Wader Conservation World Watch takes place next weekend


Shorebird charity Wader Quest is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, with its Wader Conservation World Watch event scheduled for next weekend [5-6 November].

Wader Quest was created in 2012 by Rick and Elis Simpson to raise money to help Spoon-billed Sandpiper. To do so they travelled the world to raise money, which was all donated to the WWT Spoon-billed Sandpiper captive breeding programme. Along the way, as they travelled, they discovered how extensive the woes of waders, or shorebirds, around the world really are and, when the project came to an end, instead of coming to an end it morphed in the charity it is today.

Wader Quest was initially formed to help raise funds for Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Jacques Cloutier).

Wader Quest is unusual in that it is entirely voluntary. Neither Rick nor Elis, nor any officials of the charity, are paid by Wader Quest. All proceeds from the three books written by Rick and Elis also go to Wader Quest.

The charity has two aims:

  1. To raise awareness about the challenges waders face in the modern world;
  2. To raise funds to support wader conservation initiatives worldwide, especially those involving locally led community projects.

The first is satisfied by attending events, the use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn) and talks given, and the second through subscription, donations and sales. Every penny of all subscriptions and donations go directly to wader conservation via a grants fund and 50% of all sales goes the same way, the remainder being used to generate more merchandising for later sale and the general expenses of the charity.

Each year, on the first weekend in November, Wader Quest organises a worldwide event called Wader Conservation World Watch. WCWW has been running for eight years already and is a celebration not just of waders, but also an acknowledgement of the people who do so much around the world to preserve and conserve this wonderful group of birds. 

This year WCWW9 will take place on the 5-6 November.

Rick Simpson said: "Every year we invite people wherever they happen to be in the world to go and look for waders and in doing so stand up and say 'I care' about what is happening to waders everywhere. Caring is the first step to conservation."

Birders are encouraged to go out and count waders over the weekend of 5-6 November, sharing their sightings with Wader Quest (Matthew Barfield).

Taking part is very simple. Go out and look for waders, and then let Wader Quest know what you saw, where, and with whom.

This can be done by email wcww@waderquest.net or by sharing your eBird trip report(s) with the charity's eBird account, WaderQuestTeam.

Wader Quest will then compile a roll of honour with the names of all participants worldwide, a global list of the species seen with details of what was seen where. The resulting newsletter will include stories from participants, their photographs, and a summary of some interesting sightings and events organised to celebrate waders.

The important thing to remember is that you can contribute as an individual or a group, quietly by yourself or organise an event and you don't have to live in a wader hot-spot to take part. Every year WCWW attracts nil returns from observers who have gone out and not found any waders at all.