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Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
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This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number c.360,000-1,300,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at < c.1,000 individuals on migration and < c.1,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Behaviour The majority of this species is fully migratory (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005) and travels either on a broad or narrow front depending on the location of each population's breeding and wintering grounds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species starts to breed from April until June, nesting in solitary pairs or loose semi-colonial groups (especially in undisturbed areas) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It is a gregarious species (Hayman et al. 1986) and often roosts communally in flocks of several hundred close to its feeding areas (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), occurring singly, in small (up to 50 individuals) or large flocks (up to 1,200-1,500 individuals) during the non-breeding season (Urban et al. 1986). Habitat Breeding The species breeds primarily on sand or shingle beaches either along the Arctic coast (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998) or around coastal tundra pools or lakes (Johnsgard 1981). In the south of its range it may also breed inland on the Arctic tundra (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) on muddy plains with stones or pebbles (Johnsgard 1981), on shores and sandbars of inland rivers, lakes, gravel pits or reservoirs (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998), or on short grassland, farmland (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998) and other well-drained sites (Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species inhabits muddy, sandy or pebbly coasts in the tropics and subtropics (Johnsgard 1981) including estuaries (del Hoyo et al. 1996), tidal mudflats, sandflats and exposed coral reefs (Urban et al. 1986). It also frequents mudbanks or sandbanks along rivers and lakes (Urban et al. 1986), lagoons, saltmarshes, short grassland, farmland, flooded fields, gravel pits, reservoirs (del Hoyo et al. 1996), sewage works and saltpans during this season (Hockey et al. 2005). Diet Its diet consists of small crustaceans, molluscs, polycheate worms, isopods, amphipods, insects (e.g. ants, beetles, flies and fly larvae) and millipedes (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow scrape (del Hoyo et al. 1996) positioned near the high-water mark on shingle or sandy beaches (Johnsgard 1981, Hayman et al. 1986). The species is a solitary nester although it may breed at quite high densities in undisturbed areas, neighbouring nests spaced between 5 and 100 m apart (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Management information Removing feral American mink Neovison vison from a large archipelago with many small islands in the Baltic Sea resulted in an increase in the breeding density of this species in the area (Nordstrom et al. 2003).

Important migratory stop-over habitats for this species on the Baltic Sea coastline are threatened by petroleum pollution, wetland drainage for irrigation, land abandonment and changing land management practices leading to scrub overgrowth (Grishanov et al. 2006). The species is also susceptible to avian botulism (so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the disease) (Blaker 1967), and suffers predation from feral America mink Neovison vison in some regions (Nordstrom et al. 2003).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

Blaker, D. 1967. An outbreak of Botulinus poisoning among waterbirds. Ostrich 38(2): 144-147.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Hayman, P.; Marchant, J.; Prater, A. J. 1986. Shorebirds. Croom Helm, London.

Hockey, P. A. R.; Dean, W. R. J.; Ryan, P. G. 2005. Roberts birds of southern Africa. Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa.

Johnsgard, P. A. 1981. The plovers, sandpipers and snipes of the world. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, U.S.A. and London.

Nordström, M.; Högmander, J.; Nummelin, J.; Laine, J.; Laanetu, N.; Korpimäki, E. 2003. Effects of feral mink removal on seabirds, waders and passerines on small islands in the Baltic Sea. Biological Conservation 109: 359-368.

Snow, D. W.; Perrins, C. M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic vol. 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 1986. The birds of Africa vol. II. Academic Press, London.

Vahatalo, A. V.; Rainio, K.; Lehikoinen, A.; Lehikoinen, E. 2004. Spring arrival of birds depends on the North Atlantic Oscillation. Journal of Avian Biology 35: 210-216.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Charadrius hiaticula. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Common ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Charadriidae (Plovers)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 4,530,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment