Globally threatened shorebirds of Nijhum Dwip National Park and management implications
244 – 251
1 December 20
Sayam U. Chowdhury, Mohammod Foysal, Omar Shahadat, Nazim Uddin Prince, Samiul Mohsanin, Md. Taijul Islam
Sayam U. Chowdhury
Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project, 16/C Tallabag, Sobhanbag, Mohammadpur Dhaka 1207,
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The geographical position of Bangladesh intersects two major flyways and encompasses the highly productive Meghna Estuary, which holds globally-important populations of many threatened shorebird species including the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea, and the Endangered Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer and Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris. The Nijhum Dwip National Park and surrounding islands in the south-central coast of Bangladesh are well known as an important site for waterbirds. We studied the waterbird assemblage and site-use in the winters of 2009–2011 and 2018–2020. We recorded a total of 58 waterbird species including 13 that are classified as globally threatened or Near Threatened. Annual numbers varied with the lowest count of 5,337 waterbirds in December 2011 and highest of 12,898 in February 2020. Our observations suggest that the total number of waterbirds in the area has increased by 37% since 2009 and that it continues to support the Spoon-billed Sandpiper. We have identified the key sites used by waterbirds within our study area, summarized emerging threats (e.g. accidental bycatch of shorebirds in fishing gear) and recommended management interventions. We also emphasize that formal protected area status will be insufficient to protect this internationally important waterbird site. An evidence-based management plan with support of local stakeholders will be crucial to achieve long-term conservation and management goals for globally threatened waterbirds.