Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

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

January 1, 2002

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.

Publication Year 2002
Title Conservation status of the buff-breasted sandpiper: Historic and contemporary distribution and abundance in south America
DOI 10.1676/0043-5643(2002)114[0044:CSOTBB]2.0.CO;2
Authors Richard B. Lanctot, D.E. Blanco, Rafael A. Dias, Juan P. Isacch, Verena A. Gill, Juliana B. Almeida, Kaspar Delhey, Pablo F. Petracci, Glayson A. Bencke, Rodrigo A. Balbueno
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title The Wilson Bulletin
Index ID 70185425
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center