Justification of Red List Category
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.
The global population is estimated at 160,000-600,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 7,800-14,900 pairs, which equates to 15,700-29,900 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).
The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). The European population trend is estimated to be fluctuating (BirdLife International 2015).
Behaviour Northern populations of this species are fully migratory (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) and many African populations are nomadic (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species nests colonially in small groups of 10-20 or up to 100 pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and is highly gregarious throughout the year. Habitat The species breeds on flat open areas (del Hoyo et al. 1996) with short or patchy vegetation (Hayman et al. 1986) such as fields, steppe plains near water (del Hoyo et al. 1996) the margins of alkaline lakes and dried mudflats (Hayman et al. 1986) in Eurasia (del Hoyo et al. 1996). In Africa it frequents ploughed fields (Hayman et al. 1986), recently burnt open ground, overgrazed grassland, alkaline flats and sandflats (del Hoyo et al. 1996) usually along the edges of larger rivers and estuaries (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It may also forage over water, in rice-fields or in coastal scrubland (del Hoyo et al. 1996), occurring along coasts, at reservoirs or desert oases on migration (Hayman et al. 1986). Diet Its diet consists of large insects (e.g. Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera and Isoptera), spiders and molluscs (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow scrape or depression on the ground on dry mudflats and sandflats (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
The species is threatened by the use of herbicides and insecticides, and by changes to its preferred habitats (e.g. changes in water levels, ploughing of grasslands, artificial irrigation and fertilisation, changes in traditional grazing regimes, increasing urban encroachment and human disturbance) (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Conservation Actions Underway
The following information refers to the species's European range only: The species is listed on Annex I of the EU Birds Directive, Annex II of the Bern Convention, Annex II of the Convention on Migratory Species, under which it is covered by the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA).
Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's European range only: Sustainably manage river valleys and wet grasslands. Abandonment of pastoral grassland, afforestation of farmland and drainage of wet meadows and inland wetlands in key breeding areas should be stopped.
Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L.
BirdLife International (2017) Species factsheet: Glareola pratincola. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/10/2017. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2017) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/10/2017.