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The occurrence of the Javan Plover Charadrius javanicus in Sumatra, Indonesia

Authors:
131
Short communications
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-
breeding range.
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.
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UK.
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and the population status of non-breeding Nearctic and Patagonian
shorebirds in the ooding pampa grasslands of Argentina. J. Field
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The occurrence of the Javan Plover Charadrius javanicus
in Sumatra, Indonesia
Muhammad Iqbal1, Iwan Febrianto2 & Hilda Zulkii3
1KPB-SOS, Jalan Tanjung api-api km 9 Komplek P & K Blok E 1, Palembang 30152, Indonesia. kpbsos26@yahoo.com
2WCS- IP, Jl. Burangrang 18, Bogor 16151 – Indonesia, Indonesia. iwan_londo@yahoo.com
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. rucapillus 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 classied as Near Threatened (BirdLife
International 2011).
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 identied 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.)
ab
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 identication 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 conrmation of
our identication, we provided details of our description and
133
Short communications
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 identication 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-
tions possible.
Andrew, P. 1992. The Birds of Indonesia. A checklist (Peter’s sequences).
The Indonesian Ornithological Society, Jakarta.
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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.
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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.
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Helm, London.
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46: 5–7.
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October 2009 Tour Report. Birdquest report (unpublished).
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Guide to the Waders of the World. Houghton Mifin Company, USA.
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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.
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corrections and notes – 2. Kukila 11: 3–12.
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Sumatera, Kalimantan, Jawa dan Bali. BirdLife International Indonesia.
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Check-list. Check-list 10. British Ornithologists’ Union. Tring, UK.
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Report. Birdquest report (unpublished).
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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.
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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 Plover.
Javan Plovers are reported as breeding and foraging on
sandy beaches, mudats 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
mudats 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,
Robson 2010).
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-
tication literature for local birdwatchers. We recommend
that ornithologists pay more attention to Javan Plovers in SE
Sumatra to provide further conrmation 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.
... The use of such a habitat probably reflects the degraded nature of the environ- Javan Plover was not recorded in Sumatra prior to 2007 when it was first reported breeding in Lampung province, S Sumatra (Kennerley et al. 2008). Breeding was confirmed when an adult with two chicks was observed in Jul 2007 at a fishpond in Penet (on the east coast of Lampung province, S Sumatra), and at least one bird was seen on 31 Mar 2011 at Pukan beach in Bangka island, Sumatra (Iqbal et al. 2011a). In addition to these records, the species was reported as occurring in small numbers at fishponds along the east coast of Lampung province from Bakauheni to Penet (Iwan Febrianto in litt.). ...
... Javan Plover has been recorded on two occasions in S Sumatra (Iqbal et al. 2011a). This may represent genuine range expansion with birds colonising from Java. ...
... In the last decade a further three species have been confirmed as breeders in Sumatra; Javan Plover, White-headed Stilt and Oriental Pratincole. The Javan Plover was previously only known to breed in Java and Sulawesi (Mackinnon & Phillips 1993, White & Bruce 1986), but was recently found breeding in Lampung province (Iqbal et al. 2011a). This adds to new breeding records of Javan Plover outside the previously known range in Bali, Sumba, Sumbawa, Flores, Lombok and Timor Leste (Iqbal et al. 2013, Mason 2011, Trainor 2011. ...
... The use of such a habitat probably reflects the degraded nature of the environ- Javan Plover was not recorded in Sumatra prior to 2007 when it was first reported breeding in Lampung province, S Sumatra (Kennerley et al. 2008). Breeding was confirmed when an adult with two chicks was observed in Jul 2007 at a fishpond in Penet (on the east coast of Lampung province, S Sumatra), and at least one bird was seen on 31 Mar 2011 at Pukan beach in Bangka island, Sumatra (Iqbal et al. 2011a). In addition to these records, the species was reported as occurring in small numbers at fishponds along the east coast of Lampung province from Bakauheni to Penet (Iwan Febrianto in litt.). ...
... Javan Plover has been recorded on two occasions in S Sumatra (Iqbal et al. 2011a). This may represent genuine range expansion with birds colonising from Java. ...
... In the last decade a further three species have been confirmed as breeders in Sumatra; Javan Plover, White-headed Stilt and Oriental Pratincole. The Javan Plover was previously only known to breed in Java and Sulawesi (Mackinnon & Phillips 1993, White & Bruce 1986), but was recently found breeding in Lampung province (Iqbal et al. 2011a). This adds to new breeding records of Javan Plover outside the previously known range in Bali, Sumba, Sumbawa, Flores, Lombok and Timor Leste (Iqbal et al. 2013, Mason 2011, Trainor 2011. ...
Article
Full-text available
Sumatra is the second largest island in Indonesia and the sixth in the world (473,481 km2); it includes a variety of wetland and coastal habitats and supports important resident and migratory shorebird populations in the East-Asian–Australian Flyway. These have been documented in numerous papers and reports published over the decade 2001–2011. Here we present an overview of published records of 24 shorebird species which meet the criteria that they are significant new records for the island, or show a species’ current status, or are new distributional records, or indicate the size of the Sumatran population, or are new breeding records, or are unusual observations for Sumatra.
... The use of such a habitat probably reflects the degraded nature of the environ- Javan Plover was not recorded in Sumatra prior to 2007 when it was first reported breeding in Lampung province, S Sumatra (Kennerley et al. 2008). Breeding was confirmed when an adult with two chicks was observed in Jul 2007 at a fishpond in Penet (on the east coast of Lampung province, S Sumatra), and at least one bird was seen on 31 Mar 2011 at Pukan beach in Bangka island, Sumatra (Iqbal et al. 2011a). In addition to these records, the species was reported as occurring in small numbers at fishponds along the east coast of Lampung province from Bakauheni to Penet (Iwan Febrianto in litt.). ...
... Javan Plover has been recorded on two occasions in S Sumatra (Iqbal et al. 2011a). This may represent genuine range expansion with birds colonising from Java. ...
... In the last decade a further three species have been confirmed as breeders in Sumatra; Javan Plover, White-headed Stilt and Oriental Pratincole. The Javan Plover was previously only known to breed in Java and Sulawesi (Mackinnon & Phillips 1993, White & Bruce 1986), but was recently found breeding in Lampung province (Iqbal et al. 2011a). This adds to new breeding records of Javan Plover outside the previously known range in Bali, Sumba, Sumbawa, Flores, Lombok and Timor Leste (Iqbal et al. 2013, Mason 2011, Trainor 2011. ...
Article
Sumatra is the second largest island in Indonesia and the sixth in the world (473,481 km2); it includes a variety of wetland and coastal habitats and supports important resident and migratory shorebird populations in the East-Asian–Australian Flyway. These have been documented in numerous papers and reports published over the decade 2001–2011. Here we present an overview of published records of 24 shorebird species which meet the criteria that they are significant new records for the island, or show a species’ current status, or are new distributional records, or indicate the size of the Sumatran population, or are new breeding records, or are unusual observations for Sumatra.
... obs.), as well as beside saline lagoons (Bali). Javan Plover has been seen feeding and breeding near dry aquaculture ponds (e.g. on the east coast of Sumatra, the north coast of Java, the south coast Sulawesi and Timor-Leste) (Iqbal et al. 2011, Tebb et al. 2008, Trainor 2011. They have also been recorded breeding on dry saline land (Sape, Sumbawa) (Coates & Bishop 2000). ...
... The peak breeding season of Javan Plover is thought to be May to August. Eggs have been collected in May and June (West Java), chicks found in July (east coast Sumatra, Bali), recently fledged young have also been found in July (Timor-Leste), and downy young found in August (West and Central Java) (Hellebrekers & Hoogerwerf 1967, Hoogerwerf 1967, Iqbal et al. 2011, Trainor 2011. Grantham (1998) reported May to September as the observed breeding season in Alas Purwo National Park (East Java). ...
... The tibia of Javan Plover is longer than in Kentish Plover. So while tarsus length overlaps, Javan Plover has longer legs overall (Iqbal et al. 2011, Tebb et al. 2008. ...
Article
Full-text available
Javan Plover Charadrius javanicus is a poorly known Charadrius plover from the Oriental region, which has been recorded from Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Detailed accounts of the identification of Javan Plover are relatively few. At around 15 cm in length, it is about the same size as Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus and also has similar plumage. Here we describe several field observable characteristics which can be used to help identify Javan Plover, and distinguish it from Kentish Plover. We have divided these characters into three categories of relative value: important, supportive and inconclusive. Important characters are an incomplete hindneck collar, lone lateral breast patches, paler leg colour and longer tibia length; supportive characters are blunt and thickbased bill shape, oval head pattern and call; and inconclusive characters are tarsus/bill length ratio (although this character may be of use on birds in the hand or photographs) and length of feet beyond tail (in flight). It is hoped that these characters will help observers to better identify Javan Plovers in the field.
... Javan Plover was not recorded in Sumatra prior to 2007, when it was reported as breeding in Lampung province, southern Sumatra (Kennerley et al. 2008, Iqbal et al. 2011. It has since been recorded elsewhere in Sumatra on the islands of Bangka and Belitung and on the Indralaya floodplain (Iqbal et al. 2013b, Iqbal 2015, Setiawan et al. 2016. ...
... On Java, breeding has been reported in May and June (Piersma & Wiersma 1996, Iwan Londo pers. comm.), and an adult with two chicks was observed in July in Sumatra (Iqbal et al. 2011). Breeding probably occurs at Indralaya during May to July, which is the early part of the dry season when water levels recede, providing areas of suitable breeding habitat, an extensive dry wet shortgrass habitat surrounded by fragmented pools of deeper area (Fig. 2). ...
Article
Full-text available
Javan Plover was not recorded in Sumatra prior to 2007. This paper reports that during 2013–2018, waterbird monitoring in Sumatra established that Javan Plovers occur in small numbers at three of the surveyed localities in the Indralaya subdistrict: Tanjung Putus, Tanjung Senai and Danau Seruo.
... This was based on an incomplete white hind-collar, extensive lateral breast-patches (a narrow breast collar) and a bird which had a nearly complete narrow breast collar: all important field characters of the Javan Plover distinguishing it from the Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrines (Iqbal et al. 2013b). Previously the Javan Plover has only been recorded from mainland of Sumatra within Lampung province, the southernmost province of Sumatra (Iqbal et al. 2011) and as such the Tanjung Putus records represent a northerly range extension of the species. ...
... This was based on an incomplete white hind-collar, extensive lateral breast-patches (a narrow breast collar) and a bird which had a nearly complete narrow breast collar: all important field characters of the Javan Plover distinguishing it from the Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrines (Iqbal et al. 2013b). Previously the Javan Plover has only been recorded from mainland of Sumatra within Lampung province, the southernmost province of Sumatra (Iqbal et al. 2011) and as such the Tanjung Putus records represent a northerly range extension of the species. ...
Article
Full-text available
Tanjung Putus is a small inland wetland area in South Sumatra Province, Indonesia. The area was surveyed between May 2012 and July 2015 and seven species of shorebird were recorded using the area, including several notable records. The Tanjung Putus wetlands appear to provide an important habitat for shorebirds during the migration period.
... The observation of Javan plover on 31 March 2011 at Pukan beach was unexpected. This is a first record for Bangka and second record for Sumatra (Kennerley et al. 2008, Iqbal et al 2011. This is previously known as a Javan endemic (Piersma & Wiersma 1996, Mackinnon et al. 1998, Birdlife International 2011, but it is likely overlooked that records of the bird have spread widely to Wallacea (White & Bruce 1986, Coates & Bishop 2000, Tebb et al. 2008. ...
Article
Full-text available
Bangka Island is the second largest island in Sumatra, Indonesia. The island has a lengthy coastline and may provide important habitat for shorebirds during the migration period. There were 18 shorebirds species previously known from Bangka, and a most recent survey added three new species. This paper reviews all shorebird records from Bangka, including the recent discovery of endemic Javan Plover in the island on March-April 2011.
... Oriental Plover is a rare vagrant to Sumatra with few verified records (Silvius 1987, Parrott & Andrew 1996. Javan Plover was not recorded in Sumatra until 2007, but small populations have recently been discovered in the south-eastern province of Lampung, and also on nearby Bangka Island (Iqbal et al. 2011(Iqbal et al. , 2013a. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports on observations of White-faced Plover Charadrius dealbatus, Little Ringed Plover C. dubius curonicus, Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus and Malaysian Plover C. peronii on the central east coast of North Sumatra Province, Indonesia during September-October 2010 and November 2012. All four species were found in low numbers (in total comprising <4% of all Charadrius plovers) at a relatively small number of sites. We report the first confirmed sightings of White-faced Plover in North Sumatra Province and confirm that the non-breeding range of this taxon includes the east coast of northern Sumatra. Our findings suggest that Sumatra is at the southern edge of the regular non-breeding range for migratory Little Ringed Plover and Kentish Plover populations using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. We found that numbers of resident Malaysian Plover are very low and the species is absent from many areas of suitable habitat. It has disappeared from areas where it was known to occur in the past and this appears to be attributable to human disturbance and modification of preferred habitat.
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Several pale Charadrius plovers associating with Kentish Plovers Charadrius alexandrinus in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, which were presumed not to resemble any known taxon, have been recorded since 1993 Evidence is presented which establishes that these birds are Aegialites [Charadrius] dealbatus, described by Robert Swinhoe in 1870 as a species distinct from Kentish Plover Subsequent confusion has resulted in this name being applied to the form of Kentish Plover that occurs in abundance in East and South-East Asia, while the true taxon dealbatus has been overlooked by almost all subsequent taxonomists, and mistakenly described and illustrated as Kentish Plover in all studies of this taxon This paper suggests that this confusion arose, in part, due to misconceptions over the appearance of dealbatus, which resulted in many museum specimens of Kentish Plover from East Asia being Incorrectly identified and erroneously labelled as dealbatus Swinhoe did not designate a type specimen when he described dealbatus, and this was only done in 1896, from a composite series of Swinhoe s specimens that comprised two taxa Here, we formally select and describe a lectotype of Aegialites [Charadrius] dealbatus from Swinhoe s pre-1870 specimens, list all known Swinhoe specimens of the composite taxa as paralectotypes of Aegialites [Charadrius] dealbatus and establish which specimens represent this taxon and which are Kentish Plover Comparison with other small Charadrius plovers occurring in South-East Asia establishes the diagnosibilty of dealbatus as a distinct taxon that differs in aspects of plumage, behaviour, habitat preference and breeding distribution from the commonly occurring Kentish Plover in East and South-East Asia Consistent morphological differences from Kentish Plover include a larger and heavier bill with a pale base to the lower mandible, pale pinkish-grey legs, light sandy-brown upperparts and a longer and more conspicuous wing-bar, particularly across the primaries We describe plumage differences between sexes and age classes, and compare dealbatus with Kentish and Malaysian Plover C peronn The breeding range remains uncertain but probably lies in coastal South China, and evidence suggests that dealbatus is allopatric with Kentish Plover, which breeds in northern China An investigation to establish the phylogenetic relationship between dealbatus and other small Charadrius plovers is currently in progress If dealbatus proves to be distinct at the species level, we recommend that the name Charadrius dealbatus with the English name White-faced Plover is adopted The name Charadriu alexandrinus nihonensis is available for the larger-billed form of Kentish Plover breeding in north-eastern Asia The true taxon dealbatus is believed to be rare but probably under-recorded
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