Black-faced Spoonbills breed between March and September on small islands along the western coast of the Korean Peninsular to Liaoning Province, China. The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea where human access is restricted is the biggest and most successful breeding area.
In winter, Black-faced Spoonbill migrate southward to their wintering grounds. Confirmed wintering sites include: coastal areas in Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. Taiwan and the Pearl River Delta area (Mai Po & Inner Deep Bay, Futian Nature Reserve and Macau) are the main wintering sites of Black-faced Spoonbill; together they support over 60% of the wintering population.
Threats & Action
The Black-faced Spoonbill is only found in East Asia and, with an estimated world population of just 3,941 individuals, is classified as a globally ‘endangered' species under the IUCN’s Red List. Each year only 30 or so pairs are known to breed.
With such a small global population, Black-faced Spoonbill is inherently vulnerable to extinction. Its survival is strongly dependant upon the continued preservation and security of their main breeding grounds, availability of unpolluted coastal wetlands abundant with food in their known wintering range, and avoidance of potentially deadly diseases or infections.
On average, 20% of the global Black-faced Spoonbill population in any given year can be found wintering in Hong Kong. The Mai Po gei wai are the core roosting site for Black-faced Spoonbill, and these areas act as a central point for birds to disperse and feed. As such, WWF’s management of Mai Po plays a key role in maintaining a vital habitat for this species.