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Piping Plover Charadrius melodus

IUCN Red List Criteria

Near Threatened (criteria nearly met) C2a(i) 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Near Threatened
2008 Near Threatened
2006 Near Threatened
2005 Near Threatened
2004 Vulnerable
2001 Near Threatened
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type continent
shelf island
Average mass 53.6 g

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 221,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 221,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 8000 good Estimated 2006
Population trend Increasing good -
Number of subpopulations 3 - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.2 - - -
Population justification: The latest census recorded 3,320 mature individuals on the Atlantic coast (41%), 4,662 on the northern Great Plains and prairies (58%), and 110 in the Great Lakes (1%). This totals c.8,100 breeding individuals, equivalent to a population of c.12,000-13,000 individuals in total.
Trend justification: Although the population has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (Butcher and Niven 2007), the overall population has been increasing since 1991 as a result of intensive conservation management.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Anguilla (to UK) Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Antigua and Barbuda Vagrant Extant      
Bahamas Native Extant   Yes  
Barbados Native Extant   Yes Yes
Bermuda (to UK) Native Extant   Yes  
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Canada Native Extant Yes   Yes
Cuba Native Extant   Yes  
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Dominican Republic Native Extant      
Ecuador Vagrant Extant      
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant   Yes  
Haiti Native Extant   Yes  
Jamaica Native Extant   Yes  
Martinique (to France) Native Extant     Yes
Mexico Native Extant   Yes  
Nicaragua Native Extant      
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant   Yes Yes
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant   Yes  
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant Yes    
St Vincent and the Grenadines Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Native Extant   Yes  
USA Native Extant Yes    
Virgin Islands (to UK) Native Extant   Yes  
Virgin Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes  

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Bahamas Driggs Hill to Mars Bay site factsheet
Bahamas Grand Bahama Southern Shore site factsheet
Bahamas Joulter Cays site factsheet
Bahamas Kemp Cay to Pigeon Cay site factsheet
Bahamas South Beach Tidal Flats site factsheet
Bahamas Stafford Creek to Andros Town site factsheet
Canada Chaplin Lake site factsheet
Canada East Lake Diefenbaker site factsheet
Canada Manito Lake Area (includes Reflex, Freshwater, Wells, Colette and Cipher Lakes) site factsheet
Canada North, West, and East Shoal Lakes site factsheet
Canada PEI National Park site factsheet
Canada Quill Lakes site factsheet
Canada Willow Bunch Lake site factsheet
Cuba Cayería Centro - Oriental de Villa Clara site factsheet
Cuba Cayo Sabinal, Ballenatos y Manglares de la Bahía de Nuevitas site factsheet
Cuba Cayos Romano - Cruz - Megano Grande site factsheet
Cuba Gran Humedal del Norte de Ciego de Ávila site factsheet
Nicaragua Bluefields Bay and adjacent landscape site factsheet
USA Altamaha River Delta site factsheet
USA Assateague Island IBA site factsheet
USA Barrier Island/Lagoon System site factsheet
USA Jamaica Bay site factsheet
USA Missouri National Recreational River site factsheet
USA North Platte River Valley site factsheet
USA Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore mainland (including Donner Point to Dimmick's Point and Glen Arbor Twp beaches) site factsheet
USA Westby Prairie-Wetland Complex site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species disturbance
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species disturbance, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Domestic Cat (Felis catus) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
(Not specified)
Stresses
None
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
(Not specified)
Stresses
None
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases / Ghost Crab (Ocypode quadrata) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases / Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Utilisation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Historical
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Charadrius melodus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/07/2014.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Charadriidae (Plovers)
Species name author Ord, 1824
Population size 8000 mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 221,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species