Numbers of Eurasian Golden Plovers Pluvialis apricaria in Iceland in late October 2008


157 – 159

1 December 09

Tómas Grétar Gunnarsson

Tómas Grétar Gunnarsson
University of Iceland, South Iceland Research Centre, Tryggvagata 36, IS-800 and Gunnarsholt, IS-851 Hella, Iceland.


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An estimated total of 8,454 Eurasian Golden Plovers were present in Iceland as shown by a census during 18–20 Oct 2008 scheduled to coincide with an international survey. In total 4,503 Golden Plovers were counted, mostly on mudflats in SW Iceland, but 772 were found on grasslands. Inland grassland and farmland was largely frozen, except for a strip along the south coast. The estimated density of Golden Plovers on this unfrozen strip was about 5 birds per km2 according to car transects made in the area. This figure was used to estimate numbers in all the vegetated, unfrozen lowland areas of S and SE Iceland and resulted in a figure of 4,743 (including 772 counted). Adding the birds counted on mudflats gives a total estimate of the numbers in Iceland at the time of the count of 8,454. This figure must be subject to some error but is likely to be of the right order of magnitude.