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First spoon-billed sandpiper chicks hatch in captivity (WWT)

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Old Saturday 16th July 2011, 14:33   #1
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First spoon-billed sandpiper chicks hatch in captivity (WWT)

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Old Sunday 17th July 2011, 14:36   #2
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fantastic news, and very important for this species survival

well done to wwt and rspb
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Old Sunday 17th July 2011, 20:15   #3
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very important for this species survival
or alternatively :

a) this is absolutely undoubtedly hastening the bird's extinction in the wild

b) this is releasing the pressure on the governments responsible for the bird's natural stop-off points as once SBS is extinct in the wild they can just say the magic words 'fait accompli' and carry on draining and developing at will

c) this is creating a dangerous precedent that could lead to other species being placed in peril as other governments will be busy scribbling the other magic words 'Slimbridge get-out clause' in their little black notebooks
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Old Sunday 17th July 2011, 22:59   #4
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Originally Posted by The_Partridge View Post
or alternatively :

a) this is absolutely undoubtedly hastening the bird's extinction in the wild

b) this is releasing the pressure on the governments responsible for the bird's natural stop-off points as once SBS is extinct in the wild they can just say the magic words 'fait accompli' and carry on draining and developing at will

c) this is creating a dangerous precedent that could lead to other species being placed in peril as other governments will be busy scribbling the other magic words 'Slimbridge get-out clause' in their little black notebooks
. . . so you'd rather wait until the 'politicians' (who they, by the way?) form a coherant survival strategy, tried and endorsed by other experts all dovetailed neatly to create a plan of action in aid of the sbs? Meanwhile - erm . . . they die out.
Back to the original responder; fantastic news and very important for this species survival.
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Old Monday 18th July 2011, 15:14   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Partridge View Post
or alternatively :

a) this is absolutely undoubtedly hastening the bird's extinction in the wild

b) this is releasing the pressure on the governments responsible for the bird's natural stop-off points as once SBS is extinct in the wild they can just say the magic words 'fait accompli' and carry on draining and developing at will

c) this is creating a dangerous precedent that could lead to other species being placed in peril as other governments will be busy scribbling the other magic words 'Slimbridge get-out clause' in their little black notebooks
i don't know why you have posted this reply, as it is mostly un true, un called for(i know how hard the wwt and rspb work to save the habitats and and the species that live in them and i think it is wrong for you to be putting them down like this, when all you can do is criticise.) and very negative
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Old Monday 18th July 2011, 16:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Partridge View Post
or alternatively :

a) this is absolutely undoubtedly hastening the bird's extinction in the wild

b) this is releasing the pressure on the governments responsible for the bird's natural stop-off points as once SBS is extinct in the wild they can just say the magic words 'fait accompli' and carry on draining and developing at will

c) this is creating a dangerous precedent that could lead to other species being placed in peril as other governments will be busy scribbling the other magic words 'Slimbridge get-out clause' in their little black notebooks
I completely disagree;

Captive breeding is always second best to keeping a species going in the wild and without conservation efforts aimed at habitat protection/restoration is going to be at best a way of buying time, however which would you rather have:

1) A wait-and-see approach of hoping that east Asian governments can get their act together and prioritise survival of a bird species over development (bearing in mind these countries include some who don't even put human rights of their own citizens ahead of development!). Hope habitat can be preserved and the species saved before it goes extinct with no hope of recovery.

OR

2) Try to establish a captive breeding programme to allow at least the continuation of the species in captivity so that whilst efforts at solving the root causes of the decline such as habitat loss are solved, the species can be safely preserved.

Congratulations to the WWT for their efforts; all you have to do is read the story of the mauritian kestrel to realise that sometimes captive breeding is vital to species survival.

Tom
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Old Monday 18th July 2011, 16:40   #7
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Originally Posted by Redshank3 View Post
I completely disagree;

Captive breeding is always second best to keeping a species going in the wild and without conservation efforts aimed at habitat protection/restoration is going to be at best a way of buying time, however which would you rather have:

1) A wait-and-see approach of hoping that east Asian governments can get their act together and prioritise survival of a bird species over development (bearing in mind these countries include some who don't even put human rights of their own citizens ahead of development!). Hope habitat can be preserved and the species saved before it goes extinct with no hope of recovery.

OR

2) Try to establish a captive breeding programme to allow at least the continuation of the species in captivity so that whilst efforts at solving the root causes of the decline such as habitat loss are solved, the species can be safely preserved.

Congratulations to the WWT for their efforts; all you have to do is read the story of the mauritian kestrel to realise that sometimes captive breeding is vital to species survival.

Tom
well said.
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Old Tuesday 19th July 2011, 21:27   #8
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Originally Posted by Redshank3 View Post
Congratulations to the WWT for their efforts; all you have to do is read the story of the mauritian kestrel to realise that sometimes captive breeding is vital to species survival.

Tom
something tells me the Mauritian Kestrel is an island endemic, thus absolutely irrelevant to a discussion about a long-distance migrating wader
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Old Tuesday 19th July 2011, 21:41   #9
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i don't know why you have posted this reply, as it is mostly un true, un called for(i know how hard the wwt and rspb work to save the habitats and and the species that live in them and i think it is wrong for you to be putting them down like this, when all you can do is criticise.) and very negative
I'm hardly the only one unhappy about this program accelerating the extinction of this species in the wild. I know people who are downright bloody livid about it. I'd be interested to see you argue that taking eggs from the wild is going to increase the numbers of birds in the wild. Go on, have a go. Not just you. Anyone, feel free. The floor is yours...

as for points 2 and 3, these were not statements of fact; just devil's advocate arguments, but ones which may well have some validity. How do you know I'm not right ? I'd suggest I'm very likely to be...

that's assuming these birds are ever released back in Chukotka or wherever at all and the Gods for a day don't fancy releasing them in the Western Pal in the hope they set up routes between the European Arctic and lets say Mauritania for the winter. Discuss...
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Old Tuesday 19th July 2011, 22:20   #10
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Originally Posted by The_Partridge View Post
I'm hardly the only one unhappy about this program accelerating the extinction of this species in the wild. .
The general consensus is that the bird will be extinct in the wild very soon anyway as the population decline has been so rapid. The choice was something like this:
(1) probably extinct in ten years in the wild and none in captivity or, take a hit on recruitment and..
(2) probably extinct very slightly quicker in the wild (let's say nine years) and lots in captivity.

Which would you choose?

cheers, alan
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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 05:20   #11
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We haven't been using this planet sustainably in so many ways.
Ecosystem management is key, captive breeding programs are a bit of a last chance, but it can work.
It's a relief to find a few people interested in this thread enough to voice an opinion. It's an indictment on our society that threads like the mega vagrants & "list of lists" rubbish get so much attention compared to this thread and real world issues.
Extinction is hard to accept though, much easier to tick off species for self gratification than get involved in the real world.
I've twitched, but through love of biodiversity, I'm now dedicated to conservation and sustainable food production, so good can come from twitching!
So many passionate twitchers ranting about their precious lists, while our precious biodiversity withers away, that's a bit depressing isn't it? More depressing to me than this thread, at least this has some relevance outside of selfish minds.
I think it's important news, but I bet a vagrant SBS in UK would get more attention and posts.
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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 09:54   #12
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Originally Posted by Si Clayton View Post
We haven't been using this planet sustainably in so many ways.
Ecosystem management is key, captive breeding programs are a bit of a last chance, but it can work.
It's a relief to find a few people interested in this thread enough to voice an opinion. It's an indictment on our society that threads like the mega vagrants & "list of lists" rubbish get so much attention compared to this thread and real world issues.
Extinction is hard to accept though, much easier to tick off species for self gratification than get involved in the real world.
I've twitched, but through love of biodiversity, I'm now dedicated to conservation and sustainable food production, so good can come from twitching!
So many passionate twitchers ranting about their precious lists, while our precious biodiversity withers away, that's a bit depressing isn't it? More depressing to me than this thread, at least this has some relevance outside of selfish minds.
I think it's important news, but I bet a vagrant SBS in UK would get more attention and posts.
Unfortunately I suspect you're correct, Simon. I can imagine the only real concerns the twitcheroos would have about the breeding programme would be if one of the subjects were to find itself 'on the outside' - crikey what a kerfuffle that would cause "Is it a genuine 'rare'?" - "could it have gotten here of its own accord?" and most importantly - "CAN I TICK IT?!!!!"
Anyway - I for one look forward to hopefully a successful programme and in the meantime I hope we can heed the concerns of Partridge's posts and crank up as much pressure as possible on those that can make an impact for good.
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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 12:13   #13
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Originally Posted by lewis20126 View Post
The general consensus is that the bird will be extinct in the wild very soon anyway as the population decline has been so rapid. The choice was something like this:
(1) probably extinct in ten years in the wild and none in captivity or, take a hit on recruitment and..
(2) probably extinct very slightly quicker in the wild (let's say nine years) and lots in captivity.

Which would you choose?

cheers, alan

firstly Alan, thanks for at least posting in your usual measured way and not seeing my moniker and replying to me in the same manner one might reply to the anti-Christ, just because I dare to give voice to an alternative opinion occasionally. At least in this thread I could understand things getting a little heated and good on Espen for giving a damn

and on to the main business...

I can't really answer your question. It's tantamount to asking me whether I'd rather step in terrier do'ins or hound do'ins (woofie types please don't respond to tell me a terrier IS a hound, or vice-versa, because I care not a jot)

to me, whichever way you look at it, we've failed and we will continue to fail. Extinction in the wild is extinction in my book. I can't fathom this idea that people are a bit selfish right now but if we keep these birds going in captivity then one day homo sapiens will see the light and we'll be able to release them all and everything will be happy ever after. Aint gonna happen. If we can't solve heavy predation of nests right now, why are we going to be able to solve it in 10 or 20 years ? Is development pressure going to decrease in the heavily-populated Asian countries housing SBS stopovers ? No, it's only going to get worse

I am inherently suspicious about man's God complex, believing that we can solve anything by chucking a bit of science at it. Not feeding the starving in Somalia though are we, but that's a separate story

my big concern with this is the precedent setting aspect. It's putting down a marker. What do we say in future when, faced with something else going down the tubes, some foreign government simply say "well why don't you stick them all in Slimbridge like you did with the Spoon-billed Sandpipers?"

is THAT the future for many of our species (avian or otherwise): a 'zoo' ? If so, shouldn't we be confronting the horror right now rather than hiding behind the comfort blanket of captive breeding programmes and telling each other it'll all be alright on the night ?

finally, going back to the playing God theme, I wouldn't be at all surprised if, come the glorious day, captive-reared Spoonies are released in the Western Pal, rather than their traditional range, on the basis of a network of reserves capable of providing stopovers, potential safe wintering grounds in somewhere like Banc d'Arguin, regional governments serving more enlightened populations with a far higher commitment to conservation etc. It's that element that I find most interesting at this point in time, as I haven't seen any previous discussion of it, and yet I can see it going that way, and while I wouldn't agree with it, from a conservation POV - which is what all this is supposed to be about - it would appear to tick a lot of boxes, at least to a layman like me

[sits down and shuts up for 5 minutes smilie]
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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 12:38   #14
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As the alpha species on the planet IMO homosapiens have a responsibility in general to safe guard the future of the other species on the planet wether they are birds, animals, plants ect.
So as it's humans that are the cause of the decline of SBS then it's even more important that we attempt to help out in what ever way we can. I think it's great that these efforts are being made to captive breed these enigmatic little waders & if they're saved, in the very long term, then that has to be good news.

Good luck to the team & well done for your efforts so far.

All the best,
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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 12:39   #15
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Extinction in the wild is extinction in my book.
It's not ideal, but there are some examples which do provide encouragement in respect of reintroduction. Clearly this is only appropriate where the threats in the baseline environment have been addressed. As you point out these will be immensely challenging in the case of the SBS, but perhaps not impossible. As Russia, China, India and parts of SE Asia become much wealthier, I think it is at least possible that new protected areas will be created (and protected) and hunting laws enforced sufficient to support the species.

A few examples of intensive management solutions which give some cause for optimism: California Condor, Whooping Crane, Chatham Island Robin, Mauritius Kestrel, Puaohi, Kapapo, Okarito Kiwi, Guam Rail, Lord Howe Rail, Spix's Macaw, Black Stilt. I'd agree, not many migratory shorebirds on that list...

cheers, alan
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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 13:15   #16
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to me, whichever way you look at it, we've failed and we will continue to fail. Extinction in the wild is extinction in my book. I can't fathom this idea that people are a bit selfish right now but if we keep these birds going in captivity then one day homo sapiens will see the light and we'll be able to release them all and everything will be happy ever after. Aint gonna happen. If we can't solve heavy predation of nests right now, why are we going to be able to solve it in 10 or 20 years ? Is development pressure going to decrease in the heavily-populated Asian countries housing SBS stopovers ? No, it's only going to get worse
Yes, you are right but do we just give up? Let's try to tackle this problem so that in 10 or 20 years it will be better, then you'll be glad we saved the SBS.

If we fail, then, we've lost nothing we weren't losing anyway.
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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 14:53   #17
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I'm hardly the only one unhappy about this program accelerating the extinction of this species in the wild. I know people who are downright bloody livid about it. I'd be interested to see you argue that taking eggs from the wild is going to increase the numbers of birds in the wild. Go on, have a go. Not just you. Anyone, feel free. The floor is yours...as for points 2 and 3, these were not statements of fact; just devil's advocate arguments, but ones which may well have some validity. How do you know I'm not right ? I'd suggest I'm very likely to be...

that's assuming these birds are ever released back in Chukotka or wherever at all and the Gods for a day don't fancy releasing them in the Western Pal in the hope they set up routes between the European Arctic and lets say Mauritania for the winter. Discuss...
ok... well, it isn't going to increase the numbers streight away but in the long term it could be a life saver for the species, unless the east asian governments get their acts together sharpish,also the eggs would most likely have been predated by introduced predatord such as dogs.
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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 14:56   #18
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[quote=The_Partridge;2198050]I'm hardly the only one unhappy about this program accelerating the extinction of this species in the wild. I know people who are downright bloody livid about it. I'd be interested to see you argue that taking eggs from the wild is going to increase the numbers of birds in the wild. Go on, have a go. Not just you. Anyone, feel free. The floor is yours...

as for points 2 and 3, these were not statements of fact; just devil's advocate arguments, but ones which may well have some validity. How do you know I'm not right ? I'd suggest I'm very likely to be...

that's assuming these birds are ever released back in Chukotka or wherever at all and the Gods for a day don't fancy releasing them in the Western Pal in the hope they set up routes between the European Arctic and lets say Mauritania for the winter. Discuss...[/QUOTE]

why would that have any less problems than their natural habitat?
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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 18:18   #19
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why would that have any less problems than their natural habitat?
see the last para of my 13:13er

if you're going to play God, you might as well go the whole hog ?

that raises questions like who 'owns' a species, but then that question has already been raised by WWT appearing to, at least in part. They now have a stock of 'biological capital'. Do they own these fledglings, legally ?
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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 20:33   #20
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For me saving this species is essential because a case for saving their habitat can be made to any non birder, show a non birder aphoto and they love 'em and it is non birders that need convincing. You couldn't do this with a pipit, saving SBS habbo wherever it is in the world will save birds in general. Well done to all concerned.
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