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)

4.4.23 Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus

Subspecies None.

Distribution in the EAAF

Breeding: e. Chukotka, e. Koryak Highlands and n. Kamchatka.

Non-breeding: Coastal. Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Indochina, sw. China, The Philippines and Malaysia.

N.B. Recent breeding ground studies indicate that the population may have significantly declined, perhaps to about 2 000 individuals (Tomkovich et al. 2000).

Usage and importance of Yellow Sea

Occurrence: Intertidal flats. NM and SM Widespread but rare, except for concentrations in the Mangyeung and Dongjin estuaries during SM. Appears to be more common in South Korea during SM. Numbers are probably underestimated as this species is relatively easy to miss amongst other small shorebirds, particularly Red-necked Stints

Movements: NM Main passage takes place in April and May SM Main passage takes place during September and October.

Significance of Yellow Sea: The Yellow Sea probably supports the majority of the population during both NM and SM.

Key sites: 2 sites of international importance have been identified, both in South Korea during SM (see site location map below). The rarity of this species means that any site that has supported the species at all in recent years is of conservation importance (see Site Accounts).

Status of key sites: A small part of 1 site (Dongjin Gang Hagu) is located in a Protected Area. Both sites are currently being reclaimed as part of the Saemangeum Reclamation Project.

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

Status: Passage migrant
Estimated minimum numbers:
No estimates, but probably supports most of the population on both NM and SM.
South Korea: 2 (part of 1)

Site count reference

  1. Yi & Kim in prep.
Sites of international importance for Spoon-billed Sandpiper (both used during southward migration)
Sites of international importance for Spoon-billed Sandpiper (both used during southward migration)
  Site Country Count Ref
1 Mangyeung Gang Hagu South Korea 180 1
2 Dongjin Gang Hagu South Korea 100 1