hatteras! © Lindsay Addison
This is our beach too! Help us save Hatteras! © Lindsay Addison
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE 5:00 PM ON MONDAY, JUNE 17:
  1. Call Senator Hagan
  2. Join the National Action Alert from National Audubon
  3. Email Senator Hagan’s office with a personal note
  4. Post on Senator Hagan’s Facebook Page that you oppose S 486
  5. If you are on Twitter, tweet Senator Hagan
  6. Get your friends & family involved – If they live outside of NC have them contact their senator.
NOW LET’S FLOCK TOGETHER AND KILL THE BILL!
Call Senator Hagan’s office: 202-224-6342
After reaching the office, you can press one to leave a comment, or two to reach a staff member.
Script: My name is [your name], and I am a resident of North Carolina. I am calling to oppose Senate Bill 486.  I am in favor of the current management plan and ask that you review the facts and the science.  Taking the plan back to zero protection for our wildlife is not acceptable to me and many, many other visitors to the Seashore.   It’s my beach too!
Email Senator Hagan: Senator Hagan’s email page
Subject of your message: KILL THE BILL: S 486
Script: My name is [your name], and I am a resident of North Carolina. I am calling to oppose Senate Bill 486.  I am in favor of the current management plan and ask that you review the facts and the science.  Taking the plan back to zero protection for our wildlife is not acceptable to me and many, many other visitors to the Seashore.   It’s my beach too!
Sincerely,
[Your Name]
Facebook post to Senator Hagan: Senator Hagan’s Facebook Page
I am in favor of the current management plan and want the plan to stand! Kill the bill! This is my beach too. Share to encourage your friends to kill this bill.
Tweet Senator Hagan: Senator Hagan’s Twitter Page
@SenatorHagan Save Hatteras from vehicle access for pedestrians, sea turtles & shorebirds! It’s my beach too. #s486 #killthebill #back2zero

Get Friends & Family Involved:

S 486 is under review by the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee  and could be voted on as early as  TUESDAY, JUNE 18. If you have family and friends in any of these states, please ask them to contact their senator to kill the S 486 bill. Let’s flock together!
US Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources Members:
Alaska — Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (202) 224-6665 Email Twitter Facebook
Arizona — Jeff Flake (202) 224-4521 Email Twitter Facebook
Colorado — Mark Udall (202) 224-5941 Email Twitter Facebook
Delaware — Christopher Coons (202) 224-5042 Email Twitter Facebook
Hawaii — Brian Schatz (202) 224-3934 Email Twitter Facebook
Idaho — James Risch (202) 224-2752 Email Twitter Facebook
Louisiana — Mary Landrieu (202) 224-5824 Email Twitter Facebook
Michigan — Debbie Stabenow (202) 224-4822 Email Twitter Facebook
Minnesota — Al Franken (202) 224-5641 Email Twitter Facebook
Nevada — Dean Heller (202) 224-6244 Email Twitter Facebook
New Mexico — Martin Heinrich (202) 224-5521 Email Twitter Facebook
North Dakota — Joe Hoeven (202) 224-2551 Email Twitter Facebook
Ohio — Rob Portman (202) 224-3353 Email Twitter Facebook
Oregon — Chairman Ron Wyden  (202) 224-5244
 Email Twitter Facebook
South Carolina — Tim Scott (202) 224-6121 Email Twitter Facebook
South Dakota — Tim Johnson (202) 224-5842 Email Twitter Facebook
Tennessee — Lamar Alexander (202) 224-4944 Email Twitter Facebook
Utah — Mike Lee (202) 224-5444 Email Twitter Facebook
Vermont — Bernard Sanders (202) 224-5141 Email Twitter Facebook
Washington — Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441 Email Twitter Facebook
West Virginia — Joe Manchin (202) 224-3954 Email Twitter Facebook
Wyoming — John Barrasso (202) 224-6441 Email Twitter Facebook

Fourth of July Beachgoers Asked to “Fish, Swim, and Play from 50 Yards Away”

Written by Robert Johns/American Bird Conservancy
The federally threatened Piping Plover nests on beaches from North Carolina to Maine, and can be impacted by beach-goer activities during the Fourth of July weekend. © Michael Stubblefield
The federally threatened Piping Plover nests on beaches from North Carolina to Maine, and can be impacted by beach-goer activities during the Fourth of July weekend. © Michael Stubblefield
As millions of vacationing Americans head to their nearest beach destination for a long weekend of surf and sun, one of the nation’s leading bird conservation organizations – American Bird Conservancy (ABC) – is urging beachgoers to be mindful of the many beach-nesting birds that will be tending to young birds and perhaps a few remaining eggs.
People visiting the beaches are often unaware of the many species of birds that nest in the sands near where they are swimming, fishing, and recreating. As a result, nests can accidentally get trampled, destroyed, or abandoned,” said ABC’s Kacy Ray, Gulf Beach-Nesting Bird Conservation Project Officer.
The best thing for beachgoers to do is to avoid getting close to areas where larger congregations of birds are gathered, and to always respect areas that are roped off or marked with signs designating an area that is used by nesting birds,” says Ray.  “The habitat for these birds is diminishing every year due to beach development, erosion, and ever-increasing recreational use, so the birds can really use any break we can give them.  They have no other place to go,” Ray said.
Ray points out that it can be difficult for both the year-round resident and the casual vacationer to see the difference between a bird that is simply sitting on the sand and one that is tending eggs or a nest or young.
You know you’ve entered a nesting area when large groups or individual birds vocalize loudly, dive-bomb your head, or feign injury to lead you away from their nests. If this happens, back away and share the beach so the birds can successfully rear their young.
Ray said that there are special concerns for different regions of the country.
American Oystercatcher chicks under the watchful eye of an adult. © Michael Stubblefield
American Oystercatcher chicks under the watchful eye of an adult. © Michael Stubblefield
Gulf Coast:
Along the Gulf Coast, you will find Least Terns and Black Skimmers, which nest in colonies. Wilson’s and Snowy plovers and American Oystercatchers can also be found, but tend to be spread out in more isolated single-pair territories along the coast.
ABC is leading a Gulf Coast conservation effort that is working to identify and implement protective measures for vulnerable beach-nesting birds such as Least Terns, Black Skimmers, and Snowy and Wilson’s plovers. The project utilizes expertise not only from ABC, but from partners throughout the Gulf region, including the Florida Park Service, Pinellas County in Florida, St. Petersburg Audubon Society, National Audubon Society, and Houston Audubon, among others.
Funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the project focuses on protecting and monitoring beach-nesting bird habitat in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. It also includes statewide public awareness campaigns in Texas and Louisiana asking boaters, fishermen, and other recreationists to “Fish, Swim, and Play from 50 Yards Away” from birds nesting on islands and beaches. Regional partners in this effort include Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, Voice of the Wetlands, and Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program.
It takes a lot of feet on the ground to raise awareness about birds nesting and raising their young on beaches. ABC and its partners are working in the Tampa Bay region, throughout the Florida Panhandle, in Grand Isle, Louisiana and all up and down the Texas coast to help these birds and their young,” said Ray.
"Most beach-nesting birds have eggs and young that are cryptically colored to blend in with sand and gravel, and can be hard to see until it is too late" Ray said. An example is this well-camouflaged Least Tern chick, which waits for its sibling to hatch.  © Delaina Le Blanc
“Most beach-nesting birds have eggs and young that are cryptically colored to blend in with sand and gravel, and can be hard to see until it is too late” Ray said. An example is this well-camouflaged Least Tern chick, which waits for its sibling to hatch.
© Delaina Le Blanc
Atlantic Coast:
The federally threatened Piping Plover can be found on Atlantic Coast beaches extending from North Carolina to Maine. They are especially concentrated along the northeastern coast — notably along the beaches of Long Island, New York, and the southern Delmarva Peninsula, Maryland. Other species include the Least Tern, Black Skimmer, American Oystercatcher, and Wilson’s Plover.
Black Skimmers nest in the Gulf region, along the Atlantic Coast, and in southern California. © Michael Stubblefield
Black Skimmers nest in the Gulf region, along the Atlantic Coast, and in southern California.
© Michael Stubblefield
Pacific Coast:
Western beaches host populations of the federally threatened “Western” Snowy Plover, endangered “California” Least Tern, and the Black Oystercatcher (which is more frequently found on rocky, rather than sandy, beaches). While the terns tend to be colonial in their nesting habits, the plovers are more spread out, often favoring sites where rivers enter the ocean.
Ray said that most nesting birds tend to use higher parts of the beach away from the surf, so it should be possible to avoid conflict with beach users so long as people remain close to the water and way from the dunes or higher areas.

 

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement.

The future of Beach-nesting Birds is under a cloud

Written by Grainne Maguire/BirdLife Australia
The future of BirdLife Australia’s Beach-nesting Birds Program is currently facing uncertain times. We were unsuccessful in the first stage Expression of Interest for the latest round of Caring for Our Country funding. This has left us shocked that the Federal Government could cut loose a program that has been so active and successful around the Australian coast — a program where results are obvious, projected outcomes are consistently met or exceeded, and where you actually get a sense that you are making the world a better place. Without wanting to sound ungrateful for the wonderful support we have received from the Federal Government, we were surprised that they let something build positive momentum and widespread community support and then cut it off mid-journey.
Hooded Plover with chicks. © Glenn Ehmke
Hooded Plover with chicks. © Glenn Ehmke
While the program appeared to be a perfect fit with one of the key target areas in this cycle of Caring for Our Country funding — the Australian Coast — the lack of recognition of any resident shorebirds as nationally significant species has let them down. The irony is that the EPBC Act has greater powers for protecting migratory species than it does for shorebirds which live only in Australia, mainly due to international agreements. For the Hooded Plover, the lack of recognition of their nationally threatened status, and the political nature of EPBC Act listings has meant that they aren’t on the list. We don’t have nearly enough information on the Beach Stone-curlew to confidently state whether this species is in trouble or not — we certainly know it is threatened in NSW and Qld, and that the supposed strongholds on Cape York, offshore islands and the Top End aren’t as pristine or resilient as we thought.
And yet, to our knowledge, these issues are not on the Government’s radar as a concern, and are really only half-heartedly being addressed by state and regional agencies due to resourcing issues.
Without the Beach-nesting Birds program, we are likely to lose our voice and our connection across the nation. Because these birds are highly dispersed, their conservation requires a unified cross-border, multi-landmanager approach. As an NGO, we have the capacity to bring everyone together and, as scientists who are independent of politics, we have the know-how to identify priorities for conservation management and get them implemented.
The way the dogs should be controlled. Dogs off leads increases chick mortality. © Glenn Ehmke
The way the dogs should be controlled. Dogs off leads increases chick mortality. © Glenn Ehmke

BirdLife Australia is putting together a crisis appeal which can be reached at http://www.savethebirds.org.au/. For more information please contact Grainne Maguire, Project Manager at hoodedplover@birdlife.org.au (Editor)