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 as Glareola maldivarum
Listed migratory - CAMBA as Glareola maldivarum, JAMBA as Glareola maldivarum, ROKAMBA as Glareola maldivarum
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Policy Statements and Guidelines 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] as Glareola maldivarum.
Declaration under section 248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of Marine Species (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000c) [Legislative Instrument] as Glareola maldivarum.
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - Listed Migratory Species - Approval of an International Agreement (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007h) [Legislative Instrument] as Glareola maldivarum.
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Least Concern (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Glareola maldivarum [840]
Family Glareolidae:Charadriiformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Forster,1795
Infraspecies author  
Other names Glareola pratincola [66547]
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: Glareola maldivarum

Common Name: Oriental Pratincole

Other names: Eastern Collared or Large Indian Pratincole, Grasshopperbird, Stormbird or Little Stormbird, Swallow-plover, Swarmer (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Higgins & Davies 1996).

The Oriental Pratincole is a conventionally accepted species (Christidis & Boles 1994, 2008; Higgins & Davies 1996). The Oriental Pratincole was considered a subspecies of the Common Pratincole (Glareola pratincola), however it is now recognised as a monotypic species (Bamford et al 2008).

The Oriental Pratincole is a medium-sized (23–24 cm long and weighs approximately 75 g), tern-like shorebird with long, pointed wings and a forked tail. The sexes are alike, with seasonal variation, and juveniles are separable.

In breeding plumage, adults have a dark olive-brown crown and nape, paler olive buff on the neck, dark olive-brown back and upper rump (similar to the top of the head), white lower rump, uppertail coverts and tail, with a narrow black subterminal band across the tail. In flight the upperwings have dark olive-brown secondary coverts which contrast with the secondaries and the outer wing, which are darker brownish black. The ear coverts are pale creamy buff, and are separated from the chin and throat, which are a similar colour, by a black line which runs down from below the eye to encircle the throat and separate it from the upper breast, which is olive buff (concolourous with the neck), grading to brighter orange buff on the lower breast belly and flanks, with the rest of the underparts white. The underwings have chestnut axillaries and coverts, with the remainder, including the leading edge, black. The bill is black with a red gape and base of lower mandible, the eyes are dark brown, and the legs and feet are brownish black. In non-breeding plumage the species is similar to those in breeding plumage except the upperparts are entirely dark brownish olive; the chin and throat are paler creamy, and bordered by dark streaks, not a solid line; the sides of the neck and breast are darker, contrasting more with the belly, which is white with a pale orange-buff wash. The bill has a dull brownish pink gape and base.

Juveniles (which are not recorded in Australia) are similar to adults in non-breeding plumage, but the crown, nape and neck are mottled and streaked with dark brown, and the feathers of the upperparts have broad buff-white tips and black subterminal bands; the chin and throat are whitish, bordered by indistinct dark streaks; the band on the upper breast is olive brown, and narrower and less uniform, and the underbody is paler, with a buff wash (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The species is generally gregarious, occurring in small to large flocks, which, in northern Australia, sometimes comprise thousands of birds. In southern Australia they are usually seen singly or in small flocks (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Within Australia the Oriental Pratincole is widespread in northern areas, especially along the coasts of the Pilbara Region and the Kimberley Division in Western Australia, the Top End of the Northern Territory, and parts of the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is also widespread but scattered inland, mostly north of 20° S. There are occasional records in southern Australia, at sparsely scattered sites, with records in all states, including an unconfirmed report in Tasmania (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984; Higgins & Davies 1996; Stewart et al. 2007). The species has also been recorded on various outlying islands, including Lord Howe Island, and, in the Indian Ocean, Christmas Island and Cocos-Keeling Islands (Carter 1994; McAllan et al. 2004; Stokes et al. 1987).

Internationally (in bold) and nationally important sites in Australia and maximum counts (in brackets) include:

  • Eighty Mile Beach, Western Australia, (2.88 million birds)
  • Roebuck Plains, Western Austaralia, (50 000)
  • Lake De Burgh, Northern Territory, (13 130)
  • Port Hedland Saltworks, Western Australia, (10 000)
  • Lake Woods, Northern Territory, (6066)
  • Taylors Lagoon, Western Australia, (6000)
  • Lake Argyle, Western Australia, (3000)
  • Lake Sylvester, Northern Territory, (1900)
  • Parry River floodplain, Western Australia, (900)
  • Karumba plains, Queensland, (700) (Bamford et al 2008; Collins & Jessop 2001; Jaensch 1994; Minton et al. 2004; Sitters et al. 2004; Watkins 1993).

There are no published estimates of the extent of occurrence of the Oriental Pratincole in Australia. The estimated global extent of occurrence is 1 000 000–10 000 000 km² (Birdlife International 2007p).

The area of occupancy of the Oriental Pratincole in Australia has been estimated at 10 000 km².

The species occurs at numerous and widespread sites in northern Australia, especially near the Pilbara and Kimberley coasts of northern Western Australia and the Top End of the Northern Territory, and in inland areas north of 20° S in those states (Blakers et al. 1984; Barrett et al. 2003).

There are no current captive populations of this species and none have been reintroduced into the wild.

The mobile species occurs at numerous and widespread sites in northern Australia, especially near the Pilbara and Kimberley coasts of northern Western Australia and the Top End of the Northern Territory, and in inland areas north of 20° S in those states (Blakers et al. 1984; Barrett et al. 2003).

Breeding distribution
Oriental Pratincoles breed in southern, south-eastern and eastern Asia, from northern parts of the Indian subcontinent, east through Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam to southern, eastern and northern China, Mongolia and adjacent areas of south-eastern Siberia, at the Onon River and Toreiskige Lakes in Transbaikalia. The periphery of the breeding range includes the Malay Peninsula and various islands, including Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the Philippines and southern Japan (Crossland 2003; de Schauensee 1984; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Dickinson et al. 1991; Grimmett et al. 1999b; Maclean 1996; Orn. Soc. Japan 2000; Round 2006; Wells 1999).

On passage
In the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, the Oriental Pratincole is recorded on passage in central and north-eastern China, Hong Kong, Japan, Indochina, the Philippines, the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia, and irregularly in Micronesia (Chalmers 1986; de Schauensee 1984; Dickinson et al. 1991; MacKinnon & Phillipps 1993; Maclean 1996; Orn. Soc. Japan 2000; Pratt et al. 1987; Wells 1999; White & Bruce 1986). Elsewhere, Oriental Pratincoles are recorded moving at low elevations through Nepal (Grimmett et al. 1999b).

Non-breeding distribution
Most of the migratory population of the species is thought to spend the non-breeding season in Australia (Higgins & Davies 1996), with a few occurring in New Guinea (Coates 1985) and occasional vagrants in New Zealand (Higgins & Davies 1996); a few birds spend the non-breeding season in Indonesia, for example, Sumatra (Van Marle & Voous 1988). There is, however, a non-migratory population on the Indian subcontinent (Grimmett et al. 1999b; Maclean 1996). Vagrants have been recorded on islands in the southern Indian Ocean (Seychelles and Mauritius), on the Arabian Peninsula, and in the Western Palearctic (Britain, Cyprus and Egypt) (Baha el Din & Baha el Din 1996; Burns 1993; Maclean 1996; Rowlands 1994; Skerrett & Bullock 1992).

The overall population of the Oriental Pratincole is estimated at about 2.88 million birds (Minton et al. 2004; Sitters et al. 2004; Stewart et al. 2007) or about 2.5 million birds (Birdlife International 2007p). It is not considered globally threatened (Maclean 1996) and is classified as being of least concern (Birdlife International 2007p). However, a study in the Indramayu Cirebon region of West Java suggested that the population there may be declining, possibly due to hunting (Johnson et al. 1992).

Most of the migratory population which occurs in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway is considered to spend the non-breeding season in Australia (Stewart et al. 2007), though a few may overwinter in Indonesia or New Guinea (Coates 1985; Van Marle & Voous 1988). The Australian population comprises birds which breed in Asia, from the Malay Peninsula east to China and Japan and north to Mongolia, with the entire population thought to leave Australia. Thus global threats will affect the Australian population.

Populations in Australia are regularly surveyed during the Population Monitoring Program carried out by the Australasian Wader Studies Group, in which sites that regularly support good numbers of shorebirds are surveyed twice a year (winter and summer) in co-ordinated counts. As these surveys began in 1981, there is a good data set. Most of the regular survey sites, however, are located near the coast, and as the Oriental Pratincole is known to often occur well inland (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984), a possibly significant proportion of the population would not be recorded in these surveys.

The total population is estimated at about 2.88 million birds (Stewart et al. 2007) or about 2.5 million birds (Birdlife International 2007p).

The Oriental Pratincole breeds at widespread locations in eastern, south-eastern and southern Asia, on the mainland from eastern China west to northern India and Pakistan, and south to the Malay Peninsula, as well as on various islands, such as southern Japan, the Philippines and Sumatra. Though some birds breed on islands, these should not be considered as a number of smaller populations or separate subpopulations. However, as the population on the Indian subcontinent is not migratory (unlike the migratory birds which breed further east), it should be considered as a separate population.

No population trends have been detected, and the results of surveys in Australia are too patchy to determine any trends in the non-breeding grounds.

It is unclear whether the species undergoes extreme natural fluctuations in Australia. In regular Australia-wide Summer Population Monitoring Counts between 1986 and 2006 the species was only recorded in five surveys, with the highest count of 462 in 1996, and the mean number recorded in these years was about 110 birds (Harris 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999b, 2000; Hewish 1986, 1987a, 1990, 1992; Skewes 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007; Wilson 2001c). This contrasts with the estimated 2.88 million birds seen along Eighty Mile Beach in Western Australia in February 2004 (Minton et al. 2004; Sitters et al. 2004), and there are other records of large numbers of Pratincoles (Carruthers 1968; Klapste 1977a; Minton & Rogers 2004). The irruptive nature of this species is quite well known (Higgins & Davies 1996).

There is no published information of the generation length of the Oriental Pratincole.

The key populations for the species long-term survival, at least in Australia, are the birds which breed in eastern and South-East Asia and migrate along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, as these are the birds which spend the non-breeding season in Australia. Within Australia, two of the major staging areas are Eighty Mile Beach and Roebuck Plains, both near Broome, where the vast majority of birds occur while in Australia. The maintenance of these sites would appear critical for the survival of the species.

The Oriental Pratincole is not known to hybridize with other species in the wild.

Of the ten sites in northern Australia which have been recognised as being of international or national importance for the species, one (the Parry River floodplain) is in a conservation reserve (Bamford et al 2008; Watkins 1993).

In non-breeding grounds in Australia, the Oriental Pratincole usually inhabits open plains, floodplains or short grassland (including farmland or airstrips), often with extensive bare areas (Bravery 1970; Campbell 1920; Carruthers 1968; Garnett 1986; Jaensch 2004; Klapste 1977a; van Tets et al. 1969, 1977). They often occur near terrestrial wetlands, such as billabongs, lakes or creeks, and artificial wetlands such as reservoirs, saltworks and sewage farms, especially around the margins (Boekel 1980; Garnett 1986; Jaensch 1985, 2004; Liddy 1959; Lloyd & Lloyd 1991; Smith 1963a). The species also occurs along the coast, inhabiting beaches, mudflats and islands, or around coastal lagoons (Corben 1972b; Finch & Cox 1974; Garstone 1978; Hobbs & McGill 1973).

Outside Australia, the species occurs in open areas (such as plains, meadows, airfields, playing fields and pastures), and around wetlands (such as marshes, rivers, lakes, saltpans, fish ponds and rice fields) (Ali & Ripley 1969; de Schauensee 1984; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; MacKinnon & Phillipps 1993; Maclean 1996; Orn. Soc. Japan 2000).

Roosting habitat
During the heat of the day they usually loaf near water at the edges of terrestrial wetlands (Boekel 1980; Crawford 1972; Garnett 1986; Hobbs & McGill 1973; Jaensch 2004; Pierce 1978), and at one wetland they roosted in the hoofprints of stock (Hobbs & McGill 1973). They usually roost in bare areas such as claypans or areas with low vegetation, such as saltmarsh or airfields (Garnett 1986; Gill 1970; Jaensch 1985; van Tets et al. 1969; Waugh 1988).

Breeding habitat
The species does not breed in Australia. It breeds in colonies on open grassland plains (often recently burnt) or stubble fields, or at the edge of wetlands such as lakes, rivers or ricefields, including on grassy islands or reclaimed land (Ali & Ripley 1969; Crossland 2003; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Maclean 1996).
The species does not rely on a listed threatened ecological community.

Details of the age of sexual maturity and life expectancy of the species are unknown.

The species does not breed in Australia. Oriental Pratincoles breed in colonies (often with terns, such as River Terns (Sterna aurantia), or Little Terns ( Sterna albifrons)), and lay their eggs from April to June, with the timing sometimes coinciding with recent fires. Nests are usually a shallow scrape or a similar shallow depression, such as a dried hoofprint. Clutches are usually of two or three eggs. The periods of incubation and fledging are unknown, but are said to be the same as the Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola), which incubate for 17–19 days, and the precocial young leave the nest at two to three days old, and are fed by both parents (Ali & Ripley 1969; Crossland 2003; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Maclean 1996). Due to their ground-nesting habit and the precocial nature of the chicks, Oriental Pratincoles are vulnerable to predation on breeding grounds.

During the non-breeding season, Oriental Pratincoles eat insects, including dragonflies, cicadas, beetles, moths, ants, termites, locusts, grasshoppers, flies, bees and wasps (Barker & Vestjens 1989; Boekel 1980; Kilgour 1904; Johnstone 1983; Mathews 1909, 1910; Pierce 1978; van Tets et al. 1969).

During the breeding season, they also eat flying insects (Ali & Ripley 1969; Maclean 1996).

The species usually feeds aerially, at heights varying from just above the ground up to 300 m (Campbell 1920; Corben 1972b; Garnett 1986; Liddy 1959). They travel in flocks, in search of swarms of locusts or other insects (Kilgour 1904), and large flocks may ascend thermals near cyclonic storms or fires to feed on insects and other prey sucked up by thermals (Campbell 1920; van Tets et al. 1977). They also sometimes glean insects from the ground, running after or lunging at prey on the ground (Pierce 1978; Stewart et al. 2007; van Tets et al. 1969).

The Oriental Pratincole is a partly migratory species, with most of the population breeding in the Northern Hemisphere and flying south for the boreal winter (Higgins & Davies 1993; Lane 1987; Maclean 1996). The population on the Indian subcontinent is not migratory, but may make local movements (Ali & Ripley 1969; Grimmett et al. 1999b; Maclean 1996).

Departure from breeding grounds
Given the timing of birds on southern passage, most birds probably leave their breeding grounds in about September.

Southern passage
Many birds are recorded moving south through China, Hong Kong and Taiwan between September or early October and early November (Chalmers 1986; de Schauensee 1984; Maclean 1996). They are also recorded on passage in Japan (Orn. Soc. Japan 2000), mainly in August and September (Maclean 1996), the Malay Peninsula in August and September (Maclean 1996) and the Philippines in October and November (Dickinson et al. 1991), and Indonesia between September and November (Johnson et al. 1992; White & Bruce 1986).

Non-breeding season
Most birds are thought to spend the non-breeding season in Australia (Higgins & Davies 1996), though a few may occur in New Guinea and Indonesia (Coates 1985; Van Marle & Voous 1988), with very occasional vagrants in New Zealand (Higgins & Davies 1996). There is a resident population on the Indian subcontinent.

The species arrives in northern Australia in late October and early November (Berney 1904; Collins 1995; Kilgour 1904; Storr 1980), later than most other migratory shorebirds (Collins 1995; Lane 1987). Their arrival in Australia is possibly dictated by the weather, as birds arriving in Australia often coincide with the first thunderstorms of the wet season, or just before first cyclone (Boekel 1980; Collins 1995; Goodfellow 2001; Storr 1977).

When in Australia, Oriental Pratincoles are apparently dispersive and irruptive, with thousands of birds suddenly appearing, coinciding with arrival of thundery or cyclonic storms that may cause a dramatic increase in the number of insects, and leaving soon after (Boekel 1980; Crawford 1972; Fletcher 1980; Horton 1975; Jaensch 2004; Storr 1977), or sometimes moving into areas before the rain has fallen, as some insects hatch in large numbers shortly before rain (Carter 1994; Kilgour 1904; Lane 1987). They may also make local movements in search of abundant insects. They possibly also move to coastal areas during dry periods (Dawson et al. 1987; Murlis et al. 1988) or away from flooded wetlands when margins become inundated (Hobbs & McGill 1973; Pierce 1978). A few birds move further, into southern Australia, where they may remain for varying amounts of time (Finch & Cox 1974; Hobbs & McGill 1973; Lloyd & Lloyd 1991; Smith 1963a; Storr & Johnstone 1988). In the Channel Country of north-western Queensland, Oriental Pratincoles have been recorded using river corridors for their northward migration (Jaensch 2004).

The species usually leaves Australia before the end of the wet season (Goodfellow 2001), remaining until mid-March or the first week of April (Collins 1995; Crawford 1972; Lane 1987), though some may leave earlier (Boekel 1980; Storr 1977).

Northern passage

Birds are recorded on northern passage through Singapore in February and March (Hails & Jarvis 1987), through the Philippines from February to June (Dickinson et al. 1991), and through Hong Kong between early March and mid-June, with a peak in April (Chalmers 1986).

Arrival back at breeding grounds
Given the timing of birds on northern passage, most birds probably arrive back at their breeding grounds between about March and May.

Home ranges and territories are not maintained while the birds are in Australia.

The only similar species occurring in Australia is the Australian Pratincole, with which the species may associate. The Australian Pratincole is a smaller and slimmer bird with longer legs, and it has a shorter, square tail (not forked; a good distinguishing feature in flight) and dark chestnut flanks, lower breast and belly (Higgins & Davies 1996). The crepuscular habits of the Oriental Pratincole and its propensity to roost during the heat of the day, when the drab colouring of it plumage offers good camouflage against the soil or dry grass (Wells 1999) mean that roosting birds are often difficult to detect, but when foraging in large flocks the species is readily detected.

The survey methods used successfully by the Australasian Wader Studies Group are twice-yearly counts of waders at 23 sites around Australia, undertaken in early February, when numbers are most stable during the non-breeding season, and again in June-July to establish the population remaining in Australia during the breeding season in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer counts are the most useful, as they occur when the birds are present in Australia in their greatest numbers. Counts are usually conducted at high-tide, when the most species of shorebirds are roosting. This is complemented by robust banding and leg-flagging programs (Barter 1993; Minton & Lane 1984). The main limitation to this is that while many Oriental Pratincoles occur in coastal areas where the surveys are conducted, a possibly significant proportion of the population does not, occurring instead on inland plains, where the birds are widely dispersed, so that surveys are impractical. In addition, the species is often crepuscular (Maclean 1996), so that diurnal surveys may underestimate the number of Pratincoles present.

In Australia, the species occurs in sparsely-settled areas, and there are no immediate threats to its survival (Higgins & Davies 1996). In northern Australia, Oriental Pratincoles often loaf on roads, where they may be struck by vehicles (Klapste 1977a), and birds roosting or feeding on airstrips are often struck by aircraft, sometimes in large numbers (van Tets et al. 1969). The species often inhabits habitats vegetated with sparse grass that is grazed at low levels (not intensively), and it is unclear how grazing of this land affects the species (Watkins 1993). If the pattern of grazing was to change (that is, stop) or the grass was modified (for example, replaced by exotic grasses, or fertilized so that it grew denser) it could become too long or dense for use by Pratincoles, but either of these scenarios appears unlikely. With increasing tourist visitation around Broome (where the largest numbers of Pratincoles have been recorded in Australia [Sitters et al. 2004]), and subsequent development, increasing levels of disturbance from human recreation are likely (Rogers 1999b).

The species may be adversely affected by destruction or modification of habitat in its breeding grounds and on passage (Maclean 1996). When undertaking southward migration, large numbers of Oriental Pratincoles are killed for food in West Java (Milton & Marhadi 1989), and it was estimated in 1990 that 21% of the birds passing through the region were captured, making it the most heavily harvested shorebird (Johnson et al. 1992). As hunting is unregulated it is probably unsustainable (Johnson et al. 1992).

Governments and conservation groups have undertaken a wide range of activities relating to migratory shorebird conservation (DEH 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.

The issue of hunting Oriental Pratincoles and other species of shorebirds and waterbirds in Indonesia is being addressed by the initiation of ongoing environmental education programs (under the auspices of the Asian Wetlands Bureau and the Indonesian Directorate General for Nature Conservation (PHPA), and funded by AusAID), which were followed up by raids on bird hunters by the local forestry department. Subsequently, community workers sponsored by Bina Desa (a national non-government organization), trained in working with poverty-stricken people, were placed into marginal communities in an attempt to discourage the practice of hunting (McCarthy 1996).

There have been no mitigation measures developed specifically for this species.

Johnson and colleagues (1991) and Johnson and colleagues (1992) have studied Oriental Pratincole's in Indonesia. There is no key study of the species in Australia, though Sitters and colleagues (2004) is used to estimate the Australian population.

There is no key management documentation for this species in Australia. There is a detailed summary of all that is known of the species in Australia in Higgins and Davies (1996), and an international summary in Maclean (1996). There are also general discussions and summaries of the ecology, conservation and threats of this species and other shorebirds in Geering and colleagues (2007), Barter (2002) and Watkins (1993).

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
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Hunting and Collecting Terrestrial Animals:Direct exploitation by humans including hunting Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Flight Paths:Collision with aircraft Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Vehicle related mortality Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1969). Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. Volume 3. Bombay: Oxford Unversity Press.

Baha el Din, M. & S. Baha el Din (1996). The first Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum in Egypt. Sandgrouse. 18:64-65.

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:

Barker, R.D. & W.J.M. Vestjens (1989). The Food of Australian Birds. 1 Non-Passerines. Lyneham, ACT: CSIRO.

Barrett, G., A. Silcocks, S. Barry, R. Cunningham & R. Poulter (2003). The New Atlas of Australian Birds. Melbourne, Victoria: Birds Australia.

Barter, M.A. (1993). Population monitoring of waders in Australia: why is it so important, how is it best done and what can we do?. Stilt. 22:13-15.

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.

Berney, F.L. (1904). North Queensland notes on some migratory birds. Emu. 4:43-47.

Birdlife International (2007p). Species factsheet: Glareola maldivarum. Viewed 11 April 2008. [Online]. Available from:

Blakers, M., S.J.J.F. Davies & P.N. Reilly (1984). The Atlas of Australian Birds. Melbourne, Victoria: Melbourne University Press.

Boekel, C. (1980). Birds of Victoria River Downs Station and of Yarralin, Northern Territory. Part 1. Australian Bird Watcher. 8:171-193.

Bravery, J.A. (1970). The birds of Atherton Shire, Queensland. Emu. 70:49-63.

Burns, D.W. (1993). Oriental Pratincole: new to the Western Palearctic. British Birds. 86:115-120.

Campbell, A.J. (1920). Notes on additions to the "H.L. White Collection". Emu. 20:50-66.

Carruthers, R.K. (1968). Notes on an influx of Oriental Pratincoles at Mt Isa. Emu. 68:216-217.

Carter, M.J. (1994). Birds of the Cocos-Keeling Islands. Wingspan. 15:14-18.

Chalmers, M.L. (1986). Birds of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Bird Watching Society.

Christidis, L. & W.E. Boles (1994). The Taxonomy and Species of Birds of Australia and its Territories. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Monograph 2. Melbourne, Victoria: Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union.

Christidis, L. & W.E. Boles (2008). Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. Collingwood, Victoria: CSIRO Publishing.

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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). Glareola maldivarum in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Wed, 3 Sep 2014 10:19:25 +1000.