Populations of one of the world?s strangest birds have crashed over the last decade, and surveys this summer of its breeding grounds in the remote Russian province of Chukotka suggest that the situation is now critical. The charismatic, and rather aptly named, Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus, is now worryingly close to becoming extinct. With only 200-300 pairs left, conservationists are calling for urgent help to tackle the decline.

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