Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed marine as Heteroscelus brevipes
Listed migratory - Bonn as Tringa brevipes, CAMBA as Tringa brevipes, JAMBA as Heteroscelus brevipes, ROKAMBA as Tringa brevipes
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Policy Statements and Guidelines Marine bioregional plan for the North-west Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012y) [Admin Guideline].
Draft Significant impact guidelines for 36 migratory shorebirds Draft EPBC Act Policy Statement 3.21 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2009aj) [Admin Guideline].
Draft background paper to EPBC Act policy statement 3.21 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2009bc) [Admin Guideline].
Shorebirds - A Vulnerability Assessment for the Great Barrier Reef (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), 2011i) [Admin Guideline].
Seagrass - A Vulnerability Assessment for the Great Barrier Reef (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), 2011k) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
List of Migratory Species (13/07/2000) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000b) [Legislative Instrument] as Tringa brevipes.
Declaration under section 248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of Marine Species (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000c) [Legislative Instrument] as Heteroscelus brevipes.
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - Listed Migratory Species - Approval of an International Agreement (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007h) [Legislative Instrument] as Tringa brevipes.
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - Update of the List of Migratory Species (12/03/2009) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009q) [Legislative Instrument] as Heteroscelus brevipes.
State Listing Status
SA: Listed as Rare (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): Rare species: June 2011 list) as Heteroscelus brevipes
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): May 2014 list) as Heteroscelus brevipes
Scientific name Tringa brevipes [851]
Family Scolopacidae:Charadriiformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Vieillot, 1816)
Infraspecies author  
Other names Heteroscelus brevipes [59311]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Tringa brevipes

Common name: Grey-tailed Tattler

Other names: Grey Sandpiper, Grey-rumped Sandpiper, Ashen Tringine Sandpiper

Based on recent genetic analysis, the genus Heteroscelus has been merged with the genus Tringa. As a result the Grey-tailed Tattler (formerly Heteroscelus brevipes) is now Tringa brevipes (Banks et al. 2006; Pereira et al. 2005).

The Grey-tailed Tattler is a medium sized wader and member of the Tringinae family. It has a length of 25 cm, wingspan of 51 cm and an average weight of 125 g. Compared to other waders is has rather long wings and tail. It has a medium length straight bill and short yellow legs. It is very similar to the Wandering Tattler, however it can be distinguished by its shorter wings and slightly smaller build. In all plumages, the Grey-tailed Tattler is plain grey above with a white supercilium and a dark loral stripe. It has slate-grey under wings and yellow legs. There is a marked seasonal variation between breeding and non-breeding adults, the sexes are alike and juveniles are separable from adults (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Within Australia, the Grey-tailed Tattler has a primarily northern coastal distribution and is found in most coastal regions (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Queensland distribution
The Grey-tailed Tattler is found along the entire coast, with small numbers located in the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is widespread along the east coast and the Torres Strait. There is a continuous population along the entire east coast of Cape York Peninsula. Inland records include Burdekin Weir, Charters Towers and Mount Isa; however these are rare, with the species preferring coastal locations (Higgins & Davies 1996).

NSW and Victorian distribution
In NSW the Grey-tailed Tattler is distributed along most of the coast from the Queensland border, south to Tilba Lake. It is more heavily distributed along coastal regions north of Sydney. The species is rarely recorded in Victoria, however sightings have been reported in Gippsland, and east of McLaughlans Beach. The largest populations in Victoria are located at Corner Inlet, west to Westernport and Port Phillip Bays. It has occasionally been sighted on the west coast near Killarney, Port Fairy and Discovery Bay. Sightings have also been reported at Sperm Whale Head (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Tasmanian distribution
The Grey-tailed Tattler has been recorded at King Island and the Furneaux Group. It is located mainly on the north coast, from Robbins Island to Cape Portland. On the east coast it has been recorded at Anson's Bay, Lisdillon and between Triabunna and Marion Bay. It is also located in the Hobart region, and on Great Bruny Island and Recherche Bay. On the west coast it is found at Pieman River, Four Mile Beach and around Ann Bay (Higgins & Davies 1996).

South Australian distribution
The species is uncommonly recorded along the coasts between Port MacDonnell and Denial Bay. It is also found west of Streaky Bay (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Western Australian distribution
There are a few scattered records for the species along the south coast near the Eyre Bird Observatory, Point Malcolm, Rossiter Bay, Shark Lake Nature Reserve and surrounding swampland. It is found in the south-west between Augusta and Cervantes. The Grey-tailed Tattler is widespread from Houtman Abrolhos and the mainland adjacent to the Kimberley Division. It has also been recorded inland at Lake Argyle and on islands off the coast (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Northern Territory distribution
The Grey-tailed Tattler is widespread along coastal regions from the border of Western Australia to Melville Island and east to at least south Goulburn Island. It is extends around Gove Peninsula and Groote Eylandt to Sir Edward Pellew Island and the mouth of the McArthur River. Several inland records exist around Hermannsburg (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The Grey-tailed Tattler has a wide global distribution.

Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, China, Christmas Island, Fiji, Guam, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Federated States of Mongolia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, United States, United States Minor Outlying Islands, Vanuatu, Viet Nam (Birdlife International 2009c).

British Indian Ocean Territory, Cook Islands, French Southern Territories, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, United Kingdom (Birdlife International 2009c).

Several important international sites have been identified (Bamford et al. 2008):

Site Country Max Count
Fuuren-ko (Onnetou ohashi) Japan 2000
Notsuke-zaki, Odaitou Japan 1924
Lososei Bay Russia 1500
Daursky Nature Reserve Russia 1400
Banzu Japan 808
Cebu-Mactan Philippines 710
Mikumo-cho Kaigan Kouhaichi Japan 542
Takamatsu, Kahoku Kaigan Japan 532
Fujimae Higata Japan 512
Manila Bay Philippines 500
Day and Ninh Co Estuary Vietnam 480
Nakdong Estuary South Korea 463
Atago-gawa, Kushida-gawa Japan 431
Suncheon Bay South Korea 429
Shio-kawa Higata Japan 403
Obitsu-gawa Kakou Japan 369
Namhae South Korea 347
Yatsu Higata Japan 336
Kuma-gawa Kakou Japan 321
Makuharinohama Japan 307
Sone Higata Japan 278
Huang He National Nature Reserve China 253
Shiraho, Miyara-wan Japan 224
Shira-kawa Kakou Japan 216
Kasai Kaihinkouen Japan 214
Usa Kaigan Japan 204
Nakatsu Kaigan Japan 200
Toukyou-kou Chobokujou Japan 189
Kikuchi-gawa Kakou Japan 185
Arao Kaigan Japan 183
Wajiro Higata Japan 182
Kamo-gawa Kakou Japan 171
Manko Japan 168
Kum Estuary South Korea 161
Onaga Higata Japan 151
Awase Higata Japan 151
Futtsu Japan 150
Saroma-ko Japan 142
Daimyoujin-gawa Kakou Japan 138
Sanbanze, Tokyo Bay Japan 137
Izumi Kantaku Japan 131
Anou-gawa Kakou, Shitomo-gawa Kakou Japan 126
Umeda-gawa Kakou Japan 125
Ikawazu Japan 125

Previous population estimates suggested a world population less than 100 000 (del Hoyo et al. 1996), with the Flyway population being 48 000. The Australian population during the non-breeding season was estimated as 36 000 (Watkins 1993). A recent review of the species indicated an East Asian-Australasian Flyway population of 50 000 with an estimated 90% of the population spending the non-breeding season in Australia (Bamford et al. 2008). Australia has eight important sites in the non-breeding season. Note that an important site is calculated using the 1% criterion (i.e. a site is considered important if it is occupied by more then 1% of the bird's total population). Australian sites of international importance and their populations include (Bamford et al. 2008):

Location State Maximum Count
Eighty Mile Beach Western Australia 12 420
Great Sandy Strait Queensland 7680
Moreton Bay Queensland 3736
Roebuck Bay Western Australia 3185
Shoalwater Bay and Broad Sound Queensland 3014
Barrow Island Western Australia 2634
Ashmore Reef Western Australia 1593
Port McArthur Northern Territory 1550
Islands off False Orford Ness Queensland 1078
Milingimbi coast Northern Territory 800
SE Gulf of Carpentaria Queensland 745
Low Island, Arnhem Bay Northern Territory 600
Fog Bay and adjacent islands Northern Territory 560
Limmen River mouth Northern Territory 500
Lacepede Islands Western Australia 500
Bynoe Harbour Northern Territory 400

Population in Victoria
The Grey-tailed Tattler is listed as Threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. The species was listed as it met two criteria for listing. The species is in a demonstrable state of decline which is likely to result in extinction. Evidence indicates that observations of the species have declined dramatically in the last decade. In fact only twelve birds are reported as visiting Victoria annually. The species is also very rare in terms of abundance. There have been less than 50 sightings of the bird in the past 20 years (DSE 2002).

Typical habitat
The Grey-tailed Tattler is often found on sheltered coasts with reefs and rock platforms or with intertidal mudflats. It can also be found at intertidal rocky, coral or stony reefs as well as platforms and islets that are exposed at low tide. It has been found around shores of rock, shingle, gravel or shells and also on intertidal mudflats in embayments, estuaries and coastal lagoons, especially fringed with mangroves. In Moreton Bay, Queensland, it is most abundant in areas with dense beds of seagrass. In Tasmania it is also abundant in areas with seagrass beds. It is less often on open flat sandy beaches or sandbanks, especially around accumulated seaweed or isolated clumps of dead coral. It is occasionally found around near-coastal wetlands, such as lagoons and lakes and ponds in sewage farms and saltworks. Inland records for the species are rare with sightings on river banks and the edges of rock pools (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Habitat for feeding
The Grey-tailed Tattler usually forages in shallow water, on hard intertidal substrates, such as reefs and rock platforms, in rock pools and among rocks and coral rubble, over which water may surge. It has also been recorded foraging on exposed intertidal mudflats, especially with mangroves and possibly seagrass nearby. Occasionally it forages on intertidal sandflats, around banks of seaweed or protruding rocks or lumps of coral (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Habitat for roosting and breeding
The Grey-tailed Tattler usually roosts in the branches of mangroves or, rarely, in dense stands of other shrubs, or on snags or driftwood. Where mangroves are not present, it roosts on rocks that are sometimes partly submerged. It is also known to roost on beaches and reefs; however, it is rarely reported roosting on bare sandy beaches or sandbanks. It occasionally roosts among beds of Samolus. Sightings also indicate it roosts on sand-dunes. It often perches on artificial structures. It is occasionally found in near-coastal saltworks and sewage ponds and once recorded at a bore-drain. It may roost on or feed among oyster-racks and other artificial structures, such as seawalls, rocky causeways and boats (Higgins & Davies 1996; Rogers 1999b). It breeds in montane taiga and the forest tundra of northern Siberia, along rivers and streams and on the stone or pebble shorelines of lakes (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Micro-habitat needed for breeding
The species breeds in north Siberia; they usually place their nests in shallow depressions, often on a stony riverbed and occasionally in deserted nests in trees (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Breeding season
The species breeds in the Northern Hemisphere within the period from late May–August (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Fecundity, lifespan, generation interval
The species clutch size is usually four eggs (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The oldest bird recorded was at least 15 years old (Anon. 1999c).

Summary of food items
The diet of the Grey-tailed Tattler consists primarily of; Polychaetes, molluscs, crustaceans, insects and, occasionally, fish. It is believed that crabs are possibly a more important food source before migration. Crustaceans eaten include amphipods, isopods and crabs (Higgins & Davies 1996). In Roebuck Bay, the preferred prey is probably soft-bodied arthropods more than 5 mm long and crabs less than 16 mm long (Rogers 1999b).

Feeding behaviors
The species is diurnal, meaning it roosts at night. They locate prey by sight or by probing rocky shores, reef crests, areas of reef rubble, and along the edge of water at beaches and mudflats. They have been seen chasing and catching small fish in rock pools, and sometimes take prey ashore (Higgins & Davies 1996). They are noted for being clumsy in attempts to handle small prey (Rogers 1999b).

Migration patterns
The Grey-tailed Tattler breeds in Siberia and moves south for the boreal winter. It moves mainly along the east coast of Asia but also across the south-west Pacific Ocean. The non-breeding range is generally farther west than that of the Wandering Tattler, Heteroscelus incana, although there is some overlap where the status of each is not well known because identification in the field is difficult. Their migration is mainly coastal, but they sometimes occur on inland wetlands (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Departure from breeding grounds
The Grey-tailed Tattler moves down the east coast of Siberia and migrates through west Aleutian Island, and through Japan and Taiwan. They pass through north-east China and Korea between late July and October. Although they are generally rare in China they have been recorded from Mongolia and passing through central China. Small numbers have been recorded moving through Hong Kong. They are a rare passage migrant through Thailand, regular in small numbers in Vietnam, and scarce around the Malay Peninsula. They move through and are common in the Philippines. They are known to pass through Borneo, Bali and Wallacea. They are apparently common in New Guinea. They arrive at Solomon Island from late August with small numbers from other Pacific islands as far east as Fiji and Tuvalu. They are a common passage migrant in the Torres Strait. Within Australia, influxes on the east coast occur from September–November. Surveys suggest movement along the coast and inland records suggest that some move overland. Small numbers move along the south coast from September–November and birds arrive in Tasmania from October–November. The birds are a rare but regular visitor to New Zealand, especially Parengarenga and Farewell Spit (Higgins & Davies 1996). Some birds banded in north-west Australia have been recovered in south-east China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Birds banded in east Australia have been recovered in Japan and east Siberia. Birds banded in Japan have been recovered on the east Queensland coast and one bird banded in Taiwan moved to north-west Australia. A bird color-marked in north-west Australia was sighted in Moreton Bay, Queensland, indicating an eastward movement across north Australia (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Arrival in Australia
The Grey-tailed Tattler arrives in Australia mostly in August, however, they sometimes appear south of the breeding range as early as July. Some are known to remain on breeding grounds as late as September or October. Adults arrive at the north Australian coast from late August and early September, with first-year birds apparently arriving four weeks later. In Papua New Guinea southward migration occurs from mid-August to November or December.

Departure and return to breeding grounds
The Grey-tailed Tattler generally leaves Australia to return to breeding areas by early or mid-April. They leave Tasmania from March–June. They apparently leave via the south-west Pacific islands, Bali, Wallacea, Sabah and the Malay Peninsula. They pass through Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Olango Island in the Philippines, Hong Kong, east China, Japan and Korea between April–May. They move along the Siberian coast and onto breeding grounds from May. First-year birds often stay south during the breeding season (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Global threats
There are a number of threats that affect migratory shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The greatest threat is indirect and direct habitat loss (Melville 1997). Staging areas used during migration through eastern Asia are being lost and degraded by activities which are reclaiming the mudflats for development or developing them for aquaculture (Barter 2002, 2005c; Ge et al. 2007; Round 2006). This is especially evident in the Yellow Sea, where at least 40% of intertidal areas have been reclaimed. This process is continuing at a rapid rate and may accelerate in the near future (Barter 2002, 2005c). For example, in South Korea, the Mangyeung and Dongjin River estuaries each supported 5% of the combined estimated Flyway populations (and are the most important sites for this species on both northern and southern migration) but they are currently being reclaimed as part of the Saemangeum Reclamation Project (Barter 2002, 2005c). The 33 km sea-wall across these two estuaries was completed in April 2006, resulting in significant change in the 40 100 ha area.

Reclamation is also a threat in other areas of the Flyway, such as in Malaysia (Wei et al. 2006). In addition, water regulation and diversion infrastructure in the major tributaries have resulted in the reduction of water and sediment flows (Barter 2002; Barter et al. 1998).

Migratory shorebirds are also adversely affected by pollution, both on passage and in non-breeding areas (Harding et al. 2007; Melville 1997; Round 2006; Wei et al. 2006). Disturbance from human activities, including recreation, shellfish harvesting, fishing and aquaculture is likely to increase significantly in the future (Barter et al. 2005; Davidson & Rothwell 1993).

It is predicted that the rate of decrease in the intertidal area in the Yellow Sea will accelerate (Barter 2002). In addition, intensive oil exploration and extraction, and reduction in river flows due to upstream water diversion, are other potentially significant threats in parts of China where this species is present in internationally significant numbers (Barter 2005c; Barter et al. 1998).

Global warming and associated changes in sea level are likely to have a long-term impact on the breeding, staging and non-breeding grounds of migratory waders (Harding et al. 2007). Iwamura and colleagues (2013) found that rises in sea level could cause a dramatic collapse of population flow of this species caused by intertidal habitat loss. Taking into account upshore movements of intertidal habitat, their modelling indicates that this species population flow could reduce by 15% with a 150 cm sea level rise (Iwamura et al. 2013).

Hunting is still a very serious problem for waders in China, and this species is sometimes caught (Ming et al. 1998).

Within Australia, there are a number of threats common to most migratory shorebirds, including the Grey-tailed Tattler.

Habitat loss
The loss of important habitat reduces the availability of foraging and roosting sites. This affects the ability of the birds to build up the energy stores required for successful migration and breeding. Some sites are important all year round for juveniles who may stay in Australia throughout the breeding season until they reach maturity. A variety of activities may cause habitat loss. These include direct losses through land clearing, inundation, infilling or draining. Indirect loss may occur due to changes in water quality, hydrology or structural changes near roosting sites (DEWHA 2009aj).

Habitat degradation
As most migratory shorebirds have specialized feeding techniques, they are particularly susceptible to slight changes in prey sources and foraging environments. Activities that cause habitat degradation include (but are not restricted to): (1) loss of marine or estuarine vegetation, which is likely to alter the dynamic equilibrium of sediment banks and mudflats; (2) invasion of intertidal mudflats by weeds such as cord grass; (3) water pollution and changes to the water regime; (4) changes to the hydrological regime and (5) exposure of acid sulphate soils, hence changing the chemical balance at the site (DEWHA 2009aj).

Disturbance can result from residential and recreational activities including; fishing, power boating, four wheel driving, walking dogs, noise and night lighting. While some disturbances may have only a low impact it is important to consider the combined effect of disturbances with other threats. Roosting and foraging birds are sensitive to discrete, unpredictable disturbances such as loud noises (i.e. construction sites) and approaching objects (i.e. boats). Sustained disturbances can prevent shorebirds from using parts of the habitat (DEWHA 2009aj).

Direct mortality
Direct mortality is a result of human activities around the migration pathways of shorebirds and at roosting and foraging sites. Examples include the construction of wind farms in migration or movement pathways, bird strike due to aircraft, hunting, chemical and oil spills (DEWHA 2009aj).

Governments and conservation groups have undertaken a wide range of activities relating to migratory shorebird conservation (DEH 2005c) both in Australia and in cooperation with other countries associated with the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

The Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (AGDEH 2006f) outlines national activities to support flyway shorebird conservation initiatives and provides a strategic framework to ensure these activities and future research and management actions are integrated and remain focused on the long-term survival of migratory shorebird populations and their habitats.

Since 1996–97, the Australian Government has invested approximately $5 000 000 of Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) funding in projects contributing to migratory shorebird conservation (DEWHA 2007e). This funding has been distributed across a range of important projects, including the implementation of a nationally coordinated monitoring programme that will produce robust, long-term population data able to support the conservation and effective management of shorebirds and their habitat; migration studies using colour bands and leg flags; and development of a shorebird conservation toolkit to assist users to develop and implement shorebird conservation projects.

Birds Australia is currently co-ordinating the Shorebirds 2020 project, which aims to monitor shorebird populations at important sites throughout Australia; and Birdlife International is identifying sites and regions which are important to various species of birds, including shorebirds, and the processes that are affecting them. The aim is to inform decisions on the management of shorebird habitat. It may be possible to rehabilitate some degraded wetlands or to create artificial wader feeding or roosting sites to replace those destroyed by development, such as by creating artificial sandflats and sand islands from dredge spoil and by building breakwaters (Dening 2005; Straw 1992a, 1999).

The recent Significant impact guidelines for 36 migratory shorebirds draft EPBC Act policy statement 3.21 provides guidelines for determining the impacts of proposed actions on migratory shorebirds. The policy statement also provides mitigation strategies to reduce the level and extent of those impacts. The policy aims to promote ecologically sustainable development that allows for the continued ecological function of important habitat for migratory shorebirds (DEWHA 2009aj).

Australia has played an important role in building international cooperation to conserve migratory birds. In addition to being party to international agreements on migratory species, Australia is also a member of the Partnership for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and the Sustainable Use of their Habitats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (Flyway Partnership), which was launched in Bogor, Indonesia on 6 November 2006. Prior to this agreement, Australia was party to the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy and the Action Plan for the Conservation of Migratory Shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network.

The East Asian-Australasian Flyway Site Network, which is part of the broader Flyway Partnership, promotes the identification and protection of key sites for migratory shorebirds. Australia has 17 sites in the network (Partnership EAAF 2008):

  • Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory (1 375 940 ha)
  • Parry Lagoons, Western Australia (36 111 ha)
  • Thomsons Lake, Western Australia (213 ha)
  • Moreton Bay, Queensland (113 314 ha)
  • Hunter Estuary, NSW (2916 ha)
  • Corner Inlet, Victoria (51 500 ha)
  • The Coorong, Lake Alexandrina & Lake Albert, South Australia (140 500 ha)
  • Orielton Lagoon, Tasmania (2920 ha)
  • Logan Lagoon, Tasmania (2320 ha)
  • Western Port, Victoria (59 297 ha)
  • Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria (16 540 ha)
  • Shallow Inlet Marine and Coastal Park, Victoria
  • Discovery Bay Coastal Park, Victoria
  • Bowling Green Bay, Queensland
  • Shoalwater Bay, Queensland
  • Great Sandy Strait, Queensland
  • Currawinya National Park, Queensland.

Marine bioregional plans have been developed for four of Australia's marine regions - South-west, North-west, North and Temperate East. Marine Bioregional Plans will help improve the way decisions are made under the EPBC Act, particularly in relation to the protection of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of our oceans and their resources by our marine-based industries. Marine Bioregional Plans improve our understanding of Australia's oceans by presenting a consolidated picture of the biophysical characteristics and diversity of marine life. They describe the marine environment and conservation values of each marine region, set out broad biodiversity objectives, identify regional priorities and outline strategies and actions to address these priorities. Click here for more information about marine bioregional plans.

The Grey-tailed Tattler has been identified as a conservation value in the North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y) Marine Region. See Schedule 2 of the North-west Marine Bioregional Plan (DSEWPaC 2012y) for regional advice. Maps of Biologically Important Areas have been developed for Grey-tailed Tattler in the North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y) Marine Region and may provide addtional relevant information. Go to the conservation values atlas to view the locations of these Biologically Important Areas. The "species group report card - seabirds & migratory shorebirds" for the North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y) Marine Region provides additional information.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Biological Resource Use:Hunting and Collecting Terrestrial Animals:Direct exploitation by humans including hunting Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Other Ecosystem Modifications:Loss and damage of intertidal areas due to land reclamation Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].

Anon (1999c). Recovery round-up. Corella. 23:23-24.

Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH) (2006f). Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment and Heritage. Available from:

Bamford M., D. Watkins, W. Bancroft, G. Tischler & J. Wahl (2008). Migratory Shorebirds of the East Asian - Australasian Flyway: Population estimates and internationally important sites. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Wetlands International-Oceania. Available from:

Barter, M.A. (2002). Shorebirds of the Yellow Sea: Importance, Threats and Conservation Status. Wetlands International Global Series No. 8, International Wader Studies 12. Canberra, ACT: Wetlands International.

Barter, M.A. (2005c). Yellow Sea-driven priorities for Australian shorebird researchers. In: Straw, P., ed. Status and Conservation of Shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Proceedings of the Australasian Shorebirds Conference 13-15 December 2003, Canberra, Australia. Sydney, NSW: Wetlands International Global Series 18, International Wader Studies 17.

Barter, M.A., D. Tonkinson, J.Z. Lu, S.Y. Zhu, Y. Kong, T.H. Wang, Z.W. Li & X.M. Meng (1998). Shorebird numbers in the Huang He (Yellow River) Delta during the 1997 northward migration. Stilt. 33:15-26.

Barter, M.A., K. Gosbell, L. Cao & Q. Xu (2005). Northward shorebird migration surveys in 2005 at four new Yellow Sea sites in Jiangsu and Liaoning Provinces. Stilt. 48:13-17.

Davidson, N. & P. Rothwell (1993). Disturbance to waterfowl on estuaries. Wader Study Group Bulletin. 68.

del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, D.A. Christie & J. Sargatal (1996). Handbook of the Birds of the World: Hoatzin to Auks. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.

Dening, J. (2005). Roost management in south-East Queensland: building partnerships to replace lost habitat. In: Straw, P., ed. Status and Conservation of Shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Proceedings of the Australasian Shorebirds Conference 13-15 December 2003. Page(s) 94-96. Sydney, NSW. Wetlands International Global Series 18, International Wader Studies 17.

Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) (2002). Scientific Advisory Committee Final Recommendation on a Nomination for Listing.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2007e). Migratory Waterbirds Information Page, Departmental Website. [Online]. Available from:

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2009aj). Draft Significant impact guidelines for 36 migratory shorebirds Draft EPBC Act Policy Statement 3.21. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia. Available from:

Ge, Z.-M., T-H. Wang, X. Zhou, K.-Y. Wang & W.-Y. Shi (2007). Changes in the spatial distribution of migratory shorebirds along the Shanghai shoreline, China, between 1984 and 2004. Emu. 107:19-27.

Harding, S.B., J.R. Wilson & D.W. Geering (2007). Threats to shorebirds and conservation actions. In: Geering, A., L. Agnew & S. Harding, eds. Shorebirds of Australia. Page(s) 197-213. Melbourne, Victoria: CSIRO Publishing.

Higgins, P.J. & S.J.J.F. Davies, eds (1996). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume Three - Snipe to Pigeons. Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Iwamura, T., H.P. Possingham, I. Chades, C. Minton, N.J. Murray, D.I. Rogers, E.A. Treml & R.A. Fuller (2013). Migratory connectivity magnifies the consequences of habitat loss from sea-level rise for shorebird populations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Melville, D.S. (1997). Threats to waders along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. In: Straw, P., ed. Shorebird conservation in the Asia-Pacific region. Page(s) 15-34. Melbourne, Victoria: Birds Australia.

Partnership for the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (Partnership EAAF) (2008). East Asian-Australasian Flyway Site Network: October 2008. [Online]. Available from:

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Tringa brevipes in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sun, 21 Sep 2014 09:47:29 +1000.