sistent correlations (i.e., small bursa plus variable numbers
of faded secondaries = rst-year bird; no bursa plus all new
secondaries = adult) would essentially resolve the question.
Notably, Pyle’s description (Johnson & Connors 2010) of
rst basic plumage in this plover mentions only occasional
retention of 1–4 juvenile secondaries. This further signals
the need for additional studies to clearly identify rst-year
birds and also to examine moult in other regions of the non-
During a trip to Argentina by OWJ in 1999, Jorge Navas at
the Museo Argentina de Ciencias Naturales, and Carlos Dar-
rieu of the Museo de Ciencias Naturales de La Plata kindly
allowed him to view plover specimens in their collections.
Various of the birds examined appeared to be rst-year in-
dividuals that were in primary moult when collected. These
observations prompted the more conclusive investigation of
live plovers reported in this paper. Fieldwork was mostly
funded by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Manomet Center
for Conservation Sciences, and the Southern Cone Grassland
Alliance (BirdLife International initiative). Javier Vitancurt
from the National System of Protected Areas provided addi-
tional logistical support. We are grateful to Martín Segredo
and Tropicalia Farm for housing and access to the study areas.
Catharinus Monkel, Héctor Caymaris, Verónica Correa, Ma-
carena Sarroca, Diego Caballero, Daniel Sosa, Sofía Corti-
zas, Mariana Illarze, Nestor Leal, Andrés Sosa Huelmo, and
Joaquín Lapetina assisted us in the eld. Pablo Isacch helped
to access the museum specimens in 1999, and more recently
suggested contacts that led to Uruguay as the location for this
study. We thank Charles Duncan and Diego Luna for ongo-
ing support of shorebird studies and conservation at Laguna
de Rocha. Helpful editorial suggestions from reviewer Les
Underhill substantially improved the manuscript.
Byrkjedal, I. & D. Thompson. 1998. Tundra plovers: The Eurasian, Pa-
cic and American Golden Plovers and Grey Plover. T & AD Poyser
Ginn, H.B. & D.S. Melville. 1983. Moult in Birds. BTO Guide 19. Tring,
Isacch, J.P. & M.M. Martinez. 2003. Temporal variation in abundance
and the population status of non-breeding Nearctic and Patagonian
shorebirds in the ooding pampa grasslands of Argentina. J. Field
Ornithol. 74: 233–242.
Johnson, O.W. 1985. Timing of primary molt in rst-year Golden-Plovers
and some evolutionary implications. Wilson Bull. 97: 237–239.
Johnson, O.W. & P.G. Connors. 2010. American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis
dominica). In: The Birds of North America online, No. 201 A. Poole
(ed.). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY. (doi:10.2173/bna.201).
Johnson, O.W. & P.M. Johnson. 1983. Plumage–molt–age relationships
in “over-summering” and migratory Lesser Golden-Plovers. Condor
Jukema, J., T. Piersma, J.B. Hulscher, E.J. Bunskoeke, A. Koolhaas
& A. Veenstra. 2001. Golden Plovers and Plover Netters: a Deeply
Rooted Fascination with Migrating Birds. Fryske Akademy, Ljouwert
and KNNV Uitgeverij, Utrecht, The Netherlands. (in Dutch with
O’Brien, M., R. Crossley & K. Karlson. 2006. The Shorebird Guide.
Houghton Mifin, New York.
Paulson, D.R. 1995. Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola). In: The
Birds of North America online, No. 186 A. Poole (ed.). Cornell Lab of
Ornithology, Ithaca, NY. (doi:10.2173/bna.186).
Prater, A.J. 1981. A review of the patterns of primary moult in Palaearctic
waders (Charadrii). Pp. 393–409 In: Proceedings of the Symposium on
Birds of the Sea and Shore. J. Cooper (ed.). African Seabird Group,
Prater, A.J., J.H. Marchant & J. Vuorinen. 1977. Guide to the Identi-
cation and Aging of Holarctic Waders. BTO Guide 17. Tring, UK.
Remisiewicz, M., A.J. Tree, L.G. Underhill & P.B. Taylor. 2010. Rapid
or slow moult? The choice of a primary moult strategy by immature
Wood Sandpipers Tringa glareola in southern Africa. J. Ornithol. 151:
429–441. (doi: 10.1007/s10336-009-0473-4).
The occurrence of the Javan Plover Charadrius javanicus
in Sumatra, Indonesia
Muhammad Iqbal1, Iwan Febrianto2 & Hilda Zulkii3
1KPB-SOS, Jalan Tanjung api-api km 9 Komplek P & K Blok E 1, Palembang 30152, Indonesia. email@example.com
2WCS- IP, Jl. Burangrang 18, Bogor 16151 – Indonesia, Indonesia. firstname.lastname@example.org
3Department of Biology of Sriwijaya University. Zona D FMIPA Biology, Universitas Sriwijaya,
Jalan raya Palembang-Indralaya km 32, Indralaya, Ogan Ilir, Sumatera Selatan, Indonesia
Keywords: occurrence, Javan Plover, Charadrius javanicus, Sumatra, Indonesia
The taxonomic status of the Javan Plover Charadrius ja-
vanicus (Chasen 1938) is unclear, and it may not merit the
status of a full species. However, different authors associate
it with different species, and it has sometimes been treated
as a race of Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus, or Red-capped
Plover C. rucapillus or Malaysian Plover Charadrius peronii
(Piersma & Wiersma 1996). Tentatively Javan Plover is a
distinct species (Piersma & Wiersma 1996), and this treat-
ment has been followed by most recent authors (e.g. BirdLife
International 2011, Inskipp et al. 1996, Mackinnon et al.
1998, Sukmantoro et al. 2007, Wetland International 2006).
We follow this treatment, but whatever its taxonomic status,
it is a distinct form that deserves to be fully monitored and
conserved in its own right.
The entire population of the Javan Plover has been esti-
mated at about 2,000 individuals and the species is endemic
to coastal habitats on the islands of Java and Kangean and
possibly also on Bali (Centurioni 2010, Mackinnon et al.
1998). There are no data on population trends (Wetland Inter-
national 2006), but it may well be in decline as its habitats are
subject to heavy disturbance by humans, especially during the
breeding season; it is classied as Near Threatened (BirdLife
Kennerley et al. (2008) reported that Javan Plovers breed
at Penet, in Lampung province, Sumatra, which is informa-
tion that was provided by second author (IF). Here, we report
further detail on the occurrence of Javan Plovers at Penet, and
an additional record for Sumatra from Bangka Island.
132 Wader Study Group Bulletin 118(2) 2011
One day in July 2007 (date not recorded), an adult Javan
Plover with two chicks was observed by IF in a dry shpond
on the east coast of Penet. Kuala Penet (Penet Bay) is a settle-
ment on the east coast of Lampung Timur district (Fig. 1).
Many areas there are converted to shponds (locally called
“tambak”), but there is remaining mangrove forest and mud-
ats. When rst seen, the adult was making repeated noisy
calls, probably alarm calls, and the chicks were not visible;
but after a few minutes the adult was seen with the chicks. The
adult was later described by IF to MI who identied the bird
as a Javan Plover from his experience of the species in Java.
On 31 March 2011 at 17h45, MI observed and photographed
one Javan Plover on the sandy shore of Pantai Pukan or Pukan
beach, Sungai Liat city, Bangka Island, Bangka Belitung prov-
ince, Sumatra (02°02'06.1"S, 106°09'37.2"E, Figs 1 & 2). The
bird was very similar to adult non-breeding or female breeding
Kentish Plover and female Malaysian Plover, but it had less
extensive white on the forehead, orange brown ear coverts and
lores, a narrow white collar, and the scapulars, mantle and up-
perparts were a uniform mid sandy brown (Figs 3a & b). When
viewed head-on, the bird showed medium-sized lateral breast-
patches (Fig. 3b). The bill was long and dark, and appeared to
be slimmer than the bill of Kentish and Malaysian Plover. The
Fig. 2. Pantai Pukan, Bangka Island, Sumatra, Indonesia, on 31 Mar
2011. (Photo: Muhammad Iqbal.)
Fig. 3. Javan Plover photographed on 31 Mar 2011 at Pantai Pukan, Bangka Island, Sumatra, Indonesia. (Photos: Muhammad Iqbal.)
Fig. 1. Map showing the location of Penet and Pantai Pukan on
Sumatra, Indonesia, where Javan Plovers were recorded in 2007
and 2011 respectively.
tibia was relatively long, and the tarsus was long and pale.
The overall impression was of a bird that was sturdier than
Kentish and Malaysian Plover. This combination of features
is consistent with identication as Javan Plover (Mackinnon
et al. 1998, Piersma & Wiersma 1996).
The bird differed from adult non-breeding or female breed-
ing Kentish Plover by orange-brown ear coverts and lores,
long tibia, long pale tarsi and slim bill. Adult non-breeding or
female breeding Kentish Plovers lack rufous or orange-brown
on the ear coverts and lores, and is round-headed, short-
legged and with a short slender black bill (Chandler 2009,
Hayman et al. 1986). Female Malaysian Plover has rufous
or orange brown ear coverts and lores, but is buff to whitish
on the scapulars, mantle and upperparts, unlike the uniform
mid sandy brown of Javan Plover (Bakewell & Kennerley
2008, Chandler 2009). To obtain additional conrmation of
our identication, we provided details of our description and
We would like to thank Peter Kennerley and Humphrey
Sitters who reviewed this paper and for helping to improve
the manuscript. MI thanks Bas van Balen and Khaleb Yordan
for advice on identication of the Javan Plover from Bangka.
IF thanks the Wildlife Conservation Society – Indonesia
Programme (WCS-IP) for supporting fieldwork at Penet,
Lampung. Finally, MI would like to thank Rufford Small
Grant (RSG) and IF thanks WCS-IP who made the observa-
Andrew, P. 1992. The Birds of Indonesia. A checklist (Peter’s sequences).
The Indonesian Ornithological Society, Jakarta.
Andrew, P. 1993. The birds of Indonesia. Kukila checklist no. 1. Additions,
corrections and notes – 1. Kukila 6(2): 47–52.
Bakewell, D.N. & Kennerley, P.R. 2008. Field characteristics and distribu-
tion of an overlooked Charadrius plover from South-East Asia. Birding
Asia 9: 46–57.
BirdLife International. 2011. Species factsheet: Charadrius javanicus.
www.birdlife.org. (accessed on 08/04/2011).
Centurioni, P. 2010. Habitat requirements and population size of the Javan
Plover Charadrius javanicus (Aves, Charadriidae) on Java, Indonesia.
Unpubl. Vienna University.
Chandler, R. 2009. Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere. Christopher
Chasen, F.N. 1938. Vier neue Vogelrassen aus Malaysia. Orn. Monatsber
Coates, B. & Bishop, K. 2000. Burung-burung di kawasan Wallacea. Dove
Publication/BirdLife International Indonesia Programme.
Farrow, D. & Robson, C. 2009. Sulawesi & Halmahera 11 September – 3
October 2009 Tour Report. Birdquest report (unpublished).
Hayman, P., Marchant, J. & Prater, T. 1986. Shorebirds – an Identication
Guide to the Waders of the World. Houghton Mifin Company, USA.
Holmes, D.A. 1996. Sumatra bird report. Kukila 8: 9–56.
Inskipp, T., Lindsey, N. & Duckworth, W. 1996. An Annotated Checklist
of the Birds of the Oriental Region. Oriental Bird Club, UK.
Kennerley, P.R., Bakewell, D.N. & Round, P.D. 2008. Rediscovery of a
long-lost Charadrius plover from South-East Asia. Forktail 24: 63–79.
Kukila. 2000. The birds of Indonesia. Kukila checklist no. 1. Additions,
corrections and notes – 2. Kukila 11: 3–12.
Mackinnon, J., Phillips, K. & van Balen, B. 1998. Burung-burung di
Sumatera, Kalimantan, Jawa dan Bali. BirdLife International Indonesia.
Programme Puslitbang Biologi LIPI, Bogor.
Marle, J.G. & Voous, K.H. 1988. The Birds of Sumatra: an Annotated
Check-list. Check-list 10. British Ornithologists’ Union. Tring, UK.
Robson, C. 2010. The Lesser Sundas 30 August – 19 September 2010 Tour
Report. Birdquest report (unpublished).
Piersma, T. & Wiersma, P. 1996. Charadriidae (Plovers). Pp. 384–442. In:
J. del Hoyo., A. Elliot & J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of the Birds of the
World. Vol. 3. Hoatzin to Auk. Lynx Editions, Barcelona.
Sukmantoro, W., Irham, W., Novarino, W., Hasudungan, F., Kemp, N. &
Muchtar, M. 2007. Daftar Burung Indonesia No. 2. The Indonesian Orni-
thologist’s Union/LIPI/OBC Smythies Fund/Gibbon Foundation, Bogor.
Tebb, G., Morris, P. & Los, P. 2008. New and interesting bird records from
Sulawesi and Halmahera, Indonesia. BirdingAsia 10: 67–76.
Wetlands International. 2006. Waterbird Population Estimates – Fourth
edition. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
White, C.M.N. & Bruce, M.D. 1986. The Birds of Wallacea (Sulawesi, the
Mollucas & Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia): An Annotated Checklist.
BOU Checklist No. 7, Tring, UK.
photographs to two people who are particularly familiar with
Javan Plover, Bas van Balen and Khaleb Yordan. Bas van
Balen is a well-known expert on the birds of Java and Indo-
nesia; and Khaleb Yordan is familiar with Javan Plovers on
the north-east coast of Java and has contributed photographs
of the species on www.orientalbirdimages.org. Both agree
that the bird we recorded at Pantai Pukan, Sumatra, was a
Javan Plovers are reported as breeding and foraging on
sandy beaches, mudats and adjacent open areas along coasts
(BirdLife International 2011, Piersma & Wiersma 1996), and
this is consistent with the two locations where we observed
the species in Sumatra. The Penet site was a dry shpond with
mudats and mangroves nearby; the Pukan beach site was a
wide sandy beach, backed by pine trees.
Until recently it was believed Javan Plover was endemic
to Java, but the species has recently been discovered on
Sulawesi and Sumatra, and may possibly occur east of Java
as well (Coates & Bishop 2000, Kennerley et al. 2008, White
& Bruce 1986). There is no previous fully validated report of
Javan Plover in Sumatra (Andrew 1992, 1993, Holmes 1996,
Kukila 2000, Mackinnon et al. 1998, Marle & Voous 1988,
Sukmantoro et al. 2007). Therefore these records of breeding
at Penet and a bird at Pantai Pukan constitute the rst con-
rmed occurrences of the species in Sumatra. In Wallacea, the
species has been recorded as breeding in Sumbawa and Flores
(Coates & Bishop 2000, White & Bruce 1986) and in Ujung
Pandang, South Sulawesi (Tebb et al. 2008). There are also
recent sightings from Makasar sh ponds (Sulawesi), Benoa
(Bali), Menggitimbe (Sumba) and Labuan Bajo (Flores).
Therefore it seems that the Javan Plover’s total range stretches
nearly 2,000 km from eastern Sumatra to Flores, although
its main range is restricted to Java (Farrow & Robson 2009,
A record of a Javan Plover from Kangean Island (130 km
north of Bali) suggests the possibility of inter-island move-
ments which may include adjacent parts of Wallacea (White
& Bruce 1986). This also probably explains the occurrences
at Penet and Pantai Pukan in eastern Sumatra. These sites
are respectively 100 km and 430 km from Java, but the sea-
crossing between Java and Sumatra is only 20 km (Fig. 1).
It is quite possible that Javan Plovers occur regularly in
eastern Sumatra and are overlooked. Few ornithologists visit
the area and there is a lack of accessible good quality iden-
tication literature for local birdwatchers. We recommend
that ornithologists pay more attention to Javan Plovers in SE
Sumatra to provide further conrmation of the status of the
species. Previously it was considered to be endemic to Java,
but now with records from Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sumbawa,
Flores and Sulawesi, it seems that its current status is that it is
endemic to Indonesia. Further studies are needed to identify
Javan Plover sites, monitor its population trend and determine
its conservation status.