Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed marine
Listed migratory - Bonn, CAMBA, JAMBA, ROKAMBA
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Background Paper to the Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2005c) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Policy Statements and Guidelines Marine bioregional plan for the North-west Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012y) [Admin Guideline].
Draft Significant impact guidelines for 36 migratory shorebirds Draft EPBC Act Policy Statement 3.21 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2009aj) [Admin Guideline].
Draft background paper to EPBC Act policy statement 3.21 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2009bc) [Admin Guideline].
Shorebirds - A Vulnerability Assessment for the Great Barrier Reef (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), 2011i) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
List of Migratory Species (13/07/2000) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000b) [Legislative Instrument].
Declaration under section 248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of Marine Species (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000c) [Legislative Instrument].
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - Listed Migratory Species - Approval of an International Agreement (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007h) [Legislative Instrument].
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Vulnerable (Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria: 2013)
Scientific name Tringa nebularia [832]
Family Scolopacidae:Charadriiformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Gunnerus,1767)
Infraspecies author  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Tringa nebularia

Common name: Common Greenashank

Other names: Greenshank, Greater Greenshank, Large Tringine Sandpiper, Cinereous Godwit

The Common Greenshank is a heavily built, elegant wader, 30–35 cm in length, with a wingspan of 55–65 cm and weight up to 190 g for both males and females. The bill is long and slightly upturned and the legs are long and yellowish-green. In flight, all plumages show uniformly dark upperwing and constrasting white rump extending in a white wedge up the back, whitish tail and tips of toes projecting slightly beyond the tip of the tail. The sexes are alike (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The species is seen singly or in small to large flocks (sometimes hundreds) in a variety of coastal and inland wetlands. Wary, noisy and excitable, the Common Greenshank bobs its head in alarm and flushes with ringing calls, often long before other species. Flight is rapid and often zigzagging. The usual flight call is a distinctive, quick ringing whistle of two, three or four syllables (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Adult breeding
Head and neck are white with heavy black streaking, the interwing coverts are mostly brownish-grey with white fringes. The underbody is white with fine black streaks on chin and throat and there are bold black chevrons on breast and flank. The underwing is white with faint brownish barring on covers and the bill is bluish grey or greenish grey, legs and feet are pale greyish-green (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Like adult non-breeding but head and neck slightly darker with heavier, darker streaking. Bare parts are similar to the adult, but juvenile legs and feet are occassionally bright pale-yellow, dull yellow or dull slate-grey (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Non-breeding distribution
The Common Greenshank does not breed in Australia, however, the species occurs in all types of wetlands and has the widest distribution of any shorebird in Australia (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The species is widespread in the Gulf country and eastern Gulf of Carpentaria. It has been recorded in most coastal regions, possibly with a gap between north Cape York Peninsula and Cooktown. Inland, there have been a few records south of a line from near Dalby to Mt Guide, and sparsely scattered records elsewhere (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The species has been recorded in most coastal regions. It is widespread west of the Great Dividing Range, especially between the Lachlan and Murray Rivers and the Darling River drainage basin, including the Macquarie Marshes, and north-west regions (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Widespread in coastal regions, mainly between Gippsland Lakes and Port Phillip Bay. Inland the species is known mostly in the west and in the Murray River Valley (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The Common Greenshank is mainly found along the coast, from around Temma in the north-west to Hobart in the south-east (Higgins & Davies 1996).

South Australia
The species is found throughout the area east of 145° E, but there are a few records from the Flinders Ranges. It is also occasionally seen inland west of 145° E. It is found in all coastal regions west to, at least, Streaky Bay, with scattered records elsewhere along the coast (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Western Australia
The Common Greenshank is generally absent from the Western Deserts although there are a few records from the Great Sandy Desert and the Nullarbor Plain. It occurs around most of the coast from Cape Arid in the south to Carnarvon in the north-west. In the Kimberleys it is recorded in the south-west and the north-east, with isolated records from the Bonaparte Archipelago (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Northern Territory
The species is sparsely scattered through most of the Northern Territory, including occasional records in the Tanami Desert and records from Birrindudu Waterhole in the north-east to Lake Woods, Lake Sylvester and the Barkly Tableland in central Nothern Territory (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Sites of international importance in Australia and maximum, or average, counts from summer and winter surveys around Australia (Watkins 1993) include:

  • Eighty Mile Beach, Western Australia, 2240
  • Wilson Inlet, Western Australia, 568
  • Roebuck Bay, Western Australia, 560
  • The Coorong, South Australia, 720
  • Penrice Saltworks, South Australia, 450
  • Clinton Conservation Park, South Australia, 460
  • South-east Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, 1240
  • Great Sandy Strait, Queensland, 1069
  • Hunter R. estuary, NSW, 561
  • Westernport Bay, Victoria, 492.

High counts have also been recorded (Watkins 1993) for:

  • Gulf of St Vincent, South Australia, 1130
  • West coast of the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, 580
  • Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, 460 (Lane 1987).

The Common Greenshank has also been recorded from Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, Macquarie Island, Heard Island, Chatham Island, Snares Island, Prince Edward Island, Iles Kerguelen, Iles Crozet, Ile de la Possession and Ile de l'Est. Small numbers regularly visit New Zealand (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Non-breeding distribution
The Common Greenshank is found in Europe, Africa, Asia, Melanesia and Australasia. The species is widespread: Africa, South of the Tropic of Cancer along the coasts of Horn of Africa and Red Sea; Nile Valley; Madagascar; coastal Asia from the Red Sea, Arabian Peninsula, Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea; throughout the Indian subcontinent, Indomalaya, south-east Asia, Indochina and south China; Philippines; west Melanesia and south New Guinea (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Breeding distribution
The Common Greenshank breeds in Eurasia, the northern British Isles, Scandanavia, east Estonia and north-east Belarus, through Russia and east to the middle reaches of the Anadyr River, the Kamchatka Peninsula, north Sakhalin and lower Amur River. There is also isolated breeding in northern Ukraine. The southern limit is around 55° N in Europe and west to Siberia around 52° N in eastern Siberia, and around 50° N in the Far East. The northern limit is approximately the Arctic Circle, extending to around 70° N at the Kola Peninsula (Higgins & Davies 1996).

World population
The global population is estimeted to be 440 000–1 500 000 (BirdLife International 2009). Internationally, four populations are recognised: Europe/west Africa (200 000–500 000 birds), south-west Asia/east and south Africa (wintering, >100 000), southern Asia (wintering, 10 000–100 000) and eastern/south-eastern Asia and Australia (Delaney & Scott; 2002; Rose & Scott 1997). The species is not globally threatened and is considered secure due to its extensive breeding range (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Australian population
The East Asian-Australasian Flyway (the Flyway) population of the Common Greenshank is thought to be approximately 60 000, of which 18 000–19 000 spend the non-breeding season in Australia (Bamford et al. 2008; Clemens et al. 2008). The species shows significant regional variation but no overall change between atlases 20 years apart (Barrett et al. 2002). Numbers in Victoria have fluctuated but the latest population estimate of 1430 is similar to the previous estimate of 1530 birds (Wilson 2001a). In the Coorong, South Australia, counts in 1981, 1982, 1987 and 2000 ranged from 557 to 717 birds but only 305 were recorded in 2001 (Wilson 2001b).

In Australia, the Common Greenshank is reserved in the Coorong and Lower Lakes Ramsar Wetlands (Phillips & Muller 2006).

Typical habitat
The Common Greenshank is found in a wide variety of inland wetlands and sheltered coastal habitats of varying salinity. It occurs in sheltered coastal habitats, typically with large mudflats and saltmarsh, mangroves or seagrass. Habitats include embayments, harbours, river estuaries, deltas and lagoons and are recorded less often in round tidal pools, rock-flats and rock platforms. The species uses both permanent and ephemeral terrestrial wetlands, including swamps, lakes, dams, rivers, creeks, billabongs, waterholes and inundated floodplains, claypans and saltflats. It will also use artificial wetlands, including sewage farms and saltworks dams, inundated rice crops and bores. The edges of the wetlands used are generally of mud or clay, occasionally of sand, and may be bare or with emergent or fringing vegetation, including short sedges and saltmarsh, mangroves, thickets of rushes, and dead or live trees. It was once recorded with Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus) in pasture, but are generally not found in dry grassland (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Feeding habitat
The species is known to forage at edges of wetlands, in soft mud on mudflats, in channels, or in shallows around the edges of water often among pneumatophores of mangroves or other sparse, emergent or fringing vegetation, such as sedges or saltmarsh. It will occasionally feed on exposed seagrass beds (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Roosting habitat
The Common Greenshank roosts and loafs round wetlands, in shallow pools and puddles, or slightly elevated on rocks, sandbanks or small muddy islets. Occasionally the species will perch and roost on stakes (Higgins & Davies 1996). The species is known to have roosted on an inland claypan near Roebuck Bay, Western Australia; this site may be an important roost site for this species at least during the non-breeding season (Collins et al. 2001).

The Common Greenshank nests on the ground in the open, but usually next to a piece of dead wood or beside rocks, trees, fences or sticks, which act as nest markers (Snow & Perrins 1998). The nest is a shallow scrape lined with some plant material (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Three to five (mostly four) eggs are laid in late April to June (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Robinson 2005). Incubation lasts for 22–26 days (del Hoyo et al. 1996; Robinson 2005) and chicks fledge approximately 25–31 days after hatching. Around 74% of eggs hatch and 32% of hatchlings fledge (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Age of first breeding is thought to be two years (Robinson 2005), but some return to breeding grounds when only one year old (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The oldest ringed bird was 15 years and 10 months (Robinson 2005).

The Common Greenshank is carnivorous. In Australia is has been recorded eating molluscs, crustaceans, insects, and occasionally fish and frogs. Elsewhere, it has also been recorded eating annelids, lizards, and rodents (Higgins & Davies 1996). The species feeds during both day and night time. It is active and agile, finding prey by sight or, occasionally, by touch. The birds wade in shallow water along edge of water in tidal estuaries, muddy claypans, saltworks and saltpans (Higgins & Davies 1996). They glean from the surface of mud, vegetation or water and pursue insects on the surface of the water and in the air. Prey is occassionally manipulated, crushed and washed before being swallowed whole, especially large items such as eels (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The Common Greenshank is a migratory species, breeding in the Palaearctic and flying south, in a broad front, overland and along coasts to non-breeding areas for the boreal winter (Cramp & Simmons 1983).

Southern passage
In the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, Common Greenshanks have been recorded on passage through Russia from July to September, but occasionally as late as November. They migrate through western Europe to Kurile and the Commander Islands, north-east China in August to November. The species also passes through Korea and Japan and is mostly seen in Hong Kong from mid-August and in Taiwan from September. The bird also moves through Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Bali and Wallacea, from August to September. The Common Greenshank is mainly a passage migrant in New Guinea during August to December (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Non-breeding in Australia
The species arrives in Australia from August, possibly mainly in the west (Lane 1987), though it also passes through Torres Strait (Draffan et al. 1983). The Common Greenshank appears to move elsewhere in Australia from Western Australia by November, but there is no apparent difference in timing of arrival between coastal and inland, or northerly and southerly sites (Lane 1987). Numbers increase slowly at most sites during August and September with larger increases at some (widely scattered) sites in October and November (Alcorn 1988). There are several records in November from Lord Howe Island and regular reports from New Zealand in summer (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The Common Greenshank overwinters at only a few sites which reach expected wintering numbers from late April to early May (Alcorn 1988). In winter they are found as far south as south-east Tasmania (Higgins & Davies 1996). The proportion of the summer population that winters, varies between years at some sites, e.g. in south-east Tasmania none of the preceding summer population remained in 1965, 11% remained in 1966, 17% in 1967, and 5% in 1968 (Thomas 1970a). At two sites in South Australia, with significant wintering populations, numbers were stable through winter, indicating little movement (Alcorn 1988). However, in the Hobart region, wintering birds showed considerable movement (Thomas 1968). During non-breeding season, most birds within Australia do not seem to move long distances, although dispersive movements may sometimes occur (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Return to northern breeding grounds
Northward migration occurs from March, but mostly in April when numbers decline at sites throughout Australia. Influxes have been recorded in Victoria, South Australia and along the east coast (Alcorn 1988; Lane 1987; Starks & Lane 1987). Some sites north of 28° S show influxes in March, earlier than in south-eastern Australia, which suggests that birds from south-eastern Australia do not stop on the east coast on their northerly migration (Alcorn 1988).

Other counts suggest two waves of northward migration: the first in late February and early March when the birds leave southern and northern Australia, with some southerly birds touching down in north Australia and; a second wave in late March and early April when birds from southern Australia fly straight out of Australia with only a few stopping in north-western Australia (Starks & Lane 1987).

Migratory pathways and sites of international importance
Internationally, at least 30% of the Flyway population of Common Greenshanks passes through the Yellow Sea region, where 11 sites of international importance have been identified. Six of these are in South Korea (Ganghwa Do, Daebu Do, Asan Man, Seosan Reclaimed Area, Geum Gang Hagu and Dongjin Gang Hagu) and five in China (Dong Sha, Yancheng National Nature Reserve (NNR), Huang He NNR, Tianjin Municipality, and Yalu Jiang NNR). Four sites are important during northerly migration, eight during southerly migration and one in the non-breeding season. Yancheng NNR is important during both northerly and southerly migration (Barter 2002).

Global Threats
There are a number of threats that affect migratory shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The greatest threat is indirect and direct habitat loss (Melville 1997). Staging areas used during migration through eastern Asia are being lost and degraded by activities which are reclaiming the mudflats for development (Barter 2002, 2005c; Ge et al. 2007). This is especially evident in the Yellow Sea, where at least 40% of intertidal areas have been reclaimed. This process is continuing at a rapid rate and may accelerate in the near future (Barter 2002, 2005c). For example, in South Korea, the Mangyeung and Dongjin River estuaries each supported 5% of the combined estimated Flyway populations (and are the most important sites for this species on both northern and southern migration) but they are currently being reclaimed as part of the Saemangeum Reclamation Project (Barter 2002, 2005c). The 33 km sea-wall across these two estuaries was completed in April 2006, resulting in significant change in the 40 100 ha area. However, Moores (2008) has documented the change in species' composition and numbers since the sea-wall was completed, and there is some indication of an increase in the number of Common Greenshanks recorded since 2006 (Moores 2008).

Reclamation is also a threat in other areas of the Flyway, such as in Malaysia (Wei et al. 2006). In addition, water regulation and diversion infrastructure in the major tributaries have resulted in the reduction of water and sediment flows (Barter 2002; Barter et al. 1998).

Migratory shorebirds are also adversely affected by pollution, both on passage and in non-breeding areas (Harding et al. 2007; Melville 1997; Wei et al. 2006). Disturbance from human activities, including recreation, shellfish harvesting, fishing and aquaculture is likely to increase significantly in the future (Barter 2005c; Davidson & Rothwell 1993).

It is predicted that the rate of decrease in the intertidal area in the Yellow Sea will accelerate (Barter 2002). In addition, intensive oil exploration and extraction, and reduction in river flows due to upstream water diversion, are other potentially significant threats in parts of China where this species is present in internationally significant numbers (Barter 2005c; Barter et al. 1998).

Global warming and associated changes in sea level are likely to have a long-term impact on the breeding, staging and non-breeding grounds of migratory waders (Harding et al. 2007).

Within Australia, there are a number of threats common to most migratory shorebirds, including the Common Greenshank:

Loss/modification of habitat
The demands of long flights make migratory shorebirds particularly susceptible to loss of, or changes to, the habitat of resting or foraging grounds along their route (AGDEH 2005c). Site fidelity is another feature of migratory shorebird behaviour which can compound the risk that habitat modification or loss can represent. Residential, farming, industrial and aquaculture/fishing activities represent the major cause of habitat loss or modification in Australia. Residential or other development of saltworks or land adjacent to mudflats near the outskirts of built-up areas can reduce suitable habitat for the species and increase levels of disturbance (Straw 1992a).

Silt, pollution, weeds or pest invasion
Increased silt in the water, pollution and weed or pest invasion of habitats can change the quality or quantity of food available from the sites or modify important biophysical aspects. Pollution is a particular threat as pollutants tend to accumulate and concentrate in wetlands (AGDEH 2005c). Excess nutrients, including from offsite, diffuse sources, can lead to eutrophication which in turn can impact on the availability of benthic prey species (Harding et al. 2007; Straw 1992a). Industrial pollution, such as in the case of accidental release, can lead to the build up of heavy metals or toxic elements in the substrate of wetlands which, in turn, can affect benthic prey fauna (AGDEH 2005).

With increasing tourist visitation and development along the Queensland coast and around Broome, Western Australia, increasing levels of disturbance from human recreational activity are likely. Recreational fishing, four-wheel driving, unleashed dogs and jet-skiing may disturb the foraging or roosting behaviour of migratory shorebirds. Migratory shorebirds are most susceptible to disturbance during daytime roosting and foraging periods. Disturbance can lead to reduced energy reserves required by the birds prior to migration (AGDEH 2005c).

Introduced Species
Introduced plants, such as Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) can lead to long-term changes to the nature and biodiversity of wetlands which in turn can affect their suitability for use by migratory shorebirds (AGDEH 2005c). Introduced plants, such as Cord Grass (Spartinia), can invade intertidal mudflats and reduce the amount of suitable foraging areas, as has already occurred in other countries (Goss-Custard & Moser 1988). Exotic marine pests may also result in the loss of benthic food sources (AGDEH 2005c).

The biological characteristic of the species which poses a key threat to its survival is that it regularly flies for thousands of kilometres over some of the most densely populated areas of the world. The huge human population in east Asia places enormous pressure on natural resources, and manifests itself in activities such as the reclamation of mudflats (Barter 2002, 2005).

Governments and conservation groups have undertaken a wide range of activities relating to migratory shorebird conservation (AGDEH 2005c) both in Australia and in cooperation with other countries associated with the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

The Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (AGDEH 2006f) outlines national activities to support flyway shorebird conservation initiatives and provides a strategic framework to ensure these activities and future research and management actions are integrated and remain focused on the long-term survival of migratory shorebird populations and their habitats.

Since 1996–97, the Australian Government has invested approximately $5 000 000 of Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) funding in projects contributing to migratory shorebird conservation (DEWHA 2007e). This funding has been distributed across a range of important projects, including the implementation of a nationally coordinated monitoring programme that will produce robust, long-term population data able to support the conservation and effective management of shorebirds and their habitat; migration studies using colour bands and leg flags; and development of a shorebird conservation toolkit to assist users to develop and implement shorebird conservation projects.

Birds Australia is currently co-ordinating the Shorebirds 2020 project, which aims to monitor shorebird populations at important sites throughout Australia; and Birdlife International is identifying sites and regions which are important to various species of birds, including shorebirds, and the processes that are affecting them. The aim is to inform decisions on the management of shorebird habitat. It may be possible to rehabilitate some degraded wetlands or to create artificial wader feeding or roosting sites to replace those destroyed by development, such as by creating artificial sandflats and sand islands from dredge spoil and by building breakwaters (Dening 2005; Harding et al. 1999; Straw 1992a, 1999).

Australia has played an important role in building international cooperation to conserve migratory birds. In addition to being party to international agreements on migratory species, Australia is also a member of the Partnership for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and the Sustainable Use of their Habitats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (Flyway Partnership), which was launched in Bogor, Indonesia on 6 November 2006. Prior to this agreement, Australia was party to the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy and the Action Plan for the Conservation of Migratory Shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network.

The East Asian-Australasian Flyway Site Network, which is part of the broader Flyway Partnership, promotes the identification and protection of key sites for migratory shorebirds. Australia has 17 sites in the network:

  • Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory (1 375 940 ha)
  • Parry Lagoons, Western Australia (36 111 ha)
  • Thomsons Lake, Western Australia (213 ha)
  • Moreton Bay, Queensland (113 314 ha)
  • Hunter Estuary, NSW (2916 ha)
  • Corner Inlet, Victoria (51 500 ha)
  • The Coorong, Lake Alexandrina & Lake Albert, South Australia (140 500 ha)
  • Orielton Lagoon, Tasmania (2920 ha)
  • Logan Lagoon, Tasmania (2320 ha)
  • Western Port, Victoria (59 297 ha)
  • Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria (16 540 ha)
  • Shallow Inlet Marine and Coastal Park, Victoria
  • Discovery Bay Coastal Park, Victoria
  • Bowling Green Bay, Queensland
  • Shoalwater Bay, Queensland
  • Great Sandy Strait, Queensland
  • Currawinya National Park, Queensland.

Marine bioregional plans have been developed for four of Australia's marine regions - South-west, North-west, North and Temperate East. Marine Bioregional Plans will help improve the way decisions are made under the EPBC Act, particularly in relation to the protection of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of our oceans and their resources by our marine-based industries. Marine Bioregional Plans improve our understanding of Australia's oceans by presenting a consolidated picture of the biophysical characteristics and diversity of marine life. They describe the marine environment and conservation values of each marine region, set out broad biodiversity objectives, identify regional priorities and outline strategies and actions to address these priorities. Click here for more information about marine bioregional plans.

The Common Greenshank has been identified as a conservation value in the North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y) Marine Region. See Schedule 2 of the North-west Marine Bioregional Plan (DSEWPaC 2012y) for regional advice. Maps of Biologically Important Areas have been developed for Common Greenshank in the North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y) Marine Region and may provide additional relevant information. Go to the conservation values atlas to view the locations of these Biologically Important Areas. The "species group report card - seabirds & migratory shorebirds" for the North-west (DSEWPaC 2012y) Marine Region provides additional information.

A detailed summary of all that is known of the species in Australasia is in Higgins and Davies (1996) and the Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (AGDEH 2006f) outlines national activities to support flyway shorebird conservation initiatives.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Global warming and associated sea level changes Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Temperature Extremes:temperature change Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Energy Production and Mining:Oil and Gas Drilling:Exploration drilling Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Energy Production and Mining:Oil and Gas Drilling:Production of oil and gas resources Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Disturbance, especially from human recreational activities and development Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes and water quality Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Changes to habitat hydrology Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Changes to hydrology due to water diversion Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Salinity Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Other Ecosystem Modifications:Loss and damage of intertidal areas due to land reclamation Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Pollution:Industrial and Military Effluents:Habitat degradation due to industrial discharge Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Pollution:Pollution:Habitat degradation and loss of water quality due to salinity, siltaton, nutrification and/or pollution Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Protected status:Protected status:Lack of secure conservation land tenure Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].

Alcorn, R. (1988). Australasian Wader Study Group Regular Wader Counts Project. Interim report to June 1987: migratory waders. Stilt. 12:7-23.

Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH) (2005c). Background Paper to the Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment and Heritage. Available from:

Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH) (2006f). Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment and Heritage. Available from:

Bamford M., D. Watkins, W. Bancroft, G. Tischler & J. Wahl (2008). Migratory Shorebirds of the East Asian - Australasian Flyway: Population estimates and internationally important sites. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Wetlands International-Oceania. Available from:

Barrett, G., A. Silcocks, R. Cunningham & R. Poulter (2002). Comparison of Atlas 1 (1977-1981) and Atlas 2 (1998-2001): Supplementary Report No. 1. Melbourne: Birds Australia, report for Natural Heritage Trust.

Barter, M.A. (2002). Shorebirds of the Yellow Sea: Importance, Threats and Conservation Status. Wetlands International Global Series No. 8, International Wader Studies 12. Canberra, ACT: Wetlands International.

Barter, M.A. (2005c). Yellow Sea-driven priorities for Australian shorebird researchers. In: Straw, P., ed. Status and Conservation of Shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Proceedings of the Australasian Shorebirds Conference 13-15 December 2003, Canberra, Australia. Sydney, NSW: Wetlands International Global Series 18, International Wader Studies 17.

Barter, M.A., D. Tonkinson, J.Z. Lu, S.Y. Zhu, Y. Kong, T.H. Wang, Z.W. Li & X.M. Meng (1998). Shorebird numbers in the Huang He (Yellow River) Delta during the 1997 northward migration. Stilt. 33:15-26.

BirdLife International (2009). Species factsheet: Tringa nebularia. [Online]. Available from:

Clemens, R.S., A. Haslem, J. Oldland., L. Shelley, M.A. Weston & M.A.A. Diyan (2008). Identification of Significant Shorebird Areas in Australia: Mapping, Thresholds and Criteria. Birds Australia report the Australian Government. Canberra, ACT: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts.

Collins, P., A. Boyle, C. Minton & R. Jessop (2001). The importance of inland claypans for waders in Roebuck Bay, Broome, NW Australia. Stilt. 38:4--8.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Tringa nebularia in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 17 Apr 2014 01:00:28 +1000.