Shorebirds of the Yellow Sea

Importance, threats and conservation status
Mark Barter
Wetlands International, 2002
ISBN 90 5882 009 2

4. Shorebirds occuring in internationally important numbers at Yellow Sea sites (continued)

4.4 Species accounts (continued)

4.4.21 Dunlin Calidris alpina

Subspecies Worldwide 9 (alpina, schinzii, arctica, sakhalina, kistchinski, actites, pacifica, arcticola and hudsonia) plus probably another "centralis" (Wennerberg et al. 1999); EAAF 4 (sakhalina, kistchinski, actites and arcticola), arcticola occurs in the Yellow Sea, and sakhalina, kistchinski and actites probably do.

Distribution of C. a. sakhalina, kistchinski, actites and arcticola

Breeding: C. a. sakhalina, Chukotka; C. a. kistchinski, Kamchatka, n. coast of Sea of Okhotsk and n. Kurile Is.; C. a. actites, n. Sakhalin Is.; C. a. arcticola, n. Alaska.

Non-breeding: Inland and coastal. s. Japan, South Korea, e and s. China, and Taiwan. Geographical distribution of the subspecies is yet to be determined.

Usage and importance of Yellow Sea

Occurrence: Intertidal flats. Most abundant shorebird in Yellow Sea. NM and SM Widespread and very common, although less numerous during SM. NB Common in China s. from Yancheng and on w. coast of South Korea. Numbers counted are probably realistic estimates of birds present in surveyed areas.

Movements: NM Peak numbers in South Korea and China occur in late April to mid-May. SM Peak numbers in South Korea occur during September. No information for China.

Significance of Yellow Sea: The Yellow Sea is extremely important for this species as it supports >70% of the estimated combined flyway populations of the 4 Dunlin subspecies. Numbers are lower during SM.

Key sites: 11 sites of international importance have been identified, 6 in South Korea and 5 in China; 10 of the sites are important during NM and 5 during SM (see site location maps below). 4 sites are important on both NM and SM (Yancheng NNR, Yeong Jong Do, Mangyeung Gang Hagu and Dongjin Gang Hagu). Yancheng NNR and Mangyeung Gang Hagu support >5% of the estimated flyway population during NM.

Status of key sites: 4 of the Chinese sites and part of 1 South Korean site (Dongjin Gang Hagu) are in Protected Areas. The Dongjin and Mangyeung estuaries are currently being reclaimed as part of the Saemangeum Reclamation Project.

Major gaps in knowledge: Insufficient information on subspecies distribution. Incomplete geographical and temporal coverage in China. No information from North Korea.

EAAF POPULATION ESTIMATE: 950 000
YELLOW SEA
Status: Passage migrant and non-breeding visitor
Estimated minimum numbers:
NM: South Korea: 164 000; China: 500 000.
SM: South Korea: 64 000.
NB: South Korea: 20 500.
INTERNATIONALLY IMPORTANT SITES (and Protected Area status)
South Korea: 6 (part of 1)
China: 5 (4)

Site count references

  1. Barter et al. in press.
  2. Yi & Kim in prep.
  3. Barter et al. 2000e
  4. Zhu et al. 2000
  5. Barter et al. 2000d
  6. Wang 1997
  7. Wang & Barter 1998
Sites of international importance for Dunlin
Sites of international importance for Dunlin
  China   South Korea
1 Dong Sha 6 Ganghwa Do
2 Yancheng NNR 7 Yeong Jong Do
3 Huang He NNR 8 Namyang Man
4 Shuangtaizihekou NNR 9 Asan Man
5 Yalu Jiang NNR 10 Mangyeung Gang Hagu
    11 Dongjin Gang Hagu
Sites of international importance for Dunlin during northward migration
Sites of international importance for Dunlin during northward migration
  Site Country Count Ref
1 Yancheng NNR China 57 867 1
2 Mangyeung Gang Hagu South Korea 47 650 2
3 Dongjin Gang Hagu South Korea 38 850 2
4 Yalu Jiang NNR China 25 181 3
5 Huang He NNR China 24 106 4
6 Ganghwa Do South Korea 17 000 2
7 Shuangtaizihekou NNR China 16 411 5
8 Namyang Man South Korea 15 200 2
9 Asan Man South Korea 14 000 2
10 Yeong Jong Do South Korea 13 208 2
Sites of international importance for Dunlin during southward migration
Sites of international importance for Dunlin during southward migration
  Site Country Count Ref      
1 Mangyeung Gang Hagu South Korea 22 000 2
2 Dongjin Gang Hagu South Korea 20 004 2
3 Yancheng NNR China 18 559 6
4 Dong Sha China 13 081 7
5 Yeong Jong Do South Korea 12 110 2