Esacus magnirostris


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Esacus magnirostris
Species Authority: (Vieillot, 1818)
Common Name(s):
English Beach Thick-knee, Beach Stone-curlew
Burhinus giganteus giganteus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Esacus giganteus
Esacus magnirostris magnirostris Christidis and Boles (2008)
Esacus neglectus neglectus Christidis and Boles (1994)
Taxonomic Notes: Esacus magnirostris (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously listed as E. giganteus; the name magnirostris has priority.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-06-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Barré, N. & Freeman, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Garnett, S., Harding, M., Pilgrim, J., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.
This species qualifies as Near Threatened because it has a small population. If the population is found to be in decline it might qualify for uplisting to a higher threat category.

2012 Near Threatened

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Esacus magnirostris is widespread around coasts from the Andaman Islands, India, Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar, islands off peninsular Thailand, and Peninsular Malaysia through Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia (to France) and Australia. Its population in Australia may number c.5,000 birds and is probably stable (Garnett and Crowley 2000). Its density in Australia may have decreased locally on islands and in areas of the mainland where there are high levels of human disturbance and coastal development, especially around inhabited islands of the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, and the wet tropical coast (A. Freeman in litt. 2007). Despite this, between the 1920s and 1970s the eastern part of the species's range appears to have extended south into New South Wales (Garnett and Crowley 2000). It is very rare on and around Sumatra, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, where it has not been seen for six years (N. Barre in litt. 2003).

Australia; Brunei Darussalam; India; Indonesia; Malaysia; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Vanuatu
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is thought to number c.5,000 individuals in Australia, 1,000 individuals in the Melanesian islands (G. Dutson in litt. 2002), and 10-20 individuals in New Caledonia. This totals at least 6,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 4,000 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Pairs may be found on most beaches within its range; in Australia these include short stretches of muddy sand among mangroves, coralline sands on atolls and prime surf beaches (Garnett and Crowley 2000). Beaches associated with estuaries and mangroves are particularly favoured. Adults are sedentary, although the species has a tendency for wide-ranging vagrancy. It lays a single egg in a scrape in the sand at the landward edge of the beach, often using the same area repeatedly. It forages mainly in the intertidal zone on crustaceans and other invertebrates (Garnett and Crowley 2000).

Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species appears to be threatened by extensive human disturbance of beach habitats in many areas (Garnett and Crowley 2000). It is also thought to be sensitive to predation by introduced mammals. Much of the species's habitat in Australia, particularly on islands, is secure. This species occurs at low densities and occupies linear habitats, increasing the potential for local extinctions to become regional ones; however, its apparent range expansion southwards in eastern Australia suggests that such extinctions do not represent genetic barriers (Garnett and Crowley 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Maintain a register of inhabited beaches. Monitor population trends, especially where human disturbance is prevalent. If necessary, control the use of beaches by humans and their dogs, particularly during breeding. Determine the relationship between human disturbance and breeding success.

Citation: BirdLife International 2014. Esacus magnirostris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 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