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Post-breeding migration of adult Spoon-billed Sandpipers

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Published
1 December 20

Authors
Qing Chang, Evgeny E. Syroechkovskiy, Guy Q.A. Anderson, Pyae-Phyo Aung, Alison E. Beresford, Kane Brides, Sayam U. Chowdhury, Nigel A. Clark, Jacquie A. Clark, Paul Howey, Baz Hughes, Paul Insua-Cao, Yifei Jia, Elena Lappo, Katherine K.S. Leung, Egor Y. Loktionov, Jonathan Martinez, David S. Melville, James Phillips, Chairunas Adha Putra, Pavel S. Tomkovich, Ewan Weston, Jenny Weston, Nikolay Yakushev, Rhys E. Green

DOI
10.18194/ws.00201

Correspondence
Rhys E. Green
reg29@cam.ac.uk
RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL, UK
Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK

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Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpipers Calidris pygmaea migrate from their breeding grounds in Arctic and subarctic Russia along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway to winter in coastal habitats in south-east Asia. To describe the use of migration stopover and wintering sites during the post-breeding migration, we tracked six adults equipped with solar-powered Platform Transmitting Terminals (PTTs) on the breeding grounds and a further seven adults tagged at a post-breeding moulting site in Jiangsu Province, China. We identified 28 clusters of sites in all, of which nine appeared to be of special importance for refuelling for onward migration, or the post-breeding moult of flight feathers. In particular, we identified three sites in Russia that were used by tagged birds for prolonged periods of time prior to long migratory movements to the moulting grounds (Perevalochni Bay, Moroshechnaya River and Tyk Bay), three sites used during the period of flight-feather moult (Rongmae Mudflat in DPRK; Tiaozini and Yangkou in Jiangsu Province, China) and three stopover sites used for long periods followed by long onward flights after the moult of flight feathers (Shanghai Chongming Dongtan and Nandu Estuary, Leizhou in China; Ha Nam Island in Vietnam). In addition, wintering areas of eight tagged birds were identified, of which three were in China (Xitou Yangxi, Guankoudu Zhaoan and Xichang Hepu), one in Vietnam (Ha Nam Island), one in Myanmar (Gulf of Mottama), two in Bangladesh (Jahajja Char North and an area nearby) and one in Indonesia (Northern Sumatra). Ten of the 28 stopover and wintering sites identified have statutory protection.