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 Marine bioregional plan for the North-west Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012y) [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
QLD:Shorebirds (Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (QLD DERM), 2006) [Internet].
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)
Scientific name Pluvialis squatarola [865]
Family Charadriidae: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

Scientific Name: Pluvialis squatarola

Common Name: Grey Plover

Other Names: Black-bellied Plover; Grey Sandpiper (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Marchant & Higgins 1993).

The Grey Plover is a conventionally accepted species (Christidis & Boles 1994, 2008; Marchant & Higgins 1993).

The Grey Plover is a medium-sized (length: 27–31 cm; weight: 250 g) plover with long legs and a short, stout bill. Sexes sometimes differ when in breeding plumage, but are inseparable when in non-breeding plumage; juveniles are separable from adults.

In breeding plumage, the male has a pale whitish crown and nape with fine black streaks or mottling; the hindneck is mostly white; and the rest of the upperparts are black with silvery-white blotches except for the rump, which is white, and the uppertail, which is white with black or dark-brown barring. The face is black except for a white forehead and supercilium which curves behind the ear coverts and down the sides of the neck. The underparts are black except for the vent and undertail coverts, which are white. In flight the upperwing is black with whitish mottling except for the flight feathers and primary coverts, which are black with a white wing-bar; the underwing is mostly whitish with black feathering in the 'arm pit'. The bill is black, the eyes are dark brown, and the legs and feet are dark grey or blackish. The female in breeding plumage appears similar to the male, but the areas which are black on the male may appear brown, and the underparts may have a little white flecking (Marchant & Higgins 1993; Stewart et al. 2007).

In non-breeding plumage, both sexes have a brown crown and nape with fine white streaking. The rest of the upperparts are pale brownish-grey with white fringes to the feathers, giving a slightly mottled appearance, except for the rump and uppertail coverts, which are white. The forehead and lores are whitish, and there is an off-white supercilium with brown streaking above a brown eye-stripe. The rest of the face is whitish with fine grey-brown streaks. The chin and throat are white; the neck, breast and flanks are white with pale mottling and streaking, and the rest of the underparts are white. When in non-breeding plumage they retain the white wing-bar and black 'arm pit' (Marchant & Higgins 1993; Stewart et al. 2007).

Juveniles are similar to non-breeding adults, but have distinct dusky-brown streaking on the face, throat and breast, and pale areas have a distinct pale-gold or yellow-buff tinge, including the spangling on the upperwings (Marchant & Higgins 1993; Stewart et al. 2007).

Grey Plovers are usually solitary or occur in small flocks. They do form large flocks at communal roosts, often with other waders such as Pacific Golden Plovers (Pluvialis fulva), Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus), knots and godwits (Marchant & Higgins 1993).

Breeding distribution
Grey Plovers breed north of 65° N in the Northern Hemisphere, in northern Siberia, from the White Sea east to the Gulf of Anadyr, and in Alaska and northern Canada from the shores of the Bering Sea east to Baffin Island (AOU 1983; Bent 1962; Cramp & Simmons 1983).

On passage
The species is widespread when on passage. In the East Asian-Australasian Flyway it occurs as a transient throughout China, the Korean Peninsula and Japan, and South-East Asia (Chalmers 1986; de Schauensee 1984; Glenister 1974; Gore & Won 1971; Orn. Soc. Japan 2000; Smythies 1981). Elsewhere it is recorded on passage across the Indian subcontinent (Grimmett et al. 1999b), Western Palearctic and Africa (including across the Sahara Desert) (Cramp & Simmons 1983; Urban et al. 1986), coastal North America (as well as through inland areas along major river systems) (AOU 1983; Bent 1962), islands in the Caribbean Sea, and Central and South America (Blake 1977; ffrench 1976; Latta et al. 2006; Ridgely 1976).

Non-breeding distribution
During the non-breeding season, the species is widespread on the coasts of North and South America, western and southern Europe, Africa, western, southern, south-eastern and eastern Asia, and Australia (AOU 1983; Bent 1962; Cramp & Simmons 1983; de Schauensee 1970, 1984; Grimmett et al. 1999b; Marchant & Higgins 1993; Orn. Soc. Japan 2000; Urban et al. 1986; van Marle & Voous 1988; White & Bruce 1986; Wiersma 1996). The species also occurs in small numbers on islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean, such as Micronesia, New Guinea and New Zealand (Coates 1985; Dutson 2001; Marchant & Higgins 1993; Pratt et al. 1987).

The Grey Plover is not considered to be globally threatened (Wiersma 1996) and is classified as being of least concern (Birdlife International 2007m). Long-term trends for the species are unknown (Cramp & Simmons 1983). However, the number of birds spending the non-breeding season in the Western Palearctic has increased. For example, the wintering population in Britain increased greatly since the 1930s, especially in the 1970s (Cramp & Simmons 1983; Wiersma 1996), and numbers of Grey Plovers recorded in the Wadden Sea, an important staging area for birds wintering in Europe, also increased (Wiersma 1996). In contrast, numbers of birds recorded at a staging site in Texas have declined by 80–100%, reflecting a decreasing trend (Wiersma 1996). In Australia, there has been a slight decline in the number of birds recorded in the Summer Population Monitoring Counts, though there was no change in area of occupancy detected by Atlas surveys between the late 1970s-early 1980s and the late 1990s-early 2000s (Barrett et al. 2003). Between 1986 and 1991 there was a strong downward trend in the number of birds recorded in these surveys (from 2127 to 815), but since 1996 the trend has been one of a slight increase (Harris 1994, 1994a, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999b, 2000; Hewish 1986, 1987a, 1990, 1992; Skewes 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007; Wilson 2001c).

It has been estimated that 3–4% of the world's population of Grey Plovers occur in Australia, and these may represent 10–75% of the birds present in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (12 000 birds out of 16 000–125 000 in the Flyway) (Bamford et al. 2006; Stewart et al. 2007; Watkins 1993). The Grey Plovers that occur in Australia migrate from breeding areas in the Arctic Circle (Marchant & Higgins 1993; Stewart et al. 2007; Watkins 1993), and would be affected by global threats.

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. These surveys began in 1981.

The Grey Plover is not known to hybridize with other species in the wild.

Only three of the 20 internationally important sites in Australia were fully within conservation reserves:

  • Corner and Shallow Inlets, Victoria
  • Clinton Conservation Park, South Australia
  • Nuytsland Nature Reserve, Western Australia (Watkins 1993).

In non-breeding grounds in Australia, Grey Plovers occur almost entirely in coastal areas, where they usually inhabit sheltered embayments, estuaries and lagoons with mudflats and sandflats, and occasionally on rocky coasts with wave-cut platforms or reef-flats, or on reefs within muddy lagoons. They also occur around terrestrial wetlands such as near-coastal lakes and swamps, or salt-lakes. The species is also very occasionally recorded further inland, where they occur around wetlands or salt-lakes (Marchant & Higgins 1993 and references therein). On their breeding grounds they inhabit tundra (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951).

Feeding habitat
Grey Plovers usually forage on large areas of exposed mudflats and beaches of sheltered coastal shores such as inlets, estuaries and lagoons. They also occasionally feed in pasture and at the muddy margins of inland wetlands such as lakes, swamps and bores (Marchant & Higgins 1993).

Roosting habitat
They usually roost in sandy areas, such as on unvegetated sandbanks or sand-spits on sheltered beaches or other sheltered environments such as estuaries or lagoons (Jaensch et al. 1988; Pegler 1983). In Port Phillip Bay, they roost on artificial sand islands created by dredge spoil (Marchant & Higgins 1993). They less often roost on the muddy edges of estuaries or water storages such as reservoirs (Bravery 1964; Jaensch et al. 1988) and salt-lakes (Storr 1964b). The species has also been recorded roosting in claypans 2 km from the sea (Collins et al. 2001).

Breeding habitat
Grey Plovers breed in tundra, often at higher elevations (up to the tree-line), and generally in dry positions, such as on low ridges or bluffs, in areas vegetated with sedges, moss, lichen and stunted trees, and interspersed with large wetlands and patches of snow and unmelted ice. They may avoid moist areas, though they have been recorded breeding in the deltas of large rivers and in other lowland or coastal areas (Cramp & Simmons 1983; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Wiersma 1996).
The species does not rely on a listed threatened ecological community.

This species does not breed in Australia (Marchant & Higgins 1993). Grey Plovers lay their eggs between late May and early July (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Wiersma 1996) and possibly into August (Hayman et al. 1986). The nest is a shallow scrape in the soil, lined with stems, moss, lichen and other plant material (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951) and possibly a few small stones (Wiersma 1996). Clutches usually comprise four eggs, though sometimes three, which are incubated by both sexes for 26 or 27 days (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Wiersma 1996). Hatching success has been estimated at about 80% in Alaska and 67% in Canada (Wiersma 1996). Chicks are tended by both parents for two to three weeks, after which the female usually leaves. Young birds fledge after about 23 days, with on average 2.7 fledglings produced per pair (Wiersma 1996). Grey Plovers, like many other shorebirds which breed on the ground in the Siberian tundra and have precocial young, are vulnerable to predation by Arctic foxes and other predators on the breeding grounds (Tomkovich & Weston 2007).

During the non-breeding season, Grey Plovers mostly eat molluscs (especially gastropods), insects and their larvae, crustaceans (especially crabs) and polychaete worms. Vegetation is very occasionally found in their stomachs (Barker & Vestjens 1989; Boehm 1964; Lea & Gray 1935a; Marchant & Higgins 1993; Rogers 1999a). During the breeding season, they eat mostly insects, but may ocassionally eat vegetation (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951).

The Grey Plover usually forages during the day (Cramp & Simmons 1983), but sometimes also feeds at night (Cramp & Simmons 1983; Goodfellow 2001), when up to 40% of food may be obtained (Turpie & Hockey 1993). They usually locate prey by sight, with cues used including movement of water, sand or casts from the burrows of polychaete worms (Cramp & Simmons 1983; Marchant & Higgins 1993). They feed with a running, stopping and pecking action typical of many species of plovers, gleaning and probing the substrate (Cramp & Simmons 1983; Marchant & Higgins 1993). Bivalves are seized by the siphon and torn from the shell, while crabs are pecked apart (Bent 1962). They have been recorded washing their prey (Cramp & Simmons 1983). Grey Plovers have also been recorded stealing food from Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus) and oystercatchers (Haematopus spp.) (Zwarts et al. 1990).

The Grey Plover is a migratory species, breeding in the Northern Hemisphere and flying south for the boreal winter (Bent 1962; Cramp & Simmons 1983; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Lane 1987; Marchant & Higgins 1993; Urban et al. 1986).

Departure from breeding grounds
The species usually leaves its breeding grounds in northern Siberia between mid-September and mid-October, but some leave as early as mid-August (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951). Breeding grounds in Alaska are mostly left in August and September (Bent 1962). When departing breeding grounds they apparently move on a wide front, and at least some migration is overland (Cramp & Simmons 1983; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Urban et al. 1986).

Southern passage
In the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, Grey Plovers are recorded on passage through the Russian Maritime Territories between late September and late October, though sometimes in August or occasionally even in late July (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Gerasimov 2003, 2004, 2005). They have been recorded in Mongolia in late August (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951), Hong Kong from mid-August onwards (Chalmers 1986), the Korean Peninsula between August and October (Barter 2002; Gore & Won 1971), Japan in September (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951), the Philippines from August to November (Dickinson et al. 1991) and Indonesia in September and October (Strange 2001). In the Western-Southern Asian Flyway they have been recorded between August and early October (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Grimmett et al. 1999b); and in the the European-African Flyway mostly in August and September (Cramp & Simmons 1983; Urban et al. 1986). They are recorded in the American Flyway, passing through Canada and the United States between July and August, and Central America between August and October (Bent 1962; ffrench 1976).

Non-breeding season

Australia: Morphometric data suggests that Grey Plovers wintering in Australia originate from Siberian breeding grounds located east of the Lena River, with south-eastern Australia mainly supporting birds which bred on Wrangel Island (Minton & Serra 2001). They arrive in northern Australia in August and early September, and sometimes October (Noske & Brennan 2002). Many then move south, mainly in October (Lane 1987; Marchant & Higgins 1993). Some of these southerly movements are overland, as all inland records are from the period September to January, though others certainly follow the coast (Marchant & Higgins 1993). The species usually arrives at sites on the southern coast between October and November (Lane 1987; Marchant & Higgins 1993; Thomas 1970b), though some are recorded much earlier. For example, they are recorded on Rotttnest Island, Western Australia, and at the Gulf St Vincent, South Australia, in late August (Alcorn et al. 1994; Emison et al. 1987; Storr 1964b), and the Swan River, Western Australia, and sites in Victoria in September (Serventy 1938). On the east coast, Grey Plovers arrive between August and December, but primarily during September (Alcorn et al. 1994; Amiet 1957; Marchant & Higgins 1993). It is suggested that many birds which arrive on the north coast may move to the south-western beaches and then eastwards towards Gulf St Vincent (Alcorn et al. 1994). They remain at southern non-breeding grounds until March-May (Alcorn et al. 1994). Birds move northwards along the east coast in March (Amiet 1957; Lane 1987); they leave south-western Australia in April (Lane 1987), and other birds pass through the area between March and May, possibly originating from the South Australian coast, travelling westward in the initial stages of their northward migration (Alcorn et al. 1994). Plovers which have remained along the northern coastline for the non-breeding season leave between February and April (Collins 1995; Lane 1987; Noske & Brennan 2002), but birds which have overwintered in southern Australia may not land in northern regions on their northward migration (Lane 1987; Marchant & Higgins 1993). It also appears that many birds at Port Hedland or Broome do not migrate north from these areas (Marchant & Higgins 1993). Many young birds do not migrate north, and remain in Australia during their first breeding season (Alcorn et al. 1994; Marchant & Higgins 1993). During this time Plovers have been recorded moving westward from Gulf St Vincent to western beaches of the Eyre Peninsula (Alcorn et al. 1994), while Plovers at other sites remain there for several months (Hindwood & Hoskin 1954; Thomas 1970b).

Other wintering grounds: The species also occurs during the non-breeding season in South America between September and April (de Schauensee 1970) and South Africa between August and February or March, though some stay till May (Maclean 1994; Urban et al. 1986).

Northern passage
Birds from eastern Australia are thought to migrate further east than those from western Australia, perhaps traveling through Japan (Barter 2002; Minton & Serra 2001). In the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, the species moves northwards through Indonesia mainly in March and April (Strange 2001), the Philippines between March and early May (Dickinson et al. 1991), Japan between early April and early June (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951), the Korean Peninsula in April and May (Barter 2002; Gore & Won 1971), Hong Kong in April and early May (Chalmers 1986) and the Russian Maritime Territories in May and early June (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Gerasimov & Huettman 2006). In other flyways, northward migration is recorded through the Indian subcontinent in April (Grimmett et al. 1999b); in southern Africa in February and March, and further north in April and May, Europe between March and June (Cramp & Simmons 1983; Urban et al. 1986); in Central America between March and mid-April, and the United States and Canada mostly between late April and mid-May (Bent 1962; Latta et al. 2006).

Arrival back at breeding grounds
They arrive back at breeding grounds in northern Siberia between mid-May and early June (Cramp & Simmons 1983; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951) and probably arrive back in Alaska in about May (Bent 1962).

The Yellow Sea is a very important region for this species as it supports about 80% of the estimated combined populations of Grey Plovers in the East Asia-Australasian Flyway during their northern migration. Thirteen sites in this region are of international importance (seven in China and six in South Korea), with 12 of the sites important during northward migration, seven important during southward migration, and six (Shi Jiu Tuo, Yeong Jong Do, Namyang Man, Asan Man, Mangyeung Gang Hagu and Dongjin Gang Hagu) important during both northern and southern migration (Barter 2002).
Home ranges and territories are not maintained while the birds are in Australia.

Though there are no threats that apply specifically to Grey Plovers, there are a number of threats that will affect all migratory waders.

Australia
Pollution, including industrial and discharge nutrient hyperenrichment, with subsequent eutrophication, adversely affects the number of micro-organisms which occur in the benthos of the littoral zone, which, in turn, affects the efficiency of feeding by species such as the Grey Plover (Harding et al. 2007; Straw 1992a). It may also affect the Plovers directly through heavy metals, insecticides, herbicides and similar pollutants accumulating in their tissues. Conversely, efforts to increase the efficiency of treating effluent before it is released into the greater environment may result in lower levels of bacteria and invertebrates and their larvae which constitute a major proportion of the diet of the Grey Plover.

With increasing tourist visitation around Broome, and subsequent development, increasing levels of disturbance from human recreation are likely (Rogers 1999a).

Residential or other development of saltworks or land adjacent to mudflats near the outskirts of built-up areas (for example in areas along the western shores of Port Phillip Bay) results in a reduction of suitable habitat for the species and increased levels of disturbance (Straw 1992a).

The spread of introduced plants, such as cord grass Spartinia, can invade intertidal mudflats and reduce the amount of suitable areas to forage, as it has in other countries (Goss-Custard & Moser 1988).

Elsewhere
There are a number of threats that affect migratory waders in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The greatest threat facing waders is habitat loss, both direct and indirect (Melville 1997). Staging areas used during migration through eastern Asia are being lost and degraded by activities which are reclaiming the mudflats for future development (Barter 2002, 2005c; Ge et al. 2007; Huettmann & Gerasimov 2006; Moores 2006). In many suitable staging areas along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway many intertidal areas have been reclaimed, and the process is continuing at a rapid rate and may accelerate in the near future (Barter 2002, 2005c; 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, which compound the problem (Barter 2002; Barter et al. 1998; Melville 1997).

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; Melville 1997).

Migratory shorebirds are also adversely affected by pollution, both on passage and in non-breeding areas (Harding et al. 2007; Huettmann & Gerasimov 2006; Melville 1997; Moores 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. 2005; Davidson & Rothwell 1993).

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 of East Asia places enormous pressure on natural resources, and manifests itself in activities such as the reclamation of mudflats, which has seriously detrimental effects on populations of migratory waders (Barter 2002, 2005c).

Five sites of International importance are identified within Australia for the Grey Plover. These are:

  • Chambers Bay
  • Ashmore Reef
  • Ceduna Bays
  • Roebuck Bay
  • south-east Gulf of Carpentaria (Bamford et al 2008).

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.

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 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).

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 implementing 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

  • .

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

    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 Grey Plover 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 Grey Plover 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.

    Minton and Serra (2001) conducted a major study on Grey Plovers in Australia. There have also been a number of extensive studies of shorebirds in general, which include data on this species. Studies on the Grey Plover overseas, include Balachandran and colleagues (2000), Branson and Minton (1976), Chylarecki and Sikora (1990), Pearson and Serra (2002), Serra (1998), Serra and Rusticali (1998), and Serra and colleagues (1999, 2001) (Biometrics). Foraging studies include Dugan (1982), Durell and colleagues (1990), Kersten and Piersma (1984) Moreira (1996) and Turpie and Hockey (1996, 1997). Population studies include Moser (1988).

    There is a detailed summary of all that is known of the species in Australasia in Marchant and Higgins (1993), and international summaries in Cramp and Simmons (1983) and Wiersma (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 Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA 2008b) have prepared a draft North-West Marine Bioregional Plan: Bioregional Profile: A Description of the Ecosystems, Conservation Values and Uses of the North-West Marine Region that includes information on the Grey Plaover.

    The Department's Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds (AGDEH 2006f) and The Action Plan for Australian Birds (Garnett & Crowley 2000) also contains actions aimed at the conservation of migratory birds within Australia.

    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
    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].
    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: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 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:Pollution:Deterioration of water and soil quality (contamination 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].
    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].
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    Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Pluvialis squatarola in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:06:18 +1000.