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Sonadia deep seaport

Spoon-billed Sandpiper to face extinction

By UNB, DHAKA
10th-May-2014       
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The Spoon-billed sandpiper, a critically endangered species of migratory birds, will face extinction losing their habitats if the government establish a deep seaport at the Sonadia Island, as planned.
"There are only about 200 pairs of the critically endangered spoon-billed sandpipers around the world right now while about 50 pairs of spoon-billed sandpipers was seen in Sonadia Island last winter," birds expert of IUCN Bangladesh ABM Sarowar Alam Dipu told UNB.  Contd He said, this particular bird species breed in Russia and they travel to Sonadia Island in Cox's Bazar during winter every year to avoid heavy cold and get a suitable habitat with plenty of food.
Sarowar Alam said that if the spoon-billed sandpipers flock in the island, they will see their habitat is lost due to construction of a deep seaport and other development activities. They will not be able to return home in Russia safely as the birds will not find sufficient food to store energy for flying a long distance.
"The malnourished birds will die during their return. If the habitats of the birds are destroyed, they will face extinction globally," he said.
Sonadia is a small island of about 9 square kms off the Cox's Bazar coast in Chittagong Division and a unique habitat of migratory shorebirds, including spoon-billed sandpiper.
Dr Tapan Kumar Dey, conservator of forest (Wildlife Circle), said the Sonadia Island is a habitat of the spoon-billed sandpiper and the forest department is always against the move of setting up a deep seaport in the island. "As a member of wildlife circle, I feel it."
He said, the Forest Department has a plan to bring the Sonadia Island under the marine protection. "I hope, the Sonadia will be announced as a marine protected area soon."
The spoon-billed sandpiper is a migrant shorebird that breeds in the Russian Arctic centred on the coast of the Chukotsk Peninsula. It is known to winter in intertidal habitats in South-East and South Asia where the largest wintering concentrations have been recorded both historically and in recent years.

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