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)

4.4.31 Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola

Subspecies None.

Distribution in the EAAF

Breeding: Taimyr to n. Chukotka and e. Anadyr lowland, Wrangel Is. and nw. Alaska.

Non-breeding: Mainly coastal. Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indochina, s. and e. China, Japan, South Korea, se. Asia and Australia.

Usage and importance of Yellow Sea

Occurrence: Intertidal areas. NM Widespread and common, particularly in n. China and w. South Korea. SM Widespread, but less common than during NM. NB Common in the Mangyeung and Dongjin estuaries, smaller numbers elsewhere in South Korea and e. China. Numbers counted are probably realistic estimates of birds present in surveyed areas.

Movements: NM Peak numbers occur from mid-April to mid-May; se. Australian birds tend to have a more easterly migration route (probably mostly through Japan) than those from nw. Australia. SM Extended passage from August until October. Smaller numbers on SM indicate that the Australian and se. Asian populations probably fly non-stop across the Pacific to the non-breeding grounds.

Significance of Yellow Sea: The Yellow Sea is extremely important as it supports about 80% of the estimated flyway population during NM; many fewer birds occur during SM.

Key sites: 13 sites of international importance have been identified, 7 in China and 6 in South Korea; 12 of the sites are important during NM and 7 during SM (see site location maps below). 6 are important during both NM and SM (Shi Jiu Tuo, Yeong Jong Do, Namyang Man, Asan Man, Mangyeung Gang Hagu and Dongjin Gang Hagu). Huang He supports >10%, and Yalu Jiang NNR and Tianjin Municipality support >5%, of the estimated flyway population on NM.

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

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

EAAF POPULATION ESTIMATE: 125 000
YELLOW SEA
Status: Passage migrant and non-breeding visitor
Estimated minimum numbers:
NM: South Korea: 18 000; China: 87 000.
SM: South Korea: 12 000.
NB: South Korea: 4 500.
INTERNATIONALLY IMPORTANT SITES (and Protected Area status)
South Korea: 6 (part of 1)
China: 7 (4)

Site count references

  1. Zhu et al. 2000
  2. Barter et al. 2000c
  3. Barter et al. 2001
  4. Barter et al. in prep.
  5. Barter et al. 2000d
  6. Yi & Kim in prep.
  7. Barter et al. 2000b
  8. Regulus Tours in litt.
  9. F. Heintzenberg in litt.
Sites of international importance for Grey Plover
Sites of international importance for Grey Plover
  China   South Korea
1 Yancheng NNR 8 Yeong Jong Do
2 Huang He NNR 9 Namyang Man
3 Tianjin Municipality 10 Asan Man
4 Shi Jiu Tuo 11 Geum Gang Hagu
5 Linghekou 12 Mangyeung Gang Hagu
6 Shuangtaizihekou NNR 13 Dongjin Gang Hagu
7 Yalu Jiang NNR    
Sites of international importance for Grey Plover during northward migration
Sites of international importance for Grey Plover during northward migration
  Site Country Count Ref
1 Huang He NNR China 14 899 1
2 Yalu Jiang NNR China 7 232 2
3 Tianjin Municipality China 6 493 3
4 Yancheng NNR China 5 295 4
5 Shuangtaizihekou NNR China 4 248 5
6 Mangyeung Gang Hagu South Korea 4 155 6
7 Dongjin Gang Hagu South Korea 3 601 6
8 Linghekou China 2 739 7
9 Asan Man South Korea 2 400 6
10 Yeong Jong Do South Korea 2 280 6
11 Namyang Man South Korea 2 265 6
12 Shi Jiu Tuo China 1 500 8
Sites of international importance for Grey Plover during southward migration
 
  Site Country Count Ref
1 Mangyeung Gang Hagu South Korea 4 700 6
2 Yeong Jong Do South Korea 2 200 6
3 Dongjin Gang Hagu South Korea 1 959 6
4 Shi Jiu Tuo China 1 800 9
5 Namyang Man South Korea 1 533 6
6 Asan Man South Korea 1 378 6
7 Geum Gang Hagu South Korea 1 300 6