email a friend
printable version
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus

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
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 21,600,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
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
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      
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant      
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes    
Botswana Native Extant      
British Indian Ocean Territory Vagrant Extant      
Brunei Vagrant Extant      
Bulgaria Native Extant     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      
Curaçao (to Netherlands) 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
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
Iraq Native Extant      
Ireland Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Israel Native Extant   Yes Yes
Italy Native Extant     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      
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 (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      
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) 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      
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
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 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 Pilou lagoon (Gialova) site factsheet
Greece Evros delta site factsheet
Greece Evrota delta site factsheet
Greece Geropotamos estuary site factsheet
Greece Kalamas estuary site factsheet
Greece Kotychi lagoon site factsheet
Greece Lake Kerkini site factsheet
Greece Lake Mitrikou (Ismarida) site factsheet
Greece Mesolongi and Aetoliko lagoons, and Acheloos and Evinos estuaries site factsheet
Greece Porto Lagos, Lake Vistonis, and coastal lagoons (Lakes of Thrace) 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
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 Labudovo Okno site factsheet
South Sudan Sudd (Bahr-el-Jebel system) 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
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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Plegadis falcinellus. Downloaded from on 22/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/07/2014.

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 Least Concern
Family Threskiornithidae (Ibises and 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
- Climate change species distributions