From Wildlife Extra:
Indonesian rare bird is the unlikely beneficiary of avian flu research
Data about endangered greenshank’s distribution is vital for its future
June 2010: Over the past few years, health experts with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have caught, banded, and released thousands of wild birds around South East Asia in an effort to monitor bird populations for avian influenza viruses. These activities also produce another benefit: new information on rare bird species.
In Indonesia, WCS field teams recently gathered new data on the Nordmann’s greenshank – an endangered shorebird species with a total global population of only 500-1,000 – on the beaches of Jambi Province on the island of Sumatra. The shorebird is so rare that any new information on its distribution is vital to conservation plans for the species.
RARE: There are no more than 1,000 Nordmann’s greenshanks left in the wild
The findings are presented in the most recent edition of BirdingASIA, a journal published by the Oriental Bird Club, in an article by WCS’s Fransisca Noni Tirtaningtyas and Joost Philippa.
‘While our surveillance activities are mostly focused on testing birds for avian influenza as part of WCS’s ongoing health investigations, we can also fill gaps in our understanding of the migration range of many bird species,’ said Philippa, WCS field veterinarian and co-author on the paper. ‘Our research findings have applications for both health and conservation efforts alike.’
First time Nordmann’s greenshank has been caught and banded
Nordmann’s greenshank is a medium-sized shorebird that has been classified as Endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) since 1994 due to the development of coastal wetlands throughout its range. It breeds in eastern Russia, specifically along the coasts of the Sea of Okhotsk and Sakhalin Island. In South East Asia (the bird’s non-breeding range), Nordmann’s greenshank is rarely observed, and has never been caught and banded until now.
In order to ensure the survival of this species, it is important to preserve areas all along its migration route and in its wintering grounds: WCS’s newly collected data adds significantly to the knowledge on the migration patterns of this species and will help identify important sites which will need to be protected from development.