Specialist small-ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions offers ‘Siberia’s Forgotten Coast’ tour which explores Kamchatka’s remote coastline and supports the critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper. The company is delighted with the latest news that 22 healthy chicks have been released into the wild.
Heritage Expeditions Commercial Director & Expedition Leader Aaron Russ says, “Having supported conservation efforts for the spoon-billed sandpiper since 2011, we are thrilled to learn of this latest success, part of international efforts to help save this incredible wader from extinction.”
Of the 30 eggs collected from Arctic breeding grounds, 22 chicks were successfully reared in captivity before being released recently into their natural habitat of Meinypil'gyno, Russia.
The head of BirdsRussia, a Russian NGO committed to the Conservation and Study of Wild Birds, Dr Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, explains, “The birds are healthy. All 'wards' were provided with tags before release so they can be tracked along the migration routes, which began in early August. We followed them every day documenting who stayed, who has flown away and who is doing what. "
The international ‘head-starting’ project which aims to preserve and increase the bird population was launched nine years ago with the participation of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, British Royal Society for the Conservation of Birds and the International Spoon-Billed Sandpiper Task Force of the EAAFP and is supported by the Chukotka Government.
These iconic wading birds only breed in Chukotka and northern Kamchatka in the Far East of Russia, a remote, largely inaccessible region, making it difficult for researchers attempting to identify potential new breeding sites for the birds.
However Heritage Expeditions whose purpose-built expedition ships allow them to reach otherwise isolated and inaccessible locations, have been able to support SBS conservation efforts by providing transport for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force and BirdsRussia. This has enabled researchers to visit parts of the 4,500-kilometre coastline in search of breeding pairs and discover new breeding sites. The company has also delivered a new boat and quad bike to assist research and even transported spoon-billed sandpiper eggs and chicks bound for a conservation breeding facility.
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force Coordinator Dr Christoph Zöckler describes the partnership with Heritage Expeditions as a ground breaking example for future cooperation in modern conservation. "Nature conservation urgently needs more collaboration with tourists to enhance their efforts to save the ailing biodiversity on this planet. Our relationship with Heritage Expeditions is a win-win situation for both and an outstanding example of an effective relationship between a conservation group and the business sector."
Passengers who join the 14-day Siberia’s Forgotten Coast expedition will not only be able to view spoon-billed sandpipers in Meinypil’gyno the main breeding area in Chukotka, they will also have the chance to play an active role in locating breeding areas in locations never before surveyed.
Every day of the expedition reveals the richness and diversity of wildlife species. Highlights include the Commander Islands where sea otters, a variety of whale species and a plethora of sea birds from red-face cormorants to whiskered auklets may be seen, as well as the Govena Peninsula and the largely unknown Chukotka Coast, both of which are home to brown bears.
Heritage Expeditions’ next Siberia’s Forgotten Coast voyage departs from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy on 22nd June 2021. Prices from US$7380pp based on a triple share cabin and includes all meals during the voyage and expedition shore excursions.
Further information on spoon-billed sandpipers, visit: https://trips.heritage-expeditions.com/spoon-billed-sandpiper-conservation/
For further information on Siberia’s Forgotten Coast voyage, please visit: https://www.heritage-expeditions.com/destinations/russian-far-east-travel/siberia-kamchatka-cruise/
images © ACharles, ETan, CCollins, GBreton
Four of the greatest golf courses in Scotland's Kingdom of Fife
Crail Golfing Sociey
The clubhouse and two 18-hole courses occupy the easternmost tip of the East Neuk of Fife. The postition is fabulous, overlooking the Firth of Forth, Firth of Tay and the often grumpy North Sea. This, the world's seventh oldest golf club, was formed in 1786. Balcomie Links was first used in 1895 by Tom Morris who decided that 'there is not a better course in Scotland'. High praise indeed.
Scotscraig Golf Club
Situated ten miles north of St Andrews in the village of Tayport and established in 1817 at a time when there were only twelve other golf courses in existence. The present course was laid out by James Braid in the 1920s and is an interesting mix of links and parkland. Some say the 4th is one of Fife's most testing holes.
Lundin Golf Club
Founded in 1868 playing over land described then as 'benty, tussocky and ripe with whin'. Originally the links from Lundin to Leven between the old railway line and the Firth of Forth were shared between the golfers from the Leven Clubs and Lundin Golf Club. Each of the clubs started from their respective ends until 1908 when James Braid came to plan a new course. Lundin Golf Club is a participant in the final qualifying stages of the Open prior to its staging at St Andrews.
Ladybank Golf Club
In the sheltered Howe of Fife with the Lomond Hills to the south west, the course is one of Sotland's inland tracts consisting of heathland avenues delineated by Scots Pine, Silver Birch and heather. The standard of presentation is exceptional. Red squirrels live in the trees and golfers find it a peaceful place to play without distraction. Ladybank is another venue for final qualifying rounds before the Open.
More at Links with history
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I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and 12 x author. I'm published in national and regional papers / magazines.