Conservation status of the buff-breasted sandpiper: Historic and contemporary distribution and abundance in south America

The Wilson Bulletin
By: , and 



We present historic and contemporary information on the distribution and abundance of Buff-breasted Sandpipers (Tryngites subruficollis) in South America. Historic information was collated from the literature, area ornithologists, and museums, whereas contemporary data were derived from surveys conducted throughout the main wintering range in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil during the austral summers of 1999 and 2001. Variable circular plot sampling was used to estimate population densities. During 1999, the highest concentration of Buff-breasted Sandpipers in Argentina was in southern Bahía Samborombón (General Lavalle District) and areas north of Mar Chiquita coastal lagoon. During 2001, the highest concentrations in Brazil were at Ilha da Torotama and Lagoa do Peixe National Park. During 1999 and 2001, the highest concentrations of Buff-breasted Sandpipers in Uruguay were found along three lagoons (Laguna de Rocha, Laguna de Castillos, and Laguna Garzón) bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Population densities (birds/ha) of Buff-breasted Sandpipers were 0.11 (95% C.I. = 0.04–0.31) in Argentina, 1.62 (0.67–3.93) in Brazil, and 1.08 (0.37–3.18) in Uruguay. High turnover rates at survey sites, due to the formation of large, mobile flocks, contributed to moderately large confidence intervals around our population density estimates. Nevertheless, compared with historic accounts of Buff-breasted Sandpipers, our survey data indicate the population size of this species has declined substantially since the late 1800s and contemporary information suggests the species has continued to decline during the past three decades. Buff-breasted Sandpipers were found almost exclusively in pasturelands and appear to depend heavily upon intensive grazing by livestock, which maintain suitable short grass conditions. We discuss the need for protection of critical areas and proper range management to ensure appropriate habitat remains available for the species, and provide suggestions for future research needs.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Conservation status of the buff-breasted sandpiper: Historic and contemporary distribution and abundance in south America
Series title The Wilson Bulletin
DOI 10.1676/0043-5643(2002)114[0044:CSOTBB]2.0.CO;2
Volume 114
Issue 1
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher Wilson Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 29 p.
First page 44
Last page 72
Other Geospatial South America