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Letter from International Black-faced Spoonbill coordinator, Yu Yat-Tung

Dear all,

I would like to report to you about the result of the 2009 International Black-faced Spoonbill Census as below:

South Korea; 25
Japan: 215
Mainland China and Hainan: 247
Taiwan: 1104
Deep Bay (HK and Shenzhen): 335
Macao: 52
Vietnam: 63

Total: 2041

All the above figures were collected in the period of 9-11 Jan 2009.

In addition, there were three birds from Thailand and one from the Philippines outside the census period.

Black-faced Spoonbill

The previous year's census (i.e. 2008) yielded a total of 2065 birds and so there is a small decrease of 1% to the known world population in this year, the first decrease since 1998-99. This result also stops the trend with an increasing rate of about 10% of the world known population.

Taiwan still hold the largest wintering flock and in fact there has an increase of 7% from the previous year (2008: 1030 birds). The biggest decrease is coming from Mainland China and Hainan from 313 birds to 247 birds, i.e. 20% decrease and the Deep Bay area also has a decrease of 9%.

I am not sure the reason of the decrease of the total world known population figure. We have quite high coverage in most of the wintering areas, except that no survey could take place in Jiangsu and Zhejiang (east China) and Guangxi (south China) in this year but there has not been reported with big numbers in the past. Dr. Lee Ki- Sup also thinks that the breeding was quite successful in South Korea in the summer 2008.

I am grateful to your participation to this census.

Thank you very much

Yat-tung YU
Hong Kong Bird Watching Society