Pacific Golden-Plover Pluvialis fulva Scientific name definitions
Version: 1.1 — Published April 15, 2021
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Priorities for Future Research
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As climate change progresses, the Pacific Golden-Plover will likely face severe loss of nesting habitat. Given the dire predictions about the future of this species (378), monitoring programs and baseline studies are needed to assess the impacts of climate warming on essentially all aspects of this species’ breeding biology. Priorities include efforts to track vegetative changes on arctic and subarctic nesting grounds, measure the abundance and availability (phenology) of trophic resources, determine the influence of changing conditions on the growth and survival of chicks, estimate annual reproductive success, and identify important fall premigratory staging sites and how climate warming is affecting them.
Away from the breeding grounds, there are matters awaiting investigation on migration pathways and overwintering grounds. Additional tracking data are needed to better define important migratory stopover sites. Japan is clearly a major stopover area, especially during spring for birds traveling on the elliptical route (see Movements and Migration: Timing and Routes of Migration), and field research is needed to better understand habitat use. Presumably, migrant plovers often forage in rice fields and information is needed concerning relationships between rice-farming practices and energy requirements. Elsewhere, we need to learn more about the trans-Asian migrations that apparently involve large numbers of plovers (see 71). For those birds, the Torey Depression stopover in Mongolia may be a critical link in the annual cycle. The impacts of hunting along the East Asian–Australasian Flyway remain uncertain—how many plovers are being taken and is this sustainable?
Much has been learned about fidelity and survival rates from research on Pacific Golden-Plover overwintering in Hawaii. It would be enlightening to conduct a similar investigation on the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, far removed from Hawaii. Finally, with respect to Pacific Golden-Plover overwintering in the southwestern Pacific, little is known about habitat requirements and preferences (180); e.g., what is the relative importance of coastal flats vs. inland agricultural lands?