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Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer
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This species is listed as Endangered because it has a very small population which is declining as a result of the development of coastal wetlands throughout its range, principally for industry, infrastructure projects and aquaculture. Preliminary analyses of survey data collected at its breeding sites in Russia have provided evidence that the species's population is indeed undergoing a very rapid decline and imply that the population size may have been overestimated; clarification of these results may lead to a review of its threat status in the near future.

Taxonomic source(s)
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

29-32 cm. Medium-sized sandpiper with slightly upturned, bicoloured bill and shortish yellow legs. Breeding adults are boldly marked, with whitish spots and spangling on blackish upperside, heavily streaked head and upper neck, broad blackish crescentic spots on lower neck and breast and darker lores. In flight, shows all-white uppertail-coverts and rather uniform greyish tail. Toes do not extend beyond tail tip. Juvenile is browner above than non-breeding adult, has whitish notching on scapular and tertial fringes, pale buff wing-covert fringes and faintly brown-washed breast with faint dark streaks at sides. Similar spp. Common Greenshank T. nebularia has longer, greener legs, longer neck, less obviously bicoloured bill, and more obviously streaked crown, nape and breast-sides. Voice Call is distinctive kwork or gwaak.

Distribution and population
Tringa guttifer breeds in eastern Russia along the south-western and northern coasts of the Sea of Okhotsk and on Sakhalin Island. Its non-breeding range is not fully understood, but significant numbers have been recorded on passage in South Korea, mainland China, Hong Kong (China), and Taiwan (China), whilst wintering birds have been recorded in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. It is thought that it could be under-recorded in Bangladesh (Bird et al. 2010). It has also been recorded on passage or in winter in Japan, North Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (which may yet prove to be an important part of its wintering range), Singapore (e.g. Tan Gim Cheong 2009), the Philippines, Indonesia (e.g. Tirtaningtyas and Philippa 2009, H. Abdillah and M. Iqbal in prep.) and Australia (A. Boyle in litt 2006). There are unconfirmed records from Nepal and Guam (to US). Surveys of 100 sites in Peninsular Malaysia recorded 146 individuals at four sites (Li et al. 2007). It is thought to have a population of 500-1,000 mature individuals; however, surveys conducted at the species's Russian breeding sites in 2010 and 2011 suggest that this could be an overestimate (per E. Lappo in litt. 2012). The data from these surveys also support the suspicion of a very rapid population decline, and further analyses may indicate whether the rate of decline is more severe. Numbers recorded on passage in South Korea also suggest a decline, at least since the late 1980s, although reduced observer effort may account for some of this trend (N. Moores in litt. 2012).

Population justification
BirdLife International (2001) estimated 250-999 individuals, but the lower limit is probably nearer 500, as 100 have been estimated in Malaysia (Li et al. 2005), 100-200 in Thailand (P. Round in litt. 2005 to Wetlands International 2006), c.100 in Myanmar (D. Li in litt. to Wetlands International 2006), plus unknown but low numbers in north-eastern India, Bangladesh and Sumatra, thus overall the population is estimated at 500-1,000 individuals, roughly equating to 330-670 mature individuals. The results of surveys conducted on the species's breeding grounds in 2010 and 2011 imply that the current population estimate is optimistic (per E. Lappo in litt. 2012).

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to be decreasing very rapidly, in line with levels of coastal wetland development throughout Asia for industry, infrastructure and aquaculture, and the degradation of its breeding habitat in Russia by grazing reindeer Rangifer tarandus. Survey data collected on the species's breeding grounds in 2010 and 2011 (per E. Lappo in litt. 2012) lend support to the suspicion of a very rapid decline and further analysis may elucidate whether the rate of decline could be more rapid than this.

Its breeding habitat is a combination of sparse larch Larix forest for nesting, wet coastal meadows interspersed with piles of driftwood, and coastal mudflats which are used by the adults for feeding. Wintering birds usually frequent estuaries, coastal mudflats and lowland swamps, and sometimes damp meadows, saltpans and rice-fields.

The key threats are the development of coastal wetlands throughout Asia for industry, infrastructure and aquaculture, and the degradation of its breeding habitat in Russia by grazing reindeer Rangifer tarandus. Over 90% of its breeding range is unprotected, and in Russia some of its breeding sites are expected to be modified by pipeline construction and other developments for the oil industry (per E. Lappo in litt. 2012). The area of intertidal wetlands in South Korea has decreased by more than 50% in the past 25 years, with extensive reclamation at Yeongjong Island, almost complete reclamation of Asan Bay and inner parts of Namyang Bay, and complete reclamation of Saemangeum (N. Moores in litt. 2012). Several other sites that support or formerly supported tge species in South Korea have been significantly degraded since the 1980s (N. Moores in litt. 2012). Pollution in coastal wetlands, hunting and human disturbance are further threats. Observations suggest that hunting is a significant threat at breeding sites in Russia (per E. Lappo in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I. CMS Appendix II. In Russia, protected areas have been established in northern Sakhalin, along the coasts and islands of Nabilski and in Dagi and Piltun Bays, and it is partially protected on Kamchatka in the Kronotsk Reserve and on the Moroshechnaya river. Key protected and non-hunting areas along its migration route include the Yellow River delta, Yancheng and Chongming Dongtan (China), Mai Po (Hong Kong), Ko Libong (Thailand), Peam Krasop (Cambodia), and Xuan Thuy (Vietnam). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to the south-west of Okhotsk and between the Ul'beya river and Cape Onatsevich (Russia); carry out comprehensive surveys in South Korea (N. Moores in litt. 2012). Research its status and conservation at potentially important wintering grounds in the Irrawaddy delta (Myanmar) and Ganges delta (Bangladesh). Establish further protected areas in its breeding grounds, at least at Konstantin Bay in Khabarovsk (Russia), as well as important sites in the winter range. Draft management plans for coastal wetlands to promote their conservation. Ban the hunting of all shorebirds in its breeding grounds. Provide full legal protection throughout the range. Conduct research into its feeding ecology, roosting requirements and energy budgets, including at passage sites (N. Moores in litt. 2012).

Bird, J. P.; Lees, A. C.; Chowdhury, S. U.; Martin, R.; Halder, R.; Ul Haque, E. 2010. Observations of globally threatened shorebirds in Bangladesh. BirdingASIA: 53-58.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Li Zuo Wei, D.; Yeap Chin Aik; Lim Kim Chye; Kumar, K.; Lim Aun Tiah; Yang Chong; Choy Wai Mun. 2005. A report on survey of the status of Nordmann's Greenshank Tringa guttifer and Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes in Malaysia.

Li, Z.W.D., Yeap, C. A.; Kumar, K. 2007. Surveys of coastal waterbirds and wetlands in Malaysia, 2004-2006. In: Li, Z. W. D.; Ounsted, R. (ed.), The status of coastal waterbirds and wetlands in Southeast Asia: results of waterbird surveys in Malaysia (2004-2006) and Thailand and Myanmar (2006), pp. 1-40. Wetlands Internationa, Kuala Lumpur.

Tan Gim Cheong. 2009. Nordmann's Greenshank Tringa guttifer reappears in Singapore after a 27-year break. BirdingASIA 11: 75-79.

Tirtaningtyas, F. N.; Philippa, J. 2009. Nordmann's Greenshank Tringa guttifer on Cemara Beach, Jambi, Indonesia. BirdingASIA 12: 97-99.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Pilgrim, J., Taylor, J.

Boyle, A., Bunting, G., Iqbal, M., Lappo, E., Li, Z., Moores, N.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Tringa guttifer. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Nordmann’s greenshank (Tringa guttifer) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)
Species name author (Nordmann, 1835)
Population size 330-670 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 169,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species