Beijing: A spoon-billed sandpiper was spotted in south China's Hainan province this week, the third time the endangered bird has been seen on the tropical island.
Luo Lixiang with the Xinying Mangrove National Wetland Park photographed the sandpiper on Wednesday while he was patrolling the park. He did not notice the rare bird till he checked the photos later at night, Xinhua reported.
Spoon-billed sandpipers are listed as "critically endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
There are fewer than 200 spoon-billed sandpipers living in the wild due to environmental degradation, according to Lu Gang, an expert with Kadoorie Conservation China.
"Spoon-billed sandpipers migrate to wetlands in southeast Asia every spring and autumn, and during the course they make stops in China's Jiangsu, Hainan and Guangdong provinces," Lu said.
In 2009, English birdwatcher Paul I. Holt and his assistant found a spoon-billed sandpiper in Hainan's Haikou city, the first time it was spotted on the island.
Another spoon-billed sandpiper was spotted in Hainan two years later.