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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The breeding season begins in early May and nests are constructed upon cliffs; the clutch size is usually three eggs. Breeding success is relatively low but fledging generally occurs at around five weeks old (4). By mid-August, the young are independent and the annual migration to the wintering grounds can begin. These birds are relatively gregarious, roosting together in flocks usually during daylight hours (4). Foraging may also occur in groups, and flocks of around 25 birds have been seen feeding on the mud flats, their bills just skimming the surface of the water for food (4). A variety of tidal species are taken, from small fish to crabs and shrimp; foraging appears to take place in the dark or is dependent on the tide (4).
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Description

The black-faced spoonbill is a relatively small wading bird with, as its name would suggest, an elongated, spoon-shaped bill. The plumage is white in colour, and the face and bill are black (2). During the breeding season, mature adults develop longer crest feathers at the back of the neck, and these and the breast area become a golden yellow (5). Adult black-faced spoonbills have red eyes and yellow patches on their cheeks (6). Male black-faced spoonbills can be distinguished from females by their longer bills; while the bills of immature birds are a pinkish-grey rather than black (5).
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Distribution

Range Description

Platalea minor breeds on islets off the west coast of North Korea and South Korea, and Liaoning province in mainland China (Birdlife International 2001). Birds have been reported in the Tumen estuary of Russia, and breeding was recorded in South Primorye for the first time in 2006 (Litvinenko and Shibaev 2007). The three major wintering sites are the Tsengwen estuary of Taiwan (China), the Deep Bay area of Hong Kong (China), and the Chinese mainland and Hainan Island. It also winters in Cheju, South Korea, Kyushu and Okinawa, Japan, and Red River delta, Vietnam (Yu Yattung 2003), and there are recent records from Thailand, the Philippines, Macau (China) and inland China (Yu Yattung and Swennen 2005). The key known stopover sites used during migration include Yueqing Bay, Wenzhou Bay and Sanmen Bay (Ding Ping 2002), as well as Chongming Dongtian, Shanghai (Yu Yattung in litt. 2012). A recent study infers an historical population of c.10,300 individuals (Yeung et al. 2006), which fell to an estimated low of 288 individuals in 1988 but it appears to have recovered subsequently, with a total of 1,679 individuals counted during the 2006 International Black-faced Spoonbill Census (Yu Yattung and Wong Chichun 2006). The 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 censuses recorded totals of 1,695, 2,065, 2,041 and 2,347 birds respectively (Yu Yattung and Wong Chichun 2007, Yu Yattung 2008, 2009a,b; Nguyen Duc Tu 2009, Anon. 2011), and a new high was recorded during the 2012 census, with a total of 2,693 individuals (Yu Yattung in litt. 2012), representing a steady increase on previous totals that may reflect genuine increases and result from successful conservation measures at a number of sites (Yu Yattung 2008, Chan et al. 2010). Some uncertainty remains over whether census increases represent increased survey effort, displacement of birds from unknown wintering sites or genuine population increases, thus on the basis of on-going habitat loss and degradation the overall population is expected to decline in the near future.

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Source: IUCN

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Range

Breeds ne China and Korea; winters to SE Asia.
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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Range

Found along the east Asian coast, these birds are known to breed on islands off the coast of North and South Korea and in Liaoning Province, China. Following the breeding season, the population migrates to wintering grounds at three major sites: Tsengwen Estuary, Taiwan, Inner Deep Bay, Hong Kong, and the Red River Delta, Vietnam (2).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It breeds in mixed colonies on small islands from March to August (Wei Guoan et al. 2005). Breeding success is low. It is mainly a crepuscular feeder and utilises intertidal mudflats (Yu Yattung and Swennen 2004b); resting, sleeping and digesting occur at a variety of sites (trees, man-made structures, shallow water) within 2-3 km of feeding areas (Yu and Swennen 2004a). Spoonbills employ tactile feeding using lateral sweeps of the bill to locate fish and shrimp prey (Swennen and Yu Yattung 2005). Satellite tracking has shown that birds wintering in Hong Kong and Taiwan migrate along the coast of eastern China to northern Jiangsu, then over the Yellow Sea to the Korean peninsula. Wintering birds form large aggregations and it has been recorded amongst flocks of Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia (Yu Yattung and Swennen 2005). It matures at five years of age and birds of at least 9.5 years old have been recorded in the wild (Yu Yattung 2005).


Systems
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Inhabits intertidal habitats along the coast; nesting occurs on cliffs close to tidal flats, whilst winter grounds are situated on estuary wetlands, mudflats and mangroves (4).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 15 years (captivity) Observations: One specimen lived for 15 years in captivity (Brouwer et al. 1994).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Platalea minor

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

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.

AACCGATGATTATTCTCCACCAACCACAAAGACATTGGCACACTGTACCTAATTTTCGGCGCATGAGCTGGCATAGTTGGAACCGCACTC---AGTCTACTTATCCGTGCAGAACTAGGCCAACCAGGAACACTCCTAGGAGAC---GACCAAATCTATAACGTAATCGTCACAGCCCATGCCTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTCATAGTAATACCAATCATAATTGGCGGATTTGGCAACTGACTAGTGCCACTTATA---ATTGGTGCGCCCGACATAGCATTCCCACGTATAAACAACATAAGTTTCTGATTACTACCCCCCTCATTCCTGCTTCTTCTAGCCTCTTCTACAGTAGAAGCAGGAGCAGGCACAGGATGAACTGTATATCCGCCACTCGCTGGCAACCTTGCCCATGCTGGGGCCTCAGTTGACCTG---GCCATCTTCTCACTTCACCTAGCAGGTGTATCATCCATCTTAGGGGCAATCAACTTTATCACAACCGCCATCAACATAAAACCACCAGCCCTTTCACAATACCAAACACCCCTATTCGTCTGATCAGTCCTAATCACTGCCGTCCTGCTACTGCTCTCACTACCAGTCCTTGCTGCT---GGCATCACTATGCTACTAACAGACCGAAATCTAAACACTACATTCTTCGACCCAGCCGGAGGAGGAGACCCTGTCTTGTACCAACATCTATTTTGATTCTTTGGCCACCCAGAAGTTTACATTCTAATCCTGCCTGGCTTTGGAATCATTTCACATGTAGTAGCATACTATGCAGGTAAAAAA---GAGCCATTCGGTTACATAGGAATAGTATGAGCAATACTATCCATTGGATTCCTAGGCTTCATTGTCTGAGCTCACCACATATTTACCGTCGGAATAGACGTAGACACCCGAGCATACTTCACATCAGCTACCATAATCATTGCCATCCCAACAGGCATCAAAGTCTTTAGCTGACTG---GCTACCCTACACGGAGGA---ACTATTAAATGAGACCCACCAATACTATGAGCCCTAGGCTTCATTTTCCTATTCACTATCGGCGGATTAACAGGAATCGTCCTCGCAAACTCCTCACTAGATATTGCCCTACATGACACATACTATGTAGTAGCACACTTCCACTATGTC---TTATCAATAGGAGCTGTATTTGCCATCCTAGCTGGATTCACCCACTGATTCCCACTATTTACCGGATACACCCTACACCCCACATGAGCTAAAGCCCACTTTGGAGTTATATTCACAGGTGTGAACCTAACCTTCTTCCCCCAGCACTTCCTAGGTCTAGCAGGTATGCCCCGA---CGATATTCGGACTACCCAGATGCCTACACT---CTATGAAACACCATGTCATCCATCGGCTCACTAATCTCAATAACAGCCGTTATCATACTAATATTTATCATCTGAGAAGCCCTTGCATCAAAACGAAAAGTC---TCACAACCAGAACTAACCACCACCAAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Platalea minor

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
C2a(ii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2015

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s
Coulter, M. & Yu, Y.

Justification
This spoonbill is listed as Endangered because it has a very small population, which is expected to undergo a continuing decline in the near future owing primarily to the loss of habitat to industrial development, land reclamation, and pollution. A lack of baseline data makes identifying a population trend problematic, but if the apparent recent increases are confirmed as genuine, the species may warrant downlisting in the future.


History
  • 2014
    Endangered (EN)
  • 2012
    Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Threatened (T)