Our Shared Heritage: Arctic-breeding birds in the Yellow Sea

Priority conservation objectives and actions

Objective 1: Identify and secure important breeding and staging habitats of key AMBI-EAAF migratory bird species in Arctic Russia and Alaska, with a focus on Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit, Red Knot, Dunlin, Emperor Goose and Brant Goose.

  • Action 1: Improve conservation work on Spoon-billed Sandpiper (SBS) and other AMBI priority species in the breeding grounds.
  • Action 2: Identify important breeding and staging areas in coastal areas of Russia for AMBI priority species, and where possible encourage and assist their nomination as EAAF Partnership Network Sites with follow-up conservation actions.
  • Action 3: Undertake bird surveys and tracking studies to improve knowledge of important breeding and staging sites for priority species in Alaska.
  • Action 4: Protect previously identified important breeding and staging areas.
  • Action 5: Share experience and methodologies for surveying shorebird distribution, monitoring population size and trends, conducting demographic studies, and managing habitats of priority species and other migratory birds.

Objective 2: Secure intertidal and associated habitat for AMBI priority species at key staging and wintering sites in the EAAF.

  • Action 1: Ensure improvement of protection of the Russian Far East coastal shorebird stopover sites.
  • Action 2: Gather better information on the abundance, distribution and habitat use of Dunlin and Bar-tailed Godwits at spring and fall staging sites in Alaska.
  • Action 3: Enhance protection of Jiangsu Coast ecosystem, especially the Rudong and Dongtai areas for Spoon-billed Sandpiper and other Arctic-breeding shorebirds considering World Heritage Site Nomination requirements.
  • Action 4: Enhance protection of the Luannan Coast especially Nanpu, Tangshan for Red Knot and other Arctic-breeding shorebirds.
  • Action 5: Enhance protection at Yalu Jiang, Liaoning for Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Great Knot and other Arctic shorebirds.
  • Action 6: Increase knowledge of key staging and wintering Arctic-breeding shorebirds sites in southern China (Guangdong, Guangxi and Fujian provinces) and improve conservation status of these sites.
  • Action 7: Support efforts to reverse declining trends of AMBI priority species (SBS, Great Knot, Dunlin and other) and improve habitat conservation along the flyway through sharing knowledge and international cooperative projects.
  • Action 8: Promote the importance of conserving Korea’s remaining intertidal shorebird zones for the protection of Arctic-breeding and other migratory waterbirds including the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Great Knot, and Dunlin
  • Action 9: Encourage the Governments of China and Republic of Korea to develop measures to address Spartina to protect high ecological value sites for AMBI priority species to ensure meeting the criteria of World Heritage Site nomination.
  • Action 10: Seek China and the Republic of Korea AMBI focal points to develop Resolutions of Cooperation with CAFF Secretariat to guide future cooperation.
  • Action 11: Encourage utilizing the ASEAN Flyway Network (ASEAN AFN) as a platform to engage ASEAN Member States to mainstream AMBI priorities to promote conservation of wetlands and migratory waterbirds. Explore the possibility of collaborating with ASEAN AFN on a key wetland site conservation program.
  • Action 12: Further develop dialogue to promote cooperation on the conservation of Arctic-breeding migratory birds in the EAAF with a focus on selected priority actions identified within this workplan, including conservation of AMBI priority species in Japan and in the flyway, building on existing bilateral migratory bird agreements.
  • Action 13:  Work with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bombay Natural History Society and other relevant Indian institutions to assess the status and trends of AMBI priority species and promote conservation measures
  • Action 14: Explore the possibilities for a collaborative pilot project on Spartina control, with CAFF’s Arctic Invasive Alien Species Action Plan International Coordinating Group (ARIAS ICG) and other partners.
  • Action 15: Cooperate on a satellite tracking program for key migratory waterbird species within the EAAF.
  • Action 16: Cooperate with relevant governments and other partners to extend the African-Eurasian Critical Site Network Tool 2.0 (CSN2.0) to the EAAFP to develop, improve and promote the accessible inventory of nationally and internationally important coastal and inland sites for Arctic breeding waterbirds along the flyway.

Objective 3: Prevent illegal hunting and regulate unsustainable legal harvest of Arctic migratory birds along the flyway, with a focus on Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Bar-tailed Godwit, and other priority species.

  • Action 1: Support development and implementation of national and regional strategies and action plans for the elimination of illegal harvest of birds in Russia.
  • Action 2: Conduct outreach, assess the magnitude and impacts of legal subsistence harvest on priority birds in Alaska, with a focus on Emperor Goose and Bar-tailed Godwits.
  • Action 3: Support development and implementation of national and regional strategies, action plans and implementation activities for the elimination of poaching of birds in China.
  • Action 4: Work with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, Bombay Natural History Society and other Indian ministries and research institutions to promote AMBI work and address illegal hunting issues
  • Action 5: Engage with the EAAFP and the CMS Task Forces on Illegal Killing/Hunting, Taking and Trade of Birds to develop implementation of actions to address this threat to migratory Arctic-breeding birds
  • Action 6: Work to curb the use of equipment for illegally captured birds
  • Action 7: Raise the profile of illegal hunting, taking and trade of migratory Arctic birds by linking it to broader forums and discussions on illegal wildlife trade, the bushmeat trade, and wildlife crime discourse in CBD, CITES and other relevant organizations.
  • Action 8: Support an illegal hunting technical workshop to share expertise and address illegal hunting along the flyway.
  • Action 9: Develop or support monthly mist net surveys and removal activities in key Spoon-billed Sandpiper sites, using the positive experiences in China as an example.
  • Action 10: Initiate a research project on human dimension in bird poaching mitigation along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway considering cultural traditions and Traditional Knowledge
  • Action 11: Work to assess legal and illegal Emperor Goose harvest in Russia and Alaska to develop a consistent Beringia-wide legal framework for the management and long-term sustainability of the species.
  • Action 12: Prioritise conservation of Eastern and Central Asian populations of Lesser White-fronted Goose (LWFG) and reverse their declining trends.

Objective 4: Work with partners to increase the number and quality of population estimates of Arctic- breeding waterbirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway

  • Action 1: Work with partners such as EAAF Partnership, Wetlands International and other partners to improve population estimates for AMBI priority species by supporting collation of up-to-date information on estimates and trends.
  • Action 2:  Cooperate with partners such as the EAAF Partnership Waterbird Monitoring Task Force, Wetlands International, BirdLife International and the Global Flyway Network to strengthen monitoring of Arctic-breeding migratory waterbirds along the flyway, particularly in the Yellow Sea and Southeast Asia.

Objective 5: Address other threats to Arctic migratory birds along EAAF and improve international cooperation

  • Action 1: Analyse and assess high-income-country development aid funding structures and opportunities to help identify how AMBI can support conservation of important priority species’ habitats, and alternative livelihoods of coastal communities where illegal hunting pressures exist.
  • Action 2: Initiate work on evaluation of the effect of contaminants on Arctic-breeding migratory birds as factor possibly decreasing their survival and reproduction potential and estimate bio-transition of them along the flyway to the Arctic.
  • Action 3: Promote cooperation between EAAFP’s Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force and AMBI in addressing Spoon-billed Sandpiper conservation activities identified in this workplan.
  • Action 4: Create an intervention tool box to ensure resilience of Arctic-breeding migratory birds along East Asian-Australasian Flyway with the involvement of Arctic Council Observer countries as recommended by the draft AMBI crosswalk analysis under the PSI funded project.


Priority species in the 2019-2023 work plan

Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Photo: Chris Miller
Spoon-billed sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea)
Dunlin: shellgame/Flickr Creative Commons 2.0
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
Great knot: ken/Flickr Creative Commons 2.0
Great knot (Calidris tenuirostris)
Red knot: Morten Ekker
Red knot (spp. rogersi and piersmai)
Bar-tailed Godwit: USFWS/Flickr Creative Commons 2.0
Bar-tailed godwit (spp. baueri, anadyrensis  and mensbeiri)

Curlew Sandpiper. Photo: Imran Shah/Flickr cc 2.0
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)

Lesser White-fronted Goose. Photo: Morten Ekker
Lesser White -fronted Goose (Anser erythropus)
 Emperor Goose. Photo: Kristine Sowl/USFWS
Emperor Goose (Anser canagica)
Pacific Brant Goose. Photo: USFWS
Brant Goose (Branta bernicla nigricans)


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