The Malaysian Plover (Charadrius peronii) is a small (ca. 35–42 g) wader
on beaches and salt flats in Southeast Asia.
The Malaysian Plover is
15 cm (5.9 in) in length. The male can be recognized by a thin black
band around the neck; the female has a thin brown band. Its legs are
pale. Its voice is a soft twit.
The Malaysian plovers lays two to five (mode of three) cryptic eggs on
small scrapes on beaches. The eggs are incubated by both the male and
female for about 30 days, and then both parents care for the precocial
chicks until they can fly after about 30 more days . In Thailand, it may
lay multiple clutches after successful or failed clutching during the
breeding season which begins in late March and may last until September.
It feeds on invertebrates on the beaches and mudflats.
This species is classified as near-threatened with about 10,000
individuals. They are thought to be declining because of infrastructure
development and human disturbance. Increased human use of important
beach habitat may cause trampling of eggs or chicks and also force
adults off of nests so that eggs and chicks are vulnerable to heat
stress. A study in the Gulf of Thailand suggested that the conversion of
short, shrubby, dense vegetation into sparse Casuarina forests as well
as the creation of sea walls that prevent chicks from moving between
foraging areas on the mudflat and hiding habitats in the vegetation
behind the beaches, could reduce habitat quality for Malaysian plovers.
Sandy tropical beaches have tremendous economic value and as a result
there has been intensive development pressure on the remaining Malaysian
plover habitats in Thailand. This is likely to continue as the Thai
economy continues to improve from the Asian financial crisis and the
domestic tourist market expands. The main remaining large populations of
Malaysian plovers in Thailand are in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
(Thailand's first marine protected area), and beaches around Bonok
village both in Prachuap Khiri Khan province and Laem Phak Bia in
Petchburi province. Bonok made headlines in the Thai and international
media when a prominent environmental activist (Charoen Wataksorn) who
helped to protect one of these undeveloped beaches from the construction
of a coal power plant, was murdered after protesting against illegal
land grabs on one of these beaches. The construction of a seawall in
2005 in Laem Phak Bia (a sandy, 1 km (.62 mi) long spit in Petchburi
province) is likely to have significantly altered the habitat.