LC
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria



Justification

Justification of Red List Category
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 appears to be increasing, therefore the population does not 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.

Population justification
The European population is estimated at 630,000-860,000 pairs, which equates to 1,260,000-1,720,000 mature individuals or 1,890,000-2,600,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2015). The population is therefore placed in the band 1,300,000-1,750,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The European population trend is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).

Ecology

Behaviour This species is fully migratory but may only move short distances in some regions (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It breeds from May to August (Hayman et al. 1986) in solitary pairs (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), adults leaving the breeding grounds before the juveniles between July and August (Hayman et al. 1986). The return migration in the spring peaks between April and early-May (Hayman et al. 1986). The species feeds in small flocks during the breeding season, but on passage and in winter feeding flocks of tens to thousands of individuals may occur (Hayman et al. 1986, Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat Breeding The species breeds on humid moss, lichen and hummock tundra (del Hoyo et al. 1996), low-lying marshes in moss tundra (Johnsgard 1981), shrub tundra, open bogs in forest, peatlands, alpine tundra (del Hoyo et al. 1996), highland bogs , moors (Johnsgard 1981), and swampy highland heaths with high abundances of sphagnum moss and heather (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996). It shows a preference for nesting on short vegetation less than 15 cm tall (Ratcliffe 1977). Non-breeding When on passage and in its winter quarters (del Hoyo et al. 1996) the species frequents freshwater wetlands (Urban et al. 1986), moist grasslands (Urban et al. 1986), pastures (del Hoyo et al. 1996), agricultural land (e.g. stubble, ploughed or fallow fields) (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) and highland steppe (Urban et al. 1986), also foraging on tidal shores, coastal rocky outcrops (Johnsgard 1981), intertidal flats (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and saltmarshes (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) in shallow bays and estuaries (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of insects (especially the adults, pupae and larvae of beetles (del Hoyo et al. 1996), larval Lepidoptera, locusts and grasshoppers (Urban et al. 1986)), as well as earthworms, spiders, millipedes, snails, polycheate worms (del Hoyo et al. 1996), crustaceans (Johnsgard 1981) and some plant material (e.g. berries, seeds and grass) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow scrape on bare ground in flat, sparse areas with short vegetation (less than 15 cm) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species is a solitary nester, although in optimal habitats neighbouring pairs may nest only a few hundred metres apart (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Management information Extensive grazing of wetland grasslands (e.g. c.0.5 cows per hectare) was found to attract a higher abundance of the species in Hungary (Baldi et al. 2005), and in the UK the species shows a preference for nesting on heathlands and moors managed by rotational burning (a management strategy used to encourage grouse) as this keeps the vegetation short and prevents grasses from being displaced by heathers (Ratcliffe 1977, Johnsgard 1981).

Threats

The species has suffered minor range contractions due to the cultivation and afforestation of heathlands (Ratcliffe 1977, del Hoyo et al. 1996), and is susceptible to very cold winter temperatures and severe weather conditions (Ratcliffe 1977). Utilisation The species is frequently taken by hunters on its wintering grounds (e.g. France) (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species is listed on Annex I, II (B), III (B) of the EU Birds Directive and Annex III of the Bern Convention. The following information refers to the species's European range only: The EU commisioned a Management plan for this huntable bird species considered to be in unfavourable status (Technical Report - 2009 - 034) (Béchet 2009).

Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's European range only: Extensive grazing of wetland grasslands (e.g. c.0.5 cows per hectare) was found to attract a higher abundance of the species in Hungary (Baldi et al. 2005), and in the U.K. the species shows a preference for nesting on heathlands and moors managed by rotational burning (a management strategy used to encourage grouse) as this keeps the vegetation short and prevents grasses from being displaced by heathers (Ratcliffe 1977, Johnsgard 1981). Cultivation, drainage and afforestation of heathlands has to be stopped and habitat restored.

Acknowledgements

Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Pluvialis apricaria. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2019.