EI in the UAE: a story of one Great Knot

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Earlier this year you may remember Dmitry Dorofev and Oscar Campbell wrote a guest blog about the sighting of a colour-ringed Great Knot observed in the United Arab Emirates. On 20 January 2017, Great Knot ‘EI’ was located and photographed amongst a small flock of 20 Great Knots, at Khor al Beida, some 8300km from where it was originally ringed in Kamchatka, Russia. This resighting is of particular interest as it is the first confirmation obtained that Great Knots staging in Kamchatka reach as far west as the Arabian Gulf.

You can read about the project in the original blog post here: http://osme.org/content/russia-love-or-least-ring-kamchatka-great-knot-reaches-arabian-gulf

An interesting twist to the story is that one of the project funders that has supported the work in Kamchatka is the Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ), based in the UAE. The fund has so far awarded an incredible $15,495,036 to 1620 conservation projects around the globe.

The Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris has recently been up-listed to Endangered according to the IUCN red-list of threatened species based on a recent population decline of about 78% in the Australasian wintering population. Small numbers do winter in the Arabian Peninsula and the sighting of ‘EI’ has established for the first time a migratory link between the Russian Far East and the Middle East. A film crew from the local MBZ team and some of the local UAE ornithologists have recently made a short video telling the story of the globetrotting Great Knot affectionately known as ‘EI’

You can watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch

Further reading

Campbell, O & Hellyer, P (2015). A review of the status of Great Knot in the United Arab Emirates with, with comments on observations from a newly discovered wintering site. Tribulus 23: 107–110. Accessible at: http://www.uaebirding.com/Resources/Great_Knot_in_the_UAE.pdf

Dorofeev, DS & Kazansky, FV (2013). Post-breeding stopover sites of waders in the estuaries of the Khairusovo, Belogolovaya and Moroshechnaya rivers, western Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, 2010–2012. Wader Study Group Bull. 120(2): 119–123.

Accessible at: http://www.waderstudygroup.org/article/1802/

Header photo ©Oscar Campbell