Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Charadriidae

Scientific Name: Charadrius leschenaultii
Species Authority: Lesson, 1826
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Greater Sandplover, Large Sand Dotterel, Greater Sand-Plover
French Pluvier du désert
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L., Butchart, S.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Armenia (Armenia); Australia; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; British Indian Ocean Territory; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cyprus; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Guam; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Lebanon; Madagascar; Malawi; Malaysia; Maldives; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mongolia; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nepal; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Qatar; Réunion; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Turkey; Turkmenistan; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Yemen; Zambia
Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Burundi; Côte d'Ivoire; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Libya; Malta; Morocco; Netherlands; Nigeria; Norway; Poland; Rwanda; Senegal; Sweden; Tunisia; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States; Zimbabwe
Present - origin uncertain:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 3460000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population is estimated to number c.180,000-360,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at < c.10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Taiwan (Brazil 2009).

Trend Justification:  The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes.
For further information about this species, see 22693862_charadrius_leschenaultii.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour This species is fully migratory, and is likely to migrate without stopping on a broad front between breeding and non-breeding areas (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Migratory flocks form after the end of breeding between mid-June and early-August, and arrive in the wintering grounds between mid-July and November (adults and immature birds arriving before juveniles) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Those birds wintering in South-East Asia start moving northwards to the breeding grounds in late-February (the migration peaking in March to early-April), arriving from mid-March to May; whereas those wintering in East Africa and southern Asia depart for breeding grounds from mid-April to early-May (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Most non-adult wintering birds remain in the wintering areas during the breeding season (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species is typically gregarious, feeding in flocks of 2-50, and sometimes congregating in groups of up to 1,000 when roosting (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat Breeding During the breeding season this species is predominantly found in open, dry, treeless, uncultivated areas up to 3,000 m (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998), including dried mud, silt and clay flats, hard salt-pans overgrown with halophytic plants (Johnsgard 1981, Snow and Perrins 1998), and rocky plains near mountains in desert or semi-desert (Johnsgard 1981, Flint et al. 1984, del Hoyo et al. 1996). In Turkey the species frequents heavily grazed saline steppe (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species usually breeds near water (del Hoyo et al. 1996) but exceptionally it will nest up to 20 km away from it (Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding During the non-breeding season this species shows a preference for littoral habitats (Urban et al. 1986) with mixed sand and mud substrata (Hockey et al. 2005). It is found on sheltered sandy, shelly or muddy beaches, large intertidal mudflats, sandbanks, salt-marshes, estuaries, coral reefs, rocky islands (del Hoyo et al. 1996), tidal lagoons (Hockey et al. 2005) and dunes near the coast (Urban et al. 1986), although it may sometimes feed on coastal grasslands (Hayman et al. 1986). Whilst on migration the species will occasionally utilise inland habitats such as salt-lakes and brackish swamps, usually roosting on sandbanks and spits (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet This species is carnivorous: during the breeding season its diet consists mainly of terrestrial insects and their larvae (especially beetles, termites, midges and ants), and occasionally lizards (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996); whereas during the non-breeding season its diet contains mainly marine invertebrates such as molluscs (snails), worms and crustaceans (such as shrimps and crabs) (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow scrape on the ground (del Hoyo et al. 1996) amongst sand-hills, gravel, or on other barren substrates (Johnsgard 1981).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 5.8
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Breeding In some parts of its breeding range this species is threatened by the destruction of wetlands and bordering fallow steppe through drainage and water extraction for irrigation (Turkey) (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding The species is threatened by habitat degradation and loss throughout its non-breeding range: in Australia agricultural developments are reducing the area of coastal and inland habitat, and hydrological changes to estuaries are modifying important intertidal areas (National Parks and Wildlife Service 1999 Species Profile: Charadrius leschenaultii. Downloaded from on 14/8/2007); key wetland sites in southern Africa (for example Walvis Bay, Namibia) are being degraded through wetland reclamation for suburb and port development, and changes in the flood regime due to road building (Wearne and Underhill 2005). One of the species' migratory staging areas in China (Chongming Island) is undergoing significant habitat loss and degradation through conversion to aquaculture ponds, farmlands and vegetable gardens, the cultivation of the alien plant Spartina alterniflora on tidal flats (promoting rapid sedimentation with the intention of reclaiming the area), and the Three Gorges Dam on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River reducing the supply of river-borne sediment to mudflats in the area (Ma et al. 2002). The species is also susceptible to disturbance from tourists in its non-breeding range (National Parks and Wildlife Service 1999 Species Profile: Charadrius leschenaultii. Downloaded from on 14/8/2007, Wearne and Underhill 2005), and commercial hunting (for sale at market or to restaurants) is a major threat in the area of Chongming Island, China (Ma et al. 2002).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Charadrius leschenaultii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22693862A38774776. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided