WildSounds, the leading international wildlife book and sound guide supplier, has become the latest Species Champion to support the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme, it was announced today by Martin Davies and Tim Appleton MBE, co-organisers of The British Birdwatching Fair.
Furthering their long term commitment to environmental causes, WildSounds has now stepped forward to ‘champion’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus.
“We are privileged to become a BirdLife Species Champion and help bring attention to the plight of Spoon-billed Sandpiper”, said Duncan Macdonald, Managing Director of WildSounds.
Populations of this wader have crashed over the last decade, and recent surveys of its breeding grounds in the remote Russian province of Chukotka by RBCU (BirdLife in Russia) suggest that the situation is now absolutely critical. Dr Evgeny Syroechkovsky of RBCU and Dr Christoph Zöckler of ArcCona Consulting will be attending the Birdfair Opening Ceremony on August 15 to present their latest findings.
Macdonald continued, “Conservation is our social responsibility and we fully support BirdLife International in helping the Spoon-billed Sandpiper back from the edge of extinction.”
“WildSounds is becoming a Species Champion in the nick of time for Spoon-billed Sandpiper”, said Jim Lawrence, the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme Development Manager. “If we are to save this species, people and governments throughout the bird’s range should follow WildSounds’ lead and take action now.”
The British Birdwatching Fair, better known as Birdfair, is helping raise funds to prevent extinctions again through this year’s event, which takes place from Friday August 15 to Sunday August 17 at Rutland Water. Birdfair is the first Global Programme Sponsor of the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme and has committed its entire profits from 2007, 2008 and 2009 to the cause. Birdfair are aiming to beat the record amount of £226,000 ($500,000) they raised in 2007 and expect more than 20,000 people to contribute by visiting the fair over the three days.
BirdLife International launched the Preventing Extinctions Programme at the 2007 Birdfair in an attempt to save all 190 of the world’s Critically Endangered birds from extinction. With more than 100 International Partners, BirdLife is ideally placed to work across borders and beyond politics in undertaking what has been described as “the biggest and most wide-ranging bird conservation programme the world has ever seen”.
To do this, BirdLife International are appointing individuals and organisations best placed to carry out the recovery of threatened species as official Species Guardians at the same time as recruiting companies, institutions and individuals as Species Champions to provide the funds necessary to pay for this urgent work.
Many generous donors have already joined the growing community of BirdLife Species Champions but more are urgently needed, so Birdfair is drawing attention to the search by highlighting a ‘Super Six’ Critically Endangered Species in 2008 - Azores Bullfinch, Araripe Manakin, Tuamotu Kingfisher, Sociable Lapwing, Dwarf Olive Ibis and Spoon-billed Sandpiper. BirdLife International has plans in place to save them all and the work is ready to begin as soon as ‘Species Champions’ can be found to fund the essential conservation required. There was good news for the first of the ‘Birdfair Super Six’ when Birdwatch magazine announced it would ‘champion’ Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula murina back in January. Their funds are already helping urgent conservation work taking place in the Azores through BirdLife’s Portuguese Partner SPEA.
Now, another species is to benefit and hopefully, some good news for the other Birdfair Super Six Species can also be announced at Birdfair.
Copyright, Image from BirdLife International, by John O'Sullivan/RSPB