Biodiversity

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 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].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NT:Threatened Species of the Northern Territory - Red Knot, Calidris canutus (Ward, S., 2012a) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
NT: Listed as Vulnerable (Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000 (Northern Territory): 2012 list)
WA: Listed as Vulnerable* (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Least Concern (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
VIC: Listed as Endangered (Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria: 2013 list)
NGO: Listed as Vulnerable (The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010)
Scientific name Calidris canutus [855]
Family Scolopacidae:Charadriiformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
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

Western Australia: The two subspecies, Calidris canutus rogersi and C. c. piersmai are listed as Vulnerable under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.

Scientific name: Calidris canutus

Common name: Red Knot

Other common names: Knot, Common Knot, Iceland Sandpiper, East Siberian Sandpiper.

The species is polytypic, meaning more than one subspecies exists. The nominate subspecies Calidris canutus breeds on the Taymyr Peninsula and in central-north Siberia. The subspecies C. rogersi breeds in north-east Siberia, including the Chukotskiy Peninsula, and possibly areas farther west. The subspecies C. roselaari breeds at Wrangel Island, Siberia, and north-west Alaska. The subspecies rufa breeds in the Canadian Arctic, south of 75 °N. The subspecies C. islandica breeds on the islands of the Canadian high Arctic and northern Greenland.

The subspecies C. rogersi and, probably, canutus occur in the Australian region (Higgins & Davies 1996). Another subspecies, C. piersmai, has been described (Tomkovich 2001), breeding in the New Siberian Islands and spending the non-breeding season in Australasia. However, the respective geographical distributions of this new subspecies and subspecies C. rogersii in this region have yet to be determined (Barter 2002).

The Red Knot is a small to medium member of the Calidridinae family. It has a length of 23–25 cm, a wingspan of 45–54 cm and a weight of 120 g. The species is robust, short-necked, rather dumpy but long bodied wader with a short straight bill, long wings extending beyond the tail and short legs. The Red Knot is similar in shape and proportions to Great Knot, Calidris tenuirostris, but smaller and less bulky, with shorter bill, and the breeding plumage differs markedly. In all plumages the species has a clear narrow white wing bar and off-white patch on the rump and uppertail-coverts. It is obscured by narrow dark barring and appears pale grey at a distance (Higgins & Davies 1996).

The Red Knot is common in all the main suitable habitats around the coast of Australia (Barrett et al. 2002b; Minton, C.D.T. 2002, pers. comm.; Watkins 1993), but is less numerous in south-west Australia than elsewhere (Lane 1987). Very large numbers are regularly recorded in north-west Australia, with 80 Mile Beach and Roebuck Bay being particular strongholds. The only places it is not found in significant numbers are the northern part of the Great Australian Bight in South Australia and Western Australia, and along much of the NSW coast, where wader habitat is rather scarce (excluding the Hunter Estuary). It is also relatively absent west of Warranbool, Victoria through to the Coorong, South Australia. A flock, sometimes in the hundreds, is regularly recorded at Albany, south-west Western Australia (Minton, C.D.T. 2002, pers. comm.). It is occasionally recorded inland in all regions. In Queensland, the Red Knot migrates along the coast north of 19 °S, sometimes in large numbers; it is widespread along the coast south of Townsville and along the coasts of NSW and Victoria. There are few records between Bermagui and Lakes Entrance, and from west Bellarine Peninsula to Warrnambool. It is a regular visitor to the coasts of Tasmania, and King and Flinders Islands, in small numbers. In South Australia, the species is found mostly from The Coorong, north and west to the Yorke Peninsula and Port Pirie. In Western Australia there are scattered records in the south, and it is occasionally seen around Peron Peninsula and Carnarvon. It is widespread on the coast from Ningaloo and Barrow Island to the south-west Kimberley Division. In the Northern Territory it is mainly recorded from Darwin, but also seen at various other sites. It is also recorded at Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, Macquarie Island, Kermadec Island, Chatham Island, Auckland Island and Campbell Island (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Australian sites of international importance, and there populations are listed below Bamford et al. 2008):


Site State Max Count
Eighty Mile Beach Western Australia 80 700
South east Gulf of Carpentaria Queensland 23 657
Roebuck Bay Western Australia 11 200
Corner Inlet Victoria 7110
Port Pirie coast South Australia 4800
Roper River area Northern Territory 3100
Ceduna Bays South Australia 2788
Lake MacLeod Western Australia 2566

The Red Knot has a worldwide distribution, breeding at a range of locations right around the Arctic. The species then migrates to non-breeding areas that extend to the southernmost parts of the Americas, Africa, Europe and Australasia (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Non-breeding distribution (excluding Australia)
Internationally the Red Knot is a non-breeding visitor to most continents. Some occur in North America, in west Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. In Central America the species is found around Costa Rica and Panama, while in South America it is mostly found in Argentina and southern Chile, from Valdes Peninsula to Tierra del Fuego and occasionally Lake Maracaibo in north-west Venezuela. It is also found in French Guyana, and in the north-central region of Brazil and on the Pacific coast of Peru and Chile. In western Europe it is mostly found in the British Isles, France and the Netherlands, with a few on the Iberian Peninsula (Higgins & Davies 1996); some occur in Germany and Denmark (Minton, C.D.T. 2002, pers. comm.). In Africa the Red Knot is mostly found in southern Morocco and Mauritania and in the south between north-west Namibia and Natal. It is also seen in east and south-east Asia, from eastern China, through the Philippines, south to Indonesia, and west to Malaysia and Australasia. It is a vagrant to India, Thailand, Mongolia, Hawaii, Palau, Fiji, east Africa, east South Africa, south Mozambique and Botswana (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Breeding distribution
The Red Knot breeds in North America, Russia, north-west and east Greenland, north Alaska round the Seward Peninsula, the De Long Mountains and, rarely, at Point Barrow and Cooper Island. It also breeds in the north Canadian Arctic Archipelago, including Queen Elizabeth Island, from Prince Patrick and Melville Island, south to Prince of Wales and Somerset Island, and west to Devon and Ellesmere Island; also south Victoria Island (possibly also on Adelaide Pen.), east Melville Peninsula and the islands in north Hudson Bay. It occasionally breeds in north-west Spitsbergen at the Taymyr Peninsula, New Siberian Island, Wrangel Island and the mountainous regions of the Chukotskiy Peninsula, from Yuzhnyy Anyuyskiy and Vernyy Anyuyskiy Ravine, east through Chukotskiy (Anadyrskiy) and the Ekiatapskiy Mountains, east to Tenkanyy Ravine, and south to just south of Arctic Circle (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Distribution during migration
On passage the species occurs in Canada, the United States, north South America, Iceland, Scandinavia, Baltic countries, Iberian Peninsula, north, north-west and west Africa; east Asia, from the Kamchatka Peninsula through east Siberia, the Korean Peninsula, Japan, eastern China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Irian Jaya (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Population
The global population of Red Knot is estimated at 1 090 000. The population in the East Asian Australasian Flyway is estimated at 220 000 (Bamford et al. 2008). Populations by country (in the non-breeding period) are:

  • Australia, 135 000
  • New Zealand, 68 000
  • China, 10 000
  • Indonesia, 5000
  • Other countries, 960

Sites of international importance (excluding Australian sites) are listed below. These are calculated using the 1% criterion (i.e. a site is considered important if it is occupied by more then 1% of the bird's total population) (Bamford et al. 2008):


Site Country Max Count
Farewell Spit New Zealand 24 227
Manukau Harbour New Zealand 22 433
Kaipara Harbour New Zealand 16 910
North-west Bo Hai Wan China 14 277
Parengarenga Harbour New Zealand 13 500
North Bo Hai Wan China 9358
Dongsha Islands China 8140
Firth of Thames New Zealand 7819
Shi Jiu Tuo/Daqing He China 5000
Shuangtaizihekou N. N. Reserve China 4200
Whangarei Harbour New Zealand 4198
Yancheng National Nature Reserve China 3169
Moroshechnaya River Estuary Russia 3000
Houhora Harbour New Zealand 2855
Rangaunu Harbour New Zealand 2500
Dongjin Estuary South Korea 1500
Yalu Jiang National Nature Reserve China 1499
Baikal Bay Russia 1000
Asan Bay South Korea 1000
Linghekou China 969
Huang He National Nature Reserve China 756
Namyang Bay South Korea 580

Trends
The Red Knot is not listed as globally threatened (del Hoyo et al. 1996), but some populations (e.g. those in North America and Australia) are probably in serious decline (Minton, C.D.T. 2002, pers. comm.). Numbers in Victoria have shown a marked decline, possibly reflecting changes in the larger population. The current estimate of 2419 birds is a decrease on the previous estimate of 4474 birds (Wilson 2001a). A dramatic decline in numbers (from around 140 000 to under 50 000) was noted at Delaware Bay in North America (Minton, C.D.T. 2002, pers. comm.).

Typical habitat
In Australasia the Red Knot mainly inhabit intertidal mudflats, sandflats and sandy beaches of sheltered coasts, in estuaries, bays, inlets, lagoons and harbours; sometimes on sandy ocean beaches or shallow pools on exposed wave-cut rock platforms or coral reefs. They are occasionally seen on terrestrial saline wetlands near the coast, such as lakes, lagoons, pools and pans, and recorded on sewage ponds and saltworks, but rarely use freshwater swamps. They rarely use inland lakes or swamps (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Habitat for refuge
About a day after a cyclone had passed through Broome, lower than expected numbers (no birds) were seen in Roebuck Bay. Birds presumably moved to sheltered areas to avoid the high winds and heavy rain (Jessop & Collins 2000).

Habitat for feeding
The Red Knot usually forage in soft substrate near the edge of water on intertidal mudflats or sandflats exposed by low tide. At high tide the may feed at nearby lakes, sewage ponds and floodwaters (Higgins & Davies 1996). They have also been recorded foraging on beds of eelgrass on tidal sandflats (Battley, P. in Higgins & Davies 1996), on a thick algal mat in shallow water (Dann 1983), and in shallow pools on crest of coral reef (Domm & Recher 1973).

Habitat for roosting
The Red Knot roosts on sandy beaches, spits and islets, and mudflats; also in shallow saline ponds of saltworks. In New Zealand they are known to roost on short wet pastures near the coast (Higgins & Davies 1996). They have been seen roosting on an inland claypan near Roebuck Bay, north-west Western Australia (Collins et al. 2001). They like to roost in open areas far away from potential cover for predators, but close to feeding grounds (Rogers 2001). In hot conditions, waders prefer to roost where a damp substrate lowers the local temperature (Rogers 1999b).

The species does not breed in Australia.

Micro-habitat needed for breeding
The Red Knot nests on open vegetated tundra or stone ridge, often close to a clump of vegetation. Breeding density is normally around one pair per km² (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Breeding season
The Red Knot lays eggs in June (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Fecundity, lifespan, generation interval
The Red Knot lays three to four eggs and incubates for around 21–22 days; females depart on hatching leaving the male to tend for young. Fledging occurs after 18–20 days. In one sample of 26 eggs, 54% hatched, 27% fledged. The annual adult mortality is 32% (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The age of first breeding is probably 3–4 years (Minton, C.D.T. 2002, pers. comm.). Individuals can live for over 18 years (Minton, C.D.T. 2002, pers. comm.; see also Anon. 1998d).

Summary of food items
The Red Knot is omnivorous. In Australia the species eats mostly worms, bivalves, gastropods, crustaceans and echinoderms (Higgins & Davies 1996). In Roebuck Bay, Western Australia, they feed predominantly on buried bivalves which are located by touch, as they do internationally. However, in some circumstances they also visually located and took prey from the surface. Unusual food records included insects, seeds and mudskippers Periophthalmidae (Rogers 2001). Internationally they also take shoots, bulbs and roots, especially early in the breeding season, as well as hydrozoans, arachnids, insects, fish and kitchen scraps (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Feeding behaviours
The Red Knot is diurnal and nocturnal. In non-breeding areas, feeding activity is regulated by the tide, they feed less just before and after high tide, but timing of cessation of feeding and roosting depends on the time of year and height of tides. They sometimes follow the receding edge of the tide. They are known to feed in large mixed flocks with Great Knots, Calidris tenuirostris, Bar-tailed Godwits, Limosa lapponica, and Grey-tailed Tattlers, Heteroscelus brevipes (Higgins & Davies 1996), as well as Curlew Sandpipers, Calidris ferruginea, and Red-necked Stints Calidris ruficollis (Minton, C.D.T. 2002, pers. comm.). In Roebuck Bay, Western Australia, Red Knots followed the tide-edge closely when foraging, which resulted in them leaving areas of high prey abundance to feed in less rich areas as the tide receded (Rogers 2001). In one survey, juveniles foraged in different areas from adults, and were only found feeding far from the sea-edge, on soft mud near the mangroves (Rogers 1999a); adults spent more time, and were more successful, than young birds in tactile foraging as compared to visual foraging (Rogers 2001).

Migration patterns
The Red Knot is migratory, breeding in the high Arctic and moving south to non-breeding areas between 58 °N and 50 °S. The subspecies rogersi breeds in north-east Siberia, including around the Chukotskiy Peninsula and possibly farther west, and migrates mainly to Australia and New Zealand. Although the route of migration to Australia is not known it may move in a loop, migrating south across the west Pacific Ocean and north along the east Asian coast. They tend to make long non-stop flights between only a few staging areas and are known to migrate overland and visit inland wetlands while migrating. The newly described subspecies piersmai that breeds in the New Siberian Isands and migrates along the coast of east Asia, and some birds reach Australia and New Zealand. Only these populations are discussed below (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Departure from breeding grounds
The subspecies piersmai probably move across inland eastern Siberia to the coast of east Asia while the subspecies rogersi move to Sea of Okhotsk (Tomkovich 1992). Juveniles move through Ussuriland from late August (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951). They are recorded in Korea from August–September. They are uncommon or seen in small numbers in Japan, China, Hong Kong, south-east Asia and the south Pacific during southern migration. Banding suggests birds do not move along the coast of eastern China, although in 1991 small numbers moved through the Jiangsu Province during August, and others were recorded in Shanghai during mid-September (Higgins & Davies 1996). Juveniles arrive in Hong Kong from September–November may be able to fly non-stop to northern Australia, probably flying non-stop across the west Pacific Ocean from north-east Asia (Barter 1992). They are rare on Pacific islands, but have been recorded from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, from between Fiji and New Zealand, and from the Kermadec Islands. Many regularly pass through parts of New Guinea, and the species is an irregular passage migrant in south-west Torres Strait (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Arrival in Australia
Most Red Knots arrive on the north-west coast and the Gulf of Carpentaria, however, birds in south-east Australia and New Zealand do not move through north-west Australia on either migration. Some birds may move from west Australia to New Zealand between non-breeding seasons (Barter 1992; Higgins & Davies 1996). They arrive in north-west Australia from late August with rapid increases in weight before migrating further; numbers there decline by 50% in November (Watkins 1993). In Darwin, Northern Territory, numbers peak in September and October (Lane 1987). In the Gulf of Carpentaria, tens of thousands probably pass through in September and October before numbers drop by December (Garnett 1986; Lane 1987); the Gulf is probably the main staging area for birds moving to New Zealand, although some move to south-east Australia, arriving there from late September; some also move from south-east Australia to New Zealand (Barter 1992). In the non-breeding season, the subspecies rogersi are found predomiately in large numbers in Australia and New Zealand (de Schauensee 1984; Barter 1992). In Australia, most remain in north with less than 10 000 in southern Australia (Lane 1987). They move south, mostly along coasts, with some inland records from September–November and arrive in south-west Australia from September, Gulf St Vincent, South-Australia, from September–November and Tasmania from August–September (Higgins & Davies 1996). Information derived from banding and flagging programs suggests that the population that remains in north-west Australia is mostly the subspecies Calidris piersmai, but that some C. piersmai may winter in eastern Australia. The subspecies rogersii mainly winter in eastern Australia and New Zealand, but that some of these birds pass through north-west Australia on migration. A genetic study is under way (Minton, C.D.T. 2002, pers. comm.).

Return to breeding grounds
The Red Knots leave New Zealand from late March to early April (Barter 1992), although may sometimes leave earlier (Higgins & Davies 1996). They leave Tasmania from February–May and leave south-east mainland Australia from late February or late March to early April. Both New Zealand and south-east Australian birds might move through the Gulf of Carpentaria, and inland records suggest that some birds move overland on northern migration. Small flocks move along the coast of eastern Queensland from mid-March and pass through the Gulf of Carpentaria in March and April. They regularly stop in large numbers in south-east Irian Jaya, from April to early May. They leave north-west Australia from late March to late April and may fly directly to China. Only small numbers pass through south-east Asia. Biometrics indicate that birds migrate along the east Asian coastline (Higgins & Davies 1996), with most probably passing through the northern half of the Yellow Sea (Barter 2002); large numbers have been seen in Korea in April and May. Some they overwinter in Australia, mainly northern Australia (Higgins & Davies 1996).

Reasons for migration
Apparently, southward migration is to escape severe winter conditions and consequent high energy demand and low prey availability; northward migration is to breeding grounds where food is temporarily superabundant during the Northern Hemisphere summer. The evolution of these migrations is poorly understood.

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 or developing them for aquaculture (Barter 2002, 2005c; Ge et al. 2007; Round 2006). 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.

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; Round 2006; Wei et al. 2006).

Disturbance from human activities, including recreation, shellfish harvesting, fishing and aquaculture is likely to increase significantly in the future (Barter et al. 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).

Hunting is still a very serious problem for waders in China, and this species is sometimes caught (Ming et al. 1998).

Threats within Australia
Within Australia, there are a number of threats common to most migratory shorebirds, including the Red Knot.

Habitat loss
The loss of important habitat reduces the availability of foraging and roosting sites. This affects the ability of the birds to build up the energy stores required for successful migration and breeding. Some sites are important all year round for juveniles who may stay in Australia throughout the breeding season until they reach maturity. A variety of activities may cause habitat loss. These include direct losses through land clearing, inundation, infilling or draining. Indirect loss may occur due to changes in water quality, hydrology or structural changes near roosting sites (DEWHA 2009aj).

Habitat degradation
As most migratory shorebirds have specialized feeding techniques, they are particularly susceptible to slight changes in prey sources and foraging environments. Activities that cause habitat degradation (DEWHA 2009aj) include, but are not restricted to:

  • loss of marine or estuarine vegetation, which is likely to alter the dynamic equilibrium of sediment banks and mudflats
  • invasion of intertidal mudflats by weeds such as cord grass
  • water pollution and changes to the water regime
  • changes to the hydrological regime
  • exposure of acid sulphate soils, hence changing the chemical balance at the site.

Disturbance
Disturbance can result from residential and recreational activities including; fishing, power boating, four wheel driving, walking dogs, noise and night lighting. While some disturbances may have only a low impact it is important to consider the combined effect of disturbances with other threats. Roosting and foraging birds are sensitive to discrete, unpredictable disturbances such as loud noises (i.e. construction sites) and approaching objects (i.e. boats). Sustained disturbances can prevent shorebirds from using parts of the habitat (DEWHA 2009aj).

Direct mortality
Direct mortality is a result of human activities around the migration pathways of shorebirds and at roosting and foraging sites. Examples include the construction of wind farms in migration or movement pathways, bird strike due to aircraft, hunting, chemical and oil spills (DEWHA 2009aj).

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.

Australia
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; Straw 1992a, 1999).

The Significant impact guidelines for 36 migratory shorebirds Draft EPBC Act Policy Statement 3.21 (DEWHA 2009aj) provides guidelines for determining the impacts of proposed actions on migratory shorebirds. The policy statement also provides mitigation strategies to reduce the level and extent of those impacts.

International
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 (Partnership EAAF 2008):

  • 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 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:Annual and Perennial Non-Timber Crops:Expansion of agriculture including cotton farming Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Fishing and Harvesting Aquatic Resources:Commercial harvest 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:Harvesting for recreational purposes 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:Illegal hunting/harvesting and collection Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
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:climate change Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities 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:Habitat modification due to oil/gas/petroleum activities 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:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:inappropriate conservation measures 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].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:unspecified 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:Alterations to hydrology through water extraction 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:Changes to water and sediment flows leading to erosion, siltation and pollution 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].
Residential and Commercial Development:Residential and Commercial Development:Habitat modification (clearance and degradation) due to urban development Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Residential and Commercial Development:Tourism and Recreation Areas:Habitat modification, fragmentation and/or changed boat traffic caused by the construction and operation of marinas and wharves Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Shipping Lanes:Commerical shipping and port activities Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2006f) [Wildlife Conservation Plan].

Anon (1998d). Recovery round-up. Corella. 22:126-128.

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: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/migratory/publications/pubs/shorebird-plan-background.pdf.

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: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/migratory/publications/shorebird-plan.html.

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: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/migratory/publications/shorebirds-east-asia.html.

Barrett, G., A. Silcocks, S. Barry, R. Poulter & R. Cunningham (2002b). Australian Bird Atlas 1998-2001 Main Report To Environment Australia. Melbourne: Birds Australia.

Barter, M.A. (1992). Distribution, abundance, migration and moult of the Red Knot Calidris canutus rogersi. Wader Study Group Bulletin Supplement. 64:64--70.

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.

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.

Dann, P. (1983). Feeding behaviour of four species of Calidridine sandpiper at Lake Reeve in East Gippsland. Victorian Wader Study Group Bulletin. 7:2--6.

Davidson, N. & P. Rothwell (1993). Disturbance to waterfowl on estuaries. Wader Study Group Bulletin. 68.

de Schauensee, R.M. (1984). The Birds of China. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal, eds. (1996). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 3, Hoatzin to Auks. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.

Dement'ev, G.P. & N.A. Gladkov (Eds) (1951). Birds of the Soviet Union, Volume 3. Jerusalem: Israel Program for Scientific Translations.

Dening, J. (2005). Roost management in south-East Queensland: building partnerships to replace lost habitat. 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. Page(s) 94-96. Sydney, NSW. Wetlands International Global Series 18, International Wader Studies 17.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2007e). Migratory Waterbirds Information Page, Departmental Website. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/migratory/waterbirds/index.html#conservation.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2009aj). Draft Significant impact guidelines for 36 migratory shorebirds Draft EPBC Act Policy Statement 3.21. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/migratory-shorebirds.html.

Domm, S. & H.F. Recher (1973). The birds of One Tree Island with notes on their yearly cycle and feeding ecology. Sunbird. 4:63--86.

Garnett, S.T. (1986). Seasonal changes in the wader population in the south-east of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Stilt. 8:9--13.

Ge, Z.-M., T-H. Wang, X. Zhou, K.-Y. Wang & W.-Y. Shi (2007). Changes in the spatial distribution of migratory shorebirds along the Shanghai shoreline, China, between 1984 and 2004. Emu. 107:19-27.

Harding, S.B., J.R. Wilson & D.W. Geering (2007). Threats to shorebirds and conservation actions. In: Geering, A., L. Agnew & S. Harding, eds. Shorebirds of Australia. Page(s) 197-213. Melbourne, Victoria: CSIRO Publishing.

Higgins, P.J. & S.J.J.F. Davies, eds (1996). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume Three - Snipe to Pigeons. Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Jessop, R. & P. Collins (2000). The effects of cyclonic weather conditions on the bird life around Broome, Western Australia. Stilt. 36:11-15.

Lane, B.A. (1987). Shorebirds in Australia. Sydney, NSW: Reed.

Melville, D.S. (1997). Threats to waders along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. In: Straw, P., ed. Shorebird conservation in the Asia-Pacific region. Page(s) 15-34. Melbourne, Victoria: Birds Australia.

Ming, M., L. Jianjian, T. Chengjia, S. Pingyue & H. Wei (1998). The contribution of shorebirds to the catches of hunters in the Shanghai area, China, during 1997-1998. Stilt. 33:32-36.

Minton, C.D.T. (2002). Personal communication. Australasian Wader Studies Group.

Partnership for the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (Partnership EAAF) (2008). East Asian-Australasian Flyway Site Network: October 2008. [Online]. Available from: http://www.eaaflyway.net/documents/Flyway-Network-Sites-Oct-08.pdf.

Rogers, D. (1999b). Roost choice in the waders of Roebuck Bay: is avoiding heat stress their main consideration?. Stilt. 35:65.

Rogers, D. (2001). Conservation and ecology of migratory shorebirds in Roebuck Bay, north-western Australia. Wetlands Unit, Environment Australia.

Rogers, D.I. (1999a). What determines shorebird feeding distribution in Roebuck Bay?. In: Pepping M., T. Piersma, G. Pearson & M. Lavaleye, eds. Intertidal Sediments and Benthic Animals of Roebuck Bay, Western Australia. Page(s) 145-174. Perth, Wetsern Australia: Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, WA CALM, Curtin University for Technology.

Round, P.D. (2006). Shorebirds in the Inner Gulf of Thailand. Stilt. 50:96-102.

Straw, P. (1992a). Relocation of Shorebirds. A Feasibility Study and Management Options. Sydney, NSW: Unpublished report by the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union for the Federal Airports Corporation.

Straw, P. (1999). Habitat remediation - a last resort?. Stilt. 35:66.

Tomkovich, P.S. (1992). An analysis of the geographic variability in Knots Calidris canutus based on museum skins. Wader Study Group Bulletin Supplement. 64:17--23.

Tomkovich, P.S. (2001). A new subspecies of Red Knot Calidris canutus from the New Siberian Islands. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists Club. 121:257--263.

Watkins, D. (1993). A national plan for shorebird conservation in Australia. RAOU Report Series. 90.

Wei, D.L.Z., Y.C. Aik, L.K. Chye, K. Kumar, L.A. Tiah, Y. Chong & C.W. Mun (2006). Shorebird survey of the Malaysian coast November 2004-April 2005. Stilt. 49:7-18.

Weston, M.A. (2001). Managing the Hooded Plover in Victoria: a review of existing information. Melbourne, Victoria: Parks Victoria.

Wilson, J.R. (2001a). The January and February 2001 Victoria wader count. Stilt. 40:55-64.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

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). Calidris canutus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sun, 24 Aug 2014 04:45:55 +1000.