The Asian Dowitcher is a large wader and member of the Limnodrominae family. The species has a length of 33–36 cm and a wingspan of 59 cm. Males weigh 180 g while females weigh 190 g. The species is distinctive, combining elements of both snipes and godwits. It is characterised by a long neck, long dark legs and a diagnostic long dark straight, snipe-line bill. It is slightly larger and bulkier than the Greenshank, Tringa nebularia and smaller and slimmer than the male Bar-tailed Godwit, L. semipalmatus. There is a marked seasonal variation in plumages and juveniles are distinct from adults (Higgins & Davies 1996). The Asian Dowitcher was first recorded in Australia in 1972 and is a regular visitor to the north-west between Port Hedland and Broome. Elsewhere they are sporadic and rare. In Queensland they have been recorded at Cairns, Yeppoon, Lytton, Thorneside, Morton Bay and Clontarf. The species has also been recorded in NSW at Shoalhaven, Kooragang Island and Stockton. In Victoria the species is known from around the Port Phillip Bay region, Werribee, Swan Island, Queenscliff and Mud Island. There are no records for Tasmania and South Australia. In the Northern Territory the Asian Dowitcher is found in Darwin and Arnhem Land. In Western Australia the species has been recorded at Albany, Lake McLarty, Lake McLeod, north-east Pilbara and the south-west Kimberley division. It has also been recorded at the Port Hedland Saltworks, Roebuck Bay, Ashmore Reed and Eighty Mile Beach (Higgins & Davies 1996).
Asian Dowitcher |
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
IUCN Red List Assessment, Limnodromus semipalmatus
An even more rapid population decline may take place in the future owing to climate change.
In the future; these declines may be intensified by habitat shifts on the breeding grounds; caused by global warming.
Systems Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine Threats (see Appendix for additional information) It may be particularly vulnerable to habitat loss in its breeding grounds as a result of the drainage of wetlands for agriculture; or their drying out as a result of climate change (del Hoyo et al. 1996).