The globally threatened (‘Vulnerable’) Saunders's Gull Larus saundersi has a small, declining population occupying highly-threatened habitats mainly along the coasts of China, the Korean Peninsula and Japan. The availability of recent count data from key non-breeding regions has provided an important opportunity to re-estimate the species’ population size and this is now believed to be a minimum of 14,400 birds, which is more than 70% higher than the mid-point of the current estimated range (7,100–9,600). However the apparent population increase is almost certainly due to increased survey effort. It is likely that the population is continuing to decline given the significant threats to habitats and high human disturbance levels occurring across the species’ range. There are increasing opportunities for coordinated counts of Saunders's Gulls along the Chinese coastline and these data, combined with those being collected annually from other parts of the non-breeding range, should allow improved population estimates to be obtained and the generation of much-needed population trend information.
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