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Saving The Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Here's a question for you aspiring ornithologists out there. Why does the Spoon-billed Sandpiper have a spoon-shaped bill?

Give up?

Actually, that was a trick question. Nobody knows for certain why the Spoon-billed Sandpiper's bill looks like a spoon -- perhaps it's an adaptive advantage. But we'll never know for sure unless something is done soon to save it.

Currently, the World Conservation Union estimates there are only two- to three-hundred Spoon-billed Sandpipers left. Which represents a dramatic 70 percent reduction from the number that existed just a few years ago.

The rapid decline is attributed to a loss of breeding grounds in a remote Russian province, predation by foxes, harassment by humans and dogs. And, conversion of habitat along the migratory route to where they winter in South and Southeast Asia.

In response to the crisis, Birdlife International has launched the Preventing Extinctions Initiative to save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper. With it, they hope to find companies, institutions and individuals willing to help by becoming BirdLife Species Champions.

Care to join them?

If you said "yes," you answered correctly this time.

Script by Stephen Webb

Image courtesy of Christoph Zoekler

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