Alice Springs Desert Park

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The Inland Dotterel (Peltohyas australis) is an endemic shorebird found mainly in the arid inland areas of Australian. They are also found in parts of the Pilbara, the lower west coast of Western Australia, Nullarbor Plains and the Eyre Peninsula, usually where the semi-arid and arid environment occur close to the sea.

Their habitats are dry, flat open environments that include claypans, stony gibber plains and gravel flats. In these treeless areas, they forage for seeds and insects (although they usually hunt for insects at night), having adapted to the wheat belt expanses of Western Australia.

The Inland Dotterel derives most of their water needs from succulent saltbush leaves.

They are considered monogamous, usually breed at any time of year, in response to heavy rainfall. The nest is a shallow depression that is scratched in the ground, sometimes in a hoofprint. The nest is ringed with small stones, twigs and other material scraped out of the depression. The Inland Dotterel cover their eggs with soil when the leave the nest, to hide them and protect them from the intense desert sun.

Common name
Inland Plover, Desert Plover, Australian Plover. It’s Arrernte Name is Ntyerlpenye (a name to describe dotterels and pipits), pronouced: n-jil-pin-ya.

Images © Ausemade Pty Ltd


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  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Charadriidae
  • Genus: Peltohyas
  • Species: P. australis
  • Binomial name: Peltohyas australis
  • Synonyms: Charadrius australis

Footnote & References

  1. eBird, Inland Dotterel, https://ebird.org/species/inldot2