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Diademed Plover Phegornis mitchellii
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is classified as Near Threatened as it has a small and declining population, but this is divided into a number of subpopulations, the largest of which probably numbers more than 1,000 mature individuals; almost qualifies for listing as threatened under criterion C2a(i).

Taxonomic source(s)
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.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Distribution and population
Phegornis mitchelli is poorly known and perhaps naturally rare in the Andes of north-central Peru (from Ancash south [Clements and Shany 2001]) through north Chile and west Bolivia to south-central Chile and south-central Argentina. The population has been estimated at fewer than 10,000 individuals and declining (R. Schlatter in litt. 2002) to Wetlands International), but occupation of a harsh environment at high altitude suggests that it may be relatively secure (at least) in parts of its range (Piersma 1996).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number fewer than 10,000 individuals, and so is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals (R. Schlatter in litt. 2002). This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to a lack of suitable habitat.

It occurs in the puna zone on waterlogged mossy tundra and bogs with matted cushion-plant vegetation, especially Distichia bogs, with occasional records from gravel or grass on river plains and near lakes. It breeds at 2,850-5,000 m, and in the south of its range descends to 2,000 m in winter (Parker et al. 1996, Piersma 1996, Fernandes d'Oliveira and Rodríguez Moulin 1997).

Its high altitude habitat is presumably relatively secure. However demand for water resources as well as overgrazing, road networks and human disturbance have been identified as threats in the high Altiplano in north-east Chile (Rundel and Palma 2000).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to obtain an accurate population estimate. Assess threats to puna zone habitat. Search suitable unsurveyed high altitude habitat. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable habitat at key sites, in both strictly protected areas and community led multiple use areas.

Clements, J. F.; Shany, N. 2001. A field guide to the birds of Peru. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Fernandes d'Oliveira, G. and Rodriguez Moulin, H. 1997. A nest of the diademed sandpiper-plover (Phegornis mitchellii) from the Andes of Mendoza, Argentina. Hornero 14(4): 255-256.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Parker, T. A.; Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases. In: Stotz, D.F.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Parker, T.A.; Moskovits, D.K. (ed.), Neotropical bird ecology and conservation, pp. 113-436. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Piersma, T. 1996. Charadriidae (Plovers). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 384-442. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Rundel, P.W. and Palma, B. 2000. Preserving the Unique Puna Ecosystems of the Andean Altiplano A Descriptive Account of Lauca National Park, Chile. Mountain Research and Development 20(3): 262-271.

Wetlands International. 2002. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, Netherlands.

Further web sources of information
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
Babarskas, M., Benstead, P., Butchart, S., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Ashpole, J

Schlatter, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Phegornis mitchellii. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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 - Diademed plover (Phegornis mitchellii) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Charadriidae (Plovers)
Species name author (Fraser, 1845)
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 762,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species