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SYSU students won the 2017 CLP Team Awards

Last updated :2017-04-25

Source: School of Life Sciences
Written by: School of Life Sciences
Edited by: Wang Dongmei

The Conservation Leadership Program (CLP) announced the winners of the 2017 CLP Team Awards on April 11, 2017. A student team from Sun Yat-sen University led by Chengyi Liu, a junior from School of Life Sciences, is the only one Chinese student team among all 19 winners. Their project aims at the conservation of spoon-billed sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea) in Leizhou Peninsula, China. It is also the second time for students from Sun Yat-sen University to obtain project funding from CLP.

Spoon-billed sandpiper (photo by Chao Xing)
Spoon-billed sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea, hereafter “SBS”) is one of the most endangered bird species around the world. Since it is a long-distance migrant, the protection of key stopover sites along its migratory route is critically important for its conservation. According to recent studies, Leizhou Peninsula supports a considerable number of wintering SBSs, up to 4% to 8.6% of the estimated world population in 2016, which makes it the biggest wintering area of SBS in China. However, basic knowledge of their wintering ecology in this area is still insufficient. More seriously, its population and habitats may be threatened by habitat loss and illegal poaching. Therefore, a complete survey on its population and habitats in Leizhou Peninsula is of great significance for its conservation.

Fieldwork (photo by Xuecong Zhang)
The student team is mainly made up of juniors and seniors from the Avian Ecology and Evolution Group at Sun Yat-sen University. With Chengyi Liu as the team leader, there are 6 team members — Leyi Su, Xia Zhan, Xin Lin, Nan Zhang, Xuecong Zhang and Qin Huang. Under the guidance of Dr. Yang Liu and Dr. Fangyuan Hua, they will conduct investigations on the wintering distribution, population number and ecology of the SBS in Leizhou Peninsula as well as raise conservation awareness of local communities, aiming to emphasize the importance of SBS conservation in Leizhou Peninsula.
Wintering Spoon-billed sandpipers (photo by Chengyi Liu)
Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) was initiated in 1985 by three international nature conservation organizations, including BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International and Wildlife Conservation Society. The program focuses on supporting young conservationists by sponsoring their conservation projects in their own countries to improve their abilities, and thus facilitates the conservation of global biodiversity.