occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Transient
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: BREEDING: western Alaska east to Yamal Peninsula in Siberia. NON-BREEDING: India, southern China, Hawaii (most abundant August-April, some present all year) south to Australia, New Zealand. Breeders from western Alaska and eastern Siberia occur mainly in the Indo-Pacific region during the northern winter.
Length: 27 cm
Weight: 145 grams
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: BREEDING: Grassy arctic and alpine tundra, usually in areas at lower elevation, in denser and taller vegetative cover than used by P. DOMINICA (breeding). Nests on grassy tundra; prefers dry upland areas. The nest is a shallow scraped-out depression, lined with mosses, leaves, grass, and lichens. In western Alaska, where DOMINICA and FULVA are sympatric, DOMINICA nests occurred more often in areas of higher elevation and slope, with sparser and shorter vegetation, and more rocks; FULVA nests were usually at lower elevations in denser and taller vegetative cover; both forms used relatively dry upland tundra (Connors et al. 1993). In western Alaska (P. FULVA), males returned to the same nesting territories in successive years; most females did not (Johnson et al. 1993). NON-BREEDING: short-grass prairie, pastures, mudflats, sandy beaches, and flooded fields.
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Arrives in Hawaii by August, departs by late April; indirect and direct evidence indicate that birds in Hawaii in winter are from Alaskan breeding areas (Johnson et al. 1989, Johnson et al. 1997).
Comments: Feeds primarily on insects (grasshoppers, crickets, grubs of beetles, caterpillars, cutworms, wireworms, etc.). Also eats some small mollusks and crustaceans.
100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Comments: Morrison et al. (2001) give a global estimate of 125,000 individuals. Fall counts from three sites in Alaska total 15,900 (Gill et al. 1999); Morrison et al. (2001) estimate a North American population of 16,000.
NON-BREEDING: In Hawaii, many establish winter territories to which they return each year; abandon territories at night and roost in flock (Johnson et al. 1981). Territorial birds had higher apparent survival rates than non-territorial wintering birds (Johnson et al. 2001). Winter mortality in Hawaii was caused by accidents (collisions) and probable predation by owls (Johnson et al. 2001).
Life History and Behavior
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Breeding begins in late spring. Clutch size usually 4. Incubation probably about 26 days, by both sexes. Young precocial, tended by both adults. Monogamous. First breeds at 1 year, though first-year females may breed less commonly than do first-year males (Johnson et al. 1993). Nesting density and/or nesting success may vary greatly over time and space (Johnson et al. 1993).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Pluvialis fulva
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pluvialis fulva
Public Records: 10
Specimens with Barcodes: 16
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4M - Apparently Secure
Rounded National Status Rank: N5B,NNRN : N5B: Secure - Breeding, NNRN: Unranked - Nonbreeding
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Status in Egypt
Pacific golden plover
The Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva) is a medium-sized plover.
The 23–26 cm long breeding adult is spotted gold and black on the crown, back and wings. Its face and neck are black with a white border and it has a black breast and a dark rump. The legs are black. In winter, the black is lost and the plover then has a yellowish face and breast, and white underparts.
It is similar to two other golden plovers, Eurasian and American. Pacific golden plover is smaller, slimmer and relatively longer-legged than European golden plover, Pluvialis apricaria, which also has white axillary (armpit) feathers. It is more similar to American golden plover, Pluvialis dominica, with which it was once considered conspecific (as "lesser golden plover", see Sangster et al., 2002). The Pacific golden plover is slimmer than the American species, has a shorter primary projection, and longer legs, and is usually yellower on the back.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: P. dominica and P. fulva formerly were regarded as conspecific (P. dominica). Connors et al. (1993) documented clear and consistent differences in breeding vocalizations and nesting habitat, and strict assortative mating in areas of sympatry in western Alaska; they concluded that P. dominica and P. fulva are distinct species. Sibley and Monroe (1990) and AOU (1993) also treated these taxa as separate species.