The Eurasian Spoonbill International Expert Group
The Eurasian Spoonbill International Expert Group met on Friday 1st of October 2021 as part of the workshops that have been held every three years since 1992. This group is in charge of animating the International Action Plan for the protection of this emblematic wetland species. The Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) has suffered from the decline of wetlands, especially during the 20th century. Thanks to protection measures their numbers are increasing along the Atlantic coast and in the Mediterranean, but are decreasing in Southeast Europe and their threats are still present.
Virtual reunion this year
After the workshop that took place in Tunisia in 2018 the group had planned to meet in Croatia this year, however with the different health restriction preventing experts from numerous countries from participating it was decided to postpone the workshop to 2022. Jocelyn Champagnon, the group president and researcher at the Tour du Valat, along with Jelena Kralj of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts therefore organised this virtual exchange meeting.
35 participants from 16 different countries gathered and presented the status of Spoonbill populations in their respective countries. Among the threats to this species; power lines used in the development of offshore wind turbines, terrestrial predators, climate change and the reduction of wetlands along migratory flyway were discussed as well as human disturbances. Solutions were presented such as the use of electric fences to protect colonies from predators such as wild boars. Research studies are underway on this species, especially on their migration and the use of habitats during reproduction. They are being led, among others, by two Portuguese students including Hugo Ferreira who presented their project and their first results.
Contact: Jocelyn Champagnon, research scientist (email)
 Champagnon J., Pigniczki C., Kralj J. 2019. An overview of Eurasian Spoonbill trends. In: Champagnon, Jocelyn, Kralj J, editors. Proceedings of the IX Workshop of the AEWA Eurasian Spoonbill International Expert Group. Vol. 2.