The spoon-billed sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea) is a critically endangered long-distance migrant shorebird. Vietnam used to be a feeding and resting site during migration months. However, the species’ population has dramatically declined due to climate change, habitat loss, and hunting.
Vietnam lies within the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot and East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) – one of the world’s great flyways of migratory birds. The 1,372 km2 UNESCO Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve in Vietnam contains four Key Biodiversity Areas, including one Ramsar site and one threatened Important Bird & Biodiversity Area (IBA in Danger).
Declines in migratory shorebirds have been largely attributed to habitat loss, while hunting has been often overlooked. In Vietnam, hunting is the most widespread pressure upon the country’s IBAs, and a survey conducted in 2021 revealed that Kim Son and Yen Mo Districts in Ninh Binh Province (within RRDBR) are hotspots for illegal bird hunting, with mist nets being the most popular hunting equipment. The total length of the net measured up to 94.2 km (approximately 58.41 miles, half the distance from New York City to Washington).
Aside from hunting, there is no community-based project focusing on bird conservation in Vietnam. This is why this project’s objectives are to:
- Empower local women to take the lead in bird conservation intervention in their communities
- Increase awareness of local communities to gradually change their attitude and behavior toward migratory bird conservation and human-wildlife coexistence.
Local women in Ninh Binh province, Viet Nam, will become leaders in bird migratory conservation and gradually increase the local community’s awareness, attitude, and behavior toward migratory birds. This project by WildAct Vietnam is vital, as it will contribute to recovering a healthy ecosystem in the RRDBR for humans and birds to coexist.