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)

4.4.34 Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus

Subspecies Worldwide 5 (mongolus, atrifrons, pamirensis, stegmanni and schaeferi); Yellow Sea 2 (mongolus and stegmanni).

Distribution of C. m. mongolus and C. c. stegmanni

Breeding: C. m. mongolus, s. and e. Yakutia, n. Sea of Okhotsk; C. m. stegmanni, Kamchatka, Koryak Highland. Kurile Is., Commander Is. and Chukotka.

Non-breeding: Coastal. C. m. mongolus and C. m. stegmanni, Japan, e. and s. China, Taiwan, Indochina, se. Asia and Australia; C. m. stegmanni range generally more easterly than C. m. mongolus, but there is much overlap.

Usage and importance of Yellow Sea

Occurrence: Intertidal areas. NM and SM Widespread and common; particularly on w. coast of South Korea. Similar numbers on NM and SM. NB Small numbers in e. China. Numbers are probably underestimated due to the dispersed distribution of the species over intertidal areas.

Movements: NM and SM Peak numbers in South Korea occur during May and August-September. No information is available on differences between the migration routes of C. m. mongolus and C. m. stegmanni. It is assumed that both subspecies pass through the Yellow Sea and it is reasonable to expect that the more easterly-breeding C. m. stegmanni takes a more easterly path.

Significance of Yellow Sea: The Yellow Sea is very important for this species as it supports about 50% of the estimated combined populations of C. m. mongolus and C. m. stegmanni during NM. The species is also common on SM.

Key sites: 11 sites of international importance have been identified, 7 in South Korea and 4 in China; 10 sites are important during NM and 7 during SM (see site location maps below). 6 sites are important during both NM and SM (Yancheng NNR, Ganghwa Do, Yeong Jong Do, Namyang Man, Mangyeung Gang Hagu and Dongjin Gang Hagu). The Dongjin and Mangyeung estuaries each support >5% of the combined estimated flyway populations during both NM and SM.

Status of key sites: All Chinese sites and part of 1 South Korean site (Dongjin Gang Hagu) are within Protected Areas. The Mangyeung and Dongjin estuaries, which are the most important sites for this species on both NM and SM, are currently being reclaimed as part of the Saemangeum Reclamation Project.

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

EAAF POPULATION ESTIMATES:
C. m. mongolus: 40 000
C. m. stegmanni: 20 000
YELLOW SEA
Status: Passage migrant and uncommon non-breeding visitor
Estimated minimum numbers:
NM: South Korea: 13 000; China: 19 000.
SM: South Korea: 17 000.
INTERNATIONALLY IMPORTANT SITES (and Protected Area status)
South Korea: 7 (part of 1)
China: 4 (4)

Site count references

  1. Yi & Kim in prep.
  2. Wang & Tang 1990a
  3. Wang & Liu 1994
  4. Moores 1999a
  5. Barter et al. 2000d
  6. Barter et al. 2000c
Sites of international importance for Lesser Sand Plover
Sites of international importance for Lesser Sand Plover
  China   South Korea
1 Chongming Dao PNR 5 Ganghwa Do
2 Yancheng NNR 6 Yeong Jong Do
3 Shuangtaizihekou NNR 7 Namyang Man
4 Yalu Jiang NNR 8 Mangyeung Gang Hagu
    9 Dongjin Gang Hagu
    10 Meian Gun Tidal Flat
    11 Aphae Do
Sites of international importance for Lesser Sand Plover during northward migration
Sites of international importance for Lesser Sand Plover during northward migration
  Site Country Count Ref
1 Dongjin Gang Hagu South Korea 3 857 1
2 Mangyeung Gang Hagu South Korea 3 800 1
3 Chongming Dao PNR China 1 790 2
4 Yancheng NNR China 1 765 3
5 Namyang Man South Korea 1 410 1
6 Ganghwa Do South Korea 1 214 1
7 Aphae Do South Korea 1 144 4
8 Yeong Jong Do South Korea 930 1
9 Shuangtaizihekou NNR China 682 5
10 Yalu Jiang NNR China 647 6
Sites of international importance for Lesser Sand Plover during southward migration
Sites of international importance for Lesser Sand Plover during southward migration
  Site Country Count Ref
1 Dongjin Gang Hagu South Korea 4 320 1
2 Mangyeung Gang Hagu South Korea 4 100 1
3 Yeong Jong Do South Korea 2 060 1
4 Yancheng NNR China 1 787 3
5 Ganghwa Do South Korea 1 700 1
6 Namyang Man South Korea 1 610 1
7 Meian Gun Tidal Flat South Korea 862 4