Homepage article April 2008
Long-billed Plover Charadrius placidus

Long-billed Plover Charadrius placidus, Jeonju May 2007, Photo © Richard Chandler

The Long-billed Plover Charadrius placidus is (like the Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata and the globally Endangered Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus), naturally confined to Asia and ecologically-dependent upon rivers. It requires stretches of shallow river with extensive patches of shingle (used for breeding) and wet shingle and mud-edge (for feeding), in Korea remaining in territory throughout the year unless forced to undertake local movements due to flooding or severe cold. Despite declines in some parts of its range (e.g. Boere, Galbraith and Stroud, 2006), it remains surprisingly widespread in Korea. While counts conducted for the nationwide mid-January waterbird census under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment have recorded only between five and 37 individuals (winters 1999-2007), the species has a national population recently estimated at between 300 and 500 pairs (Moores, 2007). A very significant percentage of this population of the Long-billed Plover is now threatened, however, by the Korean Grand Canal project - a scheme that entails the dredging and flooding of a total of 3,200 km of river length on the Korean peninsula, making such areas completely unavailable to this and other shallow river specialist species.


  • Boere, G.C., Galbraith, C.A & D. A. Stroud (eds.). 2006. Waterbirds around the world. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, UK. 960 pp.
  • Moores, N. 2006. South Korea’s Shorebirds: a review of abundance, distribution, threats and conservation status. Stilt (50) 2006: 62-72. Published by the Australasian Wader Studies Group.
    (Available at: http://www.birdskorea.org/Birds/PDFs/Downloads/NialMoores-SK-shorebirds-2006.pdf).