Population information

Order name Ciconiiformes
Family name Threskiornithidae
Scientific name Platalea regia Common name Royal Spoonbill
Population name Australia, New Zealand
Breeding range Australia (not Tasmania), New Zealand Non-breeding range Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, E Indonesia
Red List Category Least Concern
Ramsar regions Asia Oceania

Conservation Framework

Conservation framework Notes
EAAF Partnership

Population size

Publication Start year End year Minimum Maximum Estimate quality Notes References Actions
WPE 1 1987 1991 25,000 1,000,000 [R519]
WPE 2 1987 1991 25,000 1,000,000 [R519]
WPE 3 0 0 100,000 250,000 [R108]
WPE 4 2003 2003 25,000 100,000 [S4428] [R341]
WPE 5 2004 2009 25,000 100,000 Best guess [S6496] [R341] [R1149] [R1150]

Population trends

Publication Start year End year Trend Trend quality Notes References Actions
WPE 1 1977 1991 DEC [R519]
WPE 2 1977 1991 DEC [R519]
WPE 3 1977 1991 DEC [R519]
WPE 4 1990 2000 FLU [R341]
WPE 5 1982 2011 FLU Poor [T5783] [R1101]

Population 1% level

Publication Yearset 1 percent Note
WPE 1 0 -1
WPE 2 0 -1
WPE 3 2002 1800
WPE 4 2006 1000
WPE 5 2012 1000


  • R519 - Perennou, C.P., Mundkur, T. and Scott, D.A. 1994. The Asian Waterfowl Census 1987-1991: distribution and status of Asian waterfowl. IWRB Spec. Publ. No. 24; AWB Spec. Publ. No. 86. Slimbridge, UK and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • R108 - Byers, O., et al., Ed. 1995. Stork, Ibis, and Spoonbill Conservation Assessment and Management Plan: Working Document. IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group: Apple Valley, MN.
  • R341 - Jaensch, Roger, August 2005. Detailed data and notes on numbers and distribution of waterbirds in Australia, updated from Jaensch, 2003, and derived from more than 90 Australian sources including Wetlands International, Birds Australia and Jaensch, 2003,
  • R1149 - Reid, J.R.W., Kingsford, R.T. and Jaensch, R.P. 2009. Waterbird Surveys in the Channel Country Floodplain Wetlands, Autumn 2009. Report by Australian National University, Canberra, University of New South Wales, Sydney, and Wetlands International, Oceania, Brisbane, for the Australian Government Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. 81 pp. Also available online at http://www.lebmf.gov.au/publications/pubs/waterbirds-report.pdf
  • R1150 - Reid, J. and Jaensch, R. 2004. Aerial waterbird survey results. Section 4.7, pp 472-493 in, Costelloe, J.F., Hudson, P.J., Pritchard, J.C., Puckridge, J.T. and Reid, J.R.W. AridFlo Scientific Report: Environmental Flow Requirements of Arid Zone Rivers with Particular Reference to the Lake Eyre Drainage Basin. School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide. Final Report to DLW and BC and DEH. Also available online at http://www.lebmf.gov.au/publications/aridflo.html
  • R1101 - Jaensch, R. April 2012. Detailed data and notes on numbers and trends of waterbirds in Australia and other parts of the Oceania region, in a spreadsheet prepared for Wetlands International - Oceania for the 5th edition of WPE.


  • S4428 - 181: Colonised New Zealand in c. 1940 and numbers in the low hundreds.
  • S6496 - Estimate based on past and recent estimates in Australia with smaller contributions from other parts of the range.
  • T5783 - Trend is fluctuating in Australia.

Copyright Wetlands International 2012

Citation: Wetlands International (). "Waterbird Population Estimates" . Retrieved from wpe.wetlands.org on