Protecting the Home of Endangered Species

January 1, 2018

A Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Lime05, banded in Chukotka, Russia and recorded at Rudong, China. Photo Credit: Mr. Eugene Cheah

(Originally published on 04/30/2017)

Jiangsu, April 20 -- To assist Rudong county government on designating Xiaoyangkou mudflat as a protected area for Spoon-billed Sandpiper, a critically endangered species, and other waterbird species, UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) Phase II Project Chief Technical Adviser Yinfeng Guo and experts from the State Oceanic Administration conducted a field visit in Rudong County.

Rudong Mudflat is a staging site along the eastern line of East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) and habitat for Spoon-billed Sandpiper. It was once recorded that there were 143 spoon-billed sandpipers in that area, accounted for about 40% of the global population of the species. In addition to that, ten threatened species of water birds and 32 species of water birds whose population has reached 1% of global population are also recorded in the Rudong Mudflat, according to by Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resource Research of Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGSNRR/CAS).

According to the regulation on the protection and usage of coastlines passed in March, 2017, coastlines play core role in the national ecological security. As partnering countries of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), China and the Republic of Korea have paid great heed to the conservation of migratory water birds, in particular in the Yellow sea area. The State Oceanic Administration of China has identified a “red line” for strictly protected coastline areas. Xiaoyangkou area of Rudong County was scaled to the restricted coastal development areas in late 2016.

With the aim to help countries bordering Yellow Sea to implement the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Strategic Action Programme (YSLME SAP), addressing the increasing trends of depleting fish stocks, loss of coastal wetland, land and sea-based pollution, UNDP has been working on preparing the implementation of the GEF YSLME Phase II Project, a four-year initiative jointly participated by China and RO Korea with support of DPR Korea. The Project will also work on strengthening the effectiveness of the marine protected area (MPA) network for endangered and threatened marine mammals, fish spawning and nursery grounds, cold water mass and endangered migratory waterbirds.