Myanmar 2017-2018

Spoon-billed Sandpiper Surveyors, Gulf of Martaban (2010). Photo credit: Graham Chisholm

Spoon-billed Sandpiper Surveyors, Gulf of Martaban (2010). Photo credit: Graham Chisholm


Surveying for Spoon-billed Sandpiper
in the Tanintharyi region of
southern Myanmar 

In December 2017, BCF made a grant of $4,900 to the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) to support Spoon-billed Sandpiper surveys in the mangroves and mudflats of the Taninthary region in southern Myanmar. 

Spoon-billed Sandpiper is a critically endangered sandpiper that winters in southern Asia. BANCA has worked closely with the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Task Force to identify winter sites in Myanmar, and where bird hunting and bird trapping is occurring, working with the local community to mitigate the threat to Spoon-billed Sandpipers.  
The surveys brought together a team of local conservationists (Shane Thu Lwin, U Soe Naing), BANCA (Phyloay and others) and members of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Task Force. The surveys were conducted in November and December 2017 for a duration of three weeks. The surveys were also an opportunity to train conservationists in surveying techniques as well as how best to mitigate threats of bird hunting and trapping. Each survey team had at least one person skilled in community relations to explore the scale of hunting.

In addition to Spoon-billed Sandpiper, other endangered species such as Nordmann’s Greenshank and Great Knot were also surveyed. In addition, the area has been noted for holding significant numbers of globally near threatened Eurasian Curlew (>1400).


Survey of Hunting mitigation and mitigation

BANCA has been amassed a huge wealth of experience in identifying and addressing the hunting of shorebirds.

BANCA staff will conduct the bird hunting assessment at two villages during the survey trip. At the same time or soon after Local Conservation Groups will be formed in key villages accompanied by training in bird watching, education and awareness activities. (During the trip, BANCA will contribute about the benefit of Spoon-billed Sandpiper and the benefit of Ramsar sites for the local communities through new LCGs).

After the conducting the hunting assessment, BANCA and new LCGs will follow up monitoring and provide alternative livelihoods if needs. LCG and local community leader will be regular visits at the local market to check bird selling issues and inform to local authority and BANCA. Several follow up visit are anticipated.

Outcome:  Effective shore birds conservation through creation of LCGs and improve awareness. The project is part of a wider scope in collaboration with FFI and other organisations to designate the area as Ramsar site and establish a Biosphere Reserve.

Myanmar 2017. Photo credit: Aaron Maizlish