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Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 19,400,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing Suspected -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.7 - - -
Trend justification: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a large and statistically significant increase over the last 40 years in North America (3800% increase over 40 years, equating to a 150% increase per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007) Note, however, that these surveys cover less than 50% of the species's range in North America.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant     Yes  
Albania Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Algeria Native Extant        
Angola Native Extant        
Anguilla (to UK) Native Extant        
Antigua and Barbuda Native Extant        
Armenia Native Extant Yes      
Aruba (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Australia Native Extant Yes      
Austria Vagrant Extant        
Azerbaijan Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Bahamas Native Extant        
Bahrain Native Extant     Yes  
Bangladesh Native Extant        
Barbados Native Extant        
Belarus Vagrant Extant        
Belgium Vagrant Extant        
Belize Native Extant   Yes    
Benin Native Extant        
Bermuda (to UK) Native Extant        
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes      
Botswana Native Extant        
British Indian Ocean Territory Vagrant Extant        
Brunei Vagrant Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant     Yes Yes
Burkina Faso Native Extant        
Burundi Native Extant        
Cambodia Native Extant        
Cameroon Native Extant        
Canada Native Extant Yes      
Cape Verde Vagrant Extant        
Cayman Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
Central African Republic Native Extant        
Chad Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Cocos (Keeling) Islands (to Australia) Vagrant Extant        
Colombia Native Extant        
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant        
Costa Rica Native Extant        
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant        
Croatia Native Extant Yes      
Cuba Native Extant        
Cyprus Native Extant     Yes  
Czech Republic Native Extant   Yes    
Denmark Vagrant Extant        
Djibouti Native Extant        
Dominica Native Extant        
Dominican Republic Native Extant        
Ecuador Native Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Estonia Vagrant Extant        
Ethiopia Native Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vagrant Extant        
Fiji Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Finland Vagrant Extant        
France Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Gabon Native Extant        
Gambia Native Extant        
Germany Vagrant Extant        
Ghana Native Extant        
Gibraltar (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Greece Native Extant     Yes Yes
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant        
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant        
Haiti Native Extant        
Honduras Native Extant        
Hong Kong (China) Vagrant Extant        
Hungary Native Extant Yes      
Iceland Vagrant Extant        
India Native Extant        
Indonesia Native Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant     Yes Yes
Iraq Native Extant       Yes
Ireland Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Israel Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Italy Native Extant     Yes Yes
Jamaica Native Extant Yes      
Jordan Native Extant     Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant     Yes  
Kyrgyzstan Vagrant Extant        
Latvia Vagrant Extant        
Lebanon Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Lesotho Vagrant Extant        
Liberia Native Extant        
Libya Native Extant        
Luxembourg Native Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Madagascar Native Extant        
Malawi Native Extant        
Malaysia Native Extant        
Maldives Vagrant Extant        
Mali Native Extant        
Malta Native Extant        
Martinique (to France) Native Extant        
Mauritania Native Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Moldova Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes      
Montserrat (to UK) Native Extant        
Morocco Native Extant        
Mozambique Native Extant        
Myanmar Native Extant        
Namibia Native Extant        
Nepal Native Extant        
Netherlands Vagrant Extant        
New Caledonia (to France) Vagrant Extant        
New Zealand Vagrant Extant        
Niger Native Extant        
Nigeria Native Extant        
Norway Vagrant Extant        
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant        
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant     Yes  
Panama Native Extant        
Papua New Guinea Native Extant        
Philippines Native Extant        
Poland Vagrant Extant        
Portugal Native Extant        
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant        
Qatar Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Romania Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Rwanda Native Extant        
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Senegal Native Extant        
Serbia Native Extant Yes      
Sierra Leone Native Extant        
Singapore Native Extant        
Slovakia Native Extant        
Slovenia Native Extant        
Solomon Islands Vagrant Extant        
Somalia Native Extant        
South Africa Native Extant        
South Sudan Native Extant     Yes  
Spain Native Extant       Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant        
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant        
St Lucia Native Extant        
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Vagrant Extant     Yes  
St Vincent and the Grenadines Native Extant        
Sudan Native Extant        
Swaziland Native Extant        
Sweden Vagrant Extant        
Switzerland Vagrant Extant        
Syria Native Extant     Yes  
Tajikistan Native Extant        
Tanzania Native Extant        
Thailand Native Extant        
Timor-Leste Native Extant   Yes    
Togo Vagrant Extant        
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant     Yes Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
Uganda Native Extant        
Ukraine Native Extant Yes   Yes  
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes Yes  
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
USA Native Extant Yes      
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      
Venezuela Native Extant        
Vietnam Native Extant        
Virgin Islands (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Virgin Islands (to USA) Vagrant Extant        
Yemen Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Zambia Native Extant Yes      
Zimbabwe Native Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Australia Alligator Rivers Floodplains site factsheet
Australia Arafura Swamp site factsheet
Australia Cooper Floodplain Below Windorah site factsheet
Australia Mandora Marsh and Anna Plains site factsheet
Azerbaijan Aggyol National Park site factsheet
Azerbaijan Gizilagach State Reserve site factsheet
Azerbaijan Lake Mahmudchala site factsheet
Azerbaijan Lake Sarysu site factsheet
Belize Belize Coastal and near shore islands site factsheet
Bulgaria Atanasovsko Lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Belene Islands Complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Chengene Skele site factsheet
Bulgaria Kalimok Complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Mandra-Poda complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Srebarna site factsheet
Chad Lake Chad site factsheet
Costa Rica Maleku-Caño Negro site factsheet
Costa Rica Palo Verde Wetlands site factsheet
Cuba Delta del Cauto site factsheet
Cuba Humedal Sur de Pinar del Río site factsheet
Cuba Humedal Sur de Sancti Spiritus site factsheet
Cuba Las Picuas - Del Cristo Cay site factsheet
Cyprus Akamas and Agia Aikaterini – Agia Paraskevi Gorges site factsheet
Cyprus Akrotiri Peninsula - Episkopi Cliffs site factsheet
Cyprus Famagusta Lakes site factsheet
Ecuador Ciénaga de La Segua site factsheet
Greece Acheron delta and gorge site factsheet
Greece Amvrakikos gulf site factsheet
Greece Divari Pylou (Gialova) lagoon and Sfaktiria island site factsheet
Greece Evros delta site factsheet
Greece Evrota delta site factsheet
Greece Geropotamos estuary site factsheet
Greece Kalamas delta site factsheet
Greece Kotychi lagoon site factsheet
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou) site factsheet
Greece Lake Kerkini site factsheet
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary site factsheet
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons site factsheet
Greece Schinias marsh site factsheet
Honduras El Jicarito site factsheet
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to site factsheet
India Kunthangulam Bird Sanctuary site factsheet
India Narasambudhi Lake site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arjan Protected Area site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Bakhtegan, Lake Tashk and Kamjan marshes site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Kobi site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Uromiyeh site factsheet
Iraq Baquba wetlands site factsheet
Israel Jezre'el, Harod and Bet She'an valleys site factsheet
Israel Zevulun valley site factsheet
Italy Pantani di Vendicari e di Capo Passero site factsheet
Italy Punte Alberete and Valle della Canna, Pineta San Vitale and Pialassa della Baiona site factsheet
Italy Simeto mouth and middle course and Biviere di Lentini site factsheet
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan portion of the river Volga's Delta - Zhambay site factsheet
Madagascar Bemamba Wetland Complex site factsheet
Malawi Lake Chilwa and flood-plain site factsheet
Mali Koumbé Niasso site factsheet
Mali Lac Débo - Lac Oualado Débo site factsheet
Mauritania Gâat Mahmoûdé site factsheet
Mauritania Lac d'Aleg site factsheet
Niger Tillabéri roost site factsheet
Nigeria Hadejia-Nguru wetlands site factsheet
Panama Santa María Wetlands site factsheet
Romania Balta Mică a Brăilei site factsheet
Romania Balta Vederoasa site factsheet
Romania Bistreţ site factsheet
Romania Braţul Borcea site factsheet
Romania Calafat - Ciuperceni - Dunăre site factsheet
Romania Cârja - Maţa - Rădeanu - Roşcani site factsheet
Romania Comana site factsheet
Romania Confluenţa Jiu - Dunăre site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Romania Dunăre - Ostroave site factsheet
Romania Dunărea Veche (Braţul Măcin) site factsheet
Romania Ianca - Plopul - Sărat site factsheet
Romania Iezerul Călăraşi site factsheet
Romania Ilfov reservoir site factsheet
Romania Lake Beibugeac (Plopu) site factsheet
Romania Lake Bugeac site factsheet
Romania Lake Dunăreni site factsheet
Romania Lake Oltina site factsheet
Romania Lake Strachina site factsheet
Romania Lake Tataru site factsheet
Romania Ostrovu Lung - Gostinu site factsheet
Russia (European) Burukshunskiye limans site factsheet
Russia (European) Dadynskiye lakes site factsheet
Russia (European) Kalausskiye floods site factsheet
Russia (European) Kalininski Plavny site factsheet
Russia (European) Kazachka site factsheet
Russia (European) Kizlyar Bay site factsheet
Russia (European) Lysyi Liman lake and valley of Vostochniy Manych river site factsheet
Russia (European) Manychstroi area site factsheet
Russia (European) Mouth of Yeya river site factsheet
Russia (European) Prikumskiye steppes site factsheet
Russia (European) Turali lakes site factsheet
Russia (European) Varnavinsko-Kryukovskaya irrigation system site factsheet
Russia (European) Veselovskoye reservoir site factsheet
Russia (European) Western Ilmen area site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Makkah waste-water stream site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Malaki dam site factsheet
Senegal Lac de Guiers site factsheet
Serbia Gornje Potamisje site factsheet
South Sudan Sudd (Bahr-el-Jebel system) site factsheet
Spain Guadalquivir marshes site factsheet
Tanzania Lake Rukwa site factsheet
Turkey Akşehir and Eber Lakes site factsheet
Turkey Ereğli Plain site factsheet
Turkey Göksu Delta site factsheet
Turkey Hotamış Marshes site factsheet
Turkey Kızılırmak Delta site factsheet
Turkey Meriç Delta site factsheet
Turkey Sultan Marsh site factsheet
Uganda Doho Rice Scheme site factsheet
Ukraine Dnipro delta site factsheet
Ukraine Dnister delta site factsheet
Ukraine Karkinits'ka and Dzharylgats'ka bays site factsheet
Ukraine Kugurluj and Kartal lakes site factsheet
Ukraine Kytaj lake site factsheet
Ukraine Syvash Bay site factsheet
Ukraine Tyligul's'kyj lyman site factsheet
USA Barrier Island/Lagoon System site factsheet
USA Hillsborough Bay site factsheet
USA Raccoon Island site factsheet
Uzbekistan Aksay Lake and surrounding desert site factsheet
Uzbekistan Khorezm Fish Farm and adjacent lakes site factsheet
Uzbekistan Sudochye Lake site factsheet
Uzbekistan Zholdyrbas Lake site factsheet
Vietnam U Minh Thuong site factsheet
Zambia Bangweulu Swamps site factsheet
Zambia Kafue Flats site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

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

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - - Subsistence, National
Food - human - - - Subsistence, National
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Plegadis falcinellus. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Threskiornithidae (Ibises, Spoonbills)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1766)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 19,400,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change
- 2015 European Red List assessment