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Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable 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.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
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.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number c.190,000-250,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). The population trend is decreasing in North America (based on BBS/CBC data: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Behaviour This species is strongly migratory, with different populations travelling on narrow or broad fronts depending on the location of their breeding and wintering grounds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species breeds between June and July (Hayman et al. 1986) after which it departs the breeding grounds from late-August or early-September (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It may forage singly or in flocks of one hundred or more individiuals, occurring in small groups of 3-7 individuals at stopover sites on the northward passage but in large flocks on the southward passage (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat Breeding It breeds on inland Arctic habitats including shrub tundra, montane tundra and stony well-drained uplands with mosses and lichens (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Non-breeding The species occurs on the shores of lakes and rivers when on passage in the U.S.S.R. (Hayman et al. 1986), but outside of the breeding season in generally occupies coastal areas, foraging in coastal fields and prairies with short grass, ploughed fields (del Hoyo et al. 1996), coastal freshwater pools (Hayman et al. 1986), saltmarshes, beaches, open mud and sandflats (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and reefs (Hayman et al. 1986). It roosts on the same habitats used for foraging, as well as on exposed sandy beaches and exposed rocks (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of insects, molluscs, worms, crustaceans and spiders, although berries are also important during the breeding season on the Arctic tundra (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow scrape positioned on a dry site amongst hummocks, lichen, Dryas spp. or moss (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species shows a high degree of nest-site fidelity and will return to the same nest cup or to within 100 m of nest-site of previous year (del Hoyo et al. 1996).


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

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

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

Hayman, P.; Marchant, J.; Prater, A. J. 1986. Shorebirds. Croom Helm, London.

Further web sources of information
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
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Pluvialis fulva. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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 - Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Charadriidae (Plovers)
Species name author (Gmelin, 1789)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,730,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change