Shorebirds of the Yellow Sea

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

5. Internationally important shorebird sites in the Yellow Sea

5.3.1 Jiu Duan Sha

Site information

Location: Chang Jiang Estuary, Shanghai, China. 31º 10' N, 120º 00' E

Area: 11 400 ha.

Wetland type: Islands and shoals with extensive intertidal flats.

Protected Area status: Ramsar site. Provincial Nature Reserve (J.J. Lu pers. comm.)

Threats: Future reduced silt flows, due to Three Gorges dam, leading to lower accretion rates and predicted erosion of the intertidal flats (Yang 1999a, 1999b). Hunting of shorebirds (Ma et al. 1998).

Count information

Detailed counts were conducted by East China Normal University during NM (March-April 1998, March-April 1999 and April-May 2001), SM (September 1997 and October 1998) and in the NB season (December 1997 and November 1998-January 1999) (J.J. Lu in litt.). The tabulated data is from this series of counts.

During a visit in 1996, East China Normal University estimated that about 160 000 shorebirds were present on 30 March (sum of two separate counts [90 000 and 70 000] from different parts of the island). Whilst detailed species counts were not made, it was estimated that internationally important numbers of Eastern Curlew (>500), Spotted Redshank (>1 000), Kentish Plover (>1 000), Grey-tailed Tattler (>500) and Great Knot (>5 000) were present (J.J. Lu in litt.). Weather conditions in late March 1996 were poor with heavy rain and ne. winds and Jiu Duan Sha is probably acting, similarly to Chongming Dao, as an emergency site for weather-affected long-distance migrants (Barter et al. 1997b).

Internationally important species counts for Jiu Duan Sha
Northward migration
Count
Ref
Kentish Plover 1 000 1
Whimbrel 800 1
Spotted Redshank 500 1
Little Ringed Plover 300 1
     
Non-breeding season
Count
Ref
Kentish Plover 1 830 1

Significance of site

Highest counts: NM 5 780; SM 843; NB 4 190.

Supports:

  • 7pecies in internationally important numbers (NM 7NB 1), which includes Eastern Curlew, Grey-tailed Tattler and Great Knot recorded in March 1996;
  • the endangered Spotted Greenshank during NM (maximum count: 2).

Species count reference

  1. J.J. Lu in litt.

5.3.2 Chongming Dao Provincial Nature Reserve

Site information

Location: Chang Jiang Estuary, Shanghai, China. 31º 30' N, 121º 45' E

Area: Nature Reserve: 32 600 ha; Intertidal flats: 26 500 ha.

Wetland type: Intertidal flats, salt marsh, fish and crab ponds.

Protected Area status: Provincial Nature Reserve. East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Network Site.

Threats: Unsustainable exploitation of natural products and hunting of shorebirds (Tang & Wang 1995; Barter et al. 1997c; Kong et al. 1998; Ma et al. 1998). Future reduced silt flows, due to Three Gorges dam, leading to lower accretion rates and projected erosion of the intertidal flats (Yang 1999a, 1999b).

Count information

Comprehensive counts were made in January-February, April-May and September-October 1990 (Wang & Tang 1990a, 1990b), March-April 1996 (Barter et al. 1997a), April 1997 (Barter et al. 1998) and September-May 1998 and November-May 1999 (J.J. Lu in litt.).

Internationally important species counts for Chongming Dao Provincial Nature Reserve
Northward migration
Count
Ref
Kentish Plover 7 202 1
Great Knot 5 761 1
Lesser Sand Plover 1 790 2
Whimbrel 1 200 3
Eastern Curlew 794 1
Little Ringed Plover 300 3
     
Non-breeding season
Count
Ref
Kentish Plover 1 500 3

Significance of site

Highest counts: NM 24 770; SM 2 889; NB 4 871.

Supports:

  • 6 species in internationally important numbers (NM 6; NB 1);
  • >5% of the estimated flyway population of Kentish Plover during NM;
  • the endangered Spotted Greenshank during NM and SM (maximum counts: NM: 2; SM: 1);
  • the vulnerable Spoon-billed Sandpiper during NM (maximum count: 9).

This site probably supports >100 000 shorebirds on NM. During NM it has a very high turnover rate and is used as an emergency site by long-distance migrants during poor weather conditions (Barter et al. 1997b).

Species count references

  1. Barter et al. 1997a
  2. Wang & Tang 1990a
  3. J.J. Lu in litt

5.3.3 Dong Sha

Site information

Location: Jiangsu Province, China. 33º 07' N, 121º 21' E

Area: 70 000 ha.

Wetland type: Islands and shoals with extensive intertidal flats.

Protected Area status: None.

Threats: General decline in the ecosystem due to increasing water pollution from coastal industries, algal red tides and unrestricted harvesting of shellfish (Wang & Barter 1998).

Count information

Counts spread over 1-2 days and covering four roosting areas were made in August 1993, February 1995, May 1996, January, April and September 1997 (Wang & Barter 1998).

Internationally important species counts for Dong Sha
Northward migration 1
Coun
Ref
Kentish Plover 1 103 1
Eastern Curlew 819 1
Asian Dowitcher 664 1
Black-winged Stilt 465 1
Spotted Greenshank 16 1
    1
Southward migration
 
 
Dunlin 13 081 1
Red Knot 8 140 1
Kentish Plover 3 000 1
Red-necked Phalarope 1 728 1
Eastern Curlew 1 532 1
Asian Dowitcher 1 320 1
Marsh Sandpiper 1 140 1
Common Greenshank 615 1
Black-winged Stilt 562 1
Broad-billed Sandpiper 416 1
Eurasian Oystercatcher 120 1
    1
Non-breeding season
 
 
Kentish Plover 1 185 1
Eurasian Curlew 400 1

Significance of site

Highest counts: NM 72 584; SM 244 176; NB 44 737.

Supports:

  • 13 species in internationally important numbers (NM 5; SM 11; NB 2);
  • >5% of the estimated flyway population of Asian Dowitcher during SM;
  • internationally important numbers of the endangered Spotted Greenshank during NM;
  • the highest recorded internationally important numbers of Asian Dowitcher, Red Knot and Red-necked Phalarope in the Yellow Sea during SM.

This site probably supports >100 000 shorebirds during NM and >300 000 shorebirds during SM (Wang & Barter 1998).

Species count reference

  1. Wang & Barter 1998.