Sandpiper chicks have died in captivity. The birds died in an effort to breed them. To ensure that they would not go extinct.
This makes the deaths of the chicks sad and tragic. It is a huge set back for one of the world's rarest birds.
This type of Sandpiper is called a Spoonbilled Sandpiper. They are Critically Endangered. Which means that the animal is close to extinction. How close? Bird Life International estimates that there are only between 200 and 400.
Another wildlife charity, the RSPB found in 2010 that the Spoonbilled Sandpiper was declining 26% every year. They estimated that if the trend kept continuing, we would lose the Spoonbilled Sandpiper in 10 years.
Efforts to breed this bird are encouriging. It is also essential to their survival.
What is not so encouraging is the news of these two chicks death.
It is sad for the animals. Ad, it is sad for conservation efforts to save these birds.
Perhaps future attempts to save the bird will be more successful.
The conservation effort was carried out by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. A charity which aims to protect wetlands. And rare wetlands birds.
This is the first that anyone has tried to breed this species of bird. Perhaps this is, or partly the reason why the chicks did not make it - due to inexperience.
However, they do not know what killed the birds. So, it may have been a natural cause of death. The wildlife charity will be carrying out postmortems o both of the chicks to determine the cause of death.