Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
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) 180,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 166,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.7 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated at 230,000-2,220,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 28,300-37,700 pairs, which equates to 56,500-75,400 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). The population is therefore placed in the band 200,000-2,300,000 individuals.

Trend justification: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have stable trends (Wetlands International 2015). This species has undergone a large and statistically significant increase over the last 40 years in North America (3,800% 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. In Europe the population size is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).

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

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Cyprus Pafos Plain
Cyprus Phasouri reedbeds
Cyprus Akrotiri salt-lake including Bishop's Pool
Cyprus Larnaca Salt Lakes
Montenegro Lake Sasko
Montenegro Lake Skadar
Serbia Labudovo okno
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bardaca
Azerbaijan Gizilagach State Reserve
Azerbaijan Aggyol
Azerbaijan Lake Boz-Koba
Azerbaijan Divichi liman (or Lake Akzibir)
Azerbaijan Lake Mahmudchala
Azerbaijan Lake Sarysu
Azerbaijan Shahdidi spit
Azerbaijan Lake Ych-chala (Novogolovka-chala)
Azerbaijan Varvara Reservoir
Azerbaijan Yashma Island
Cyprus Klidhes Islands
Cyprus Akhna dam
Cyprus Akamas and Agia Aikaterini – Agia Paraskevi Gorges
Bulgaria Burgasko Lake
Bulgaria Vardim Island
Bulgaria Chengene Skele
Bulgaria Varna-Beloslav Lakes Complex
Romania Cârja - Maţa - Rădeanu - Roşcani
Romania Satchinez marsh
Romania Cefa fish-ponds and Radvani wood
Romania Stânca lake - Costeşti
Romania Jijiei şi Miletinului fish-ponds
Romania Balta Mică a Brăilei
Romania Lake Strachina
Romania Ciocăneşti - Dunăre
Slovenia Lake Cerknica
Slovenia Sečovlje saltpans
Turkey Meriç Delta
Turkey Akşehir and Eber Lakes
Turkey Sultan Marsh
Turkey Kızılırmak Delta
Turkey Ereğli Plain
Turkey Hotamış Marshes
Turkey Göksu Delta
Greece Lake Kourna, Almyros delta and Georgioupolis coast, Crete
Greece Evrotas delta
Greece Alyki lagoon, Aigio
Greece Kalogria lagoon, Strofylia forest and Lamia marshes
Greece Lake Dystos
Greece Megalo and Mikro Livari lagoons, Istiaia
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary
Greece Amvrakikos gulf
Greece Kalamas delta
Greece River Axios
Greece Artzan reservoir
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons
Greece Evros delta
Greece Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas rivers' deltas
Greece Alyki Angelochoriou lagoon (Megalou Emvolou)
Greece Epanomi lagoon
Greece Divari Pylou (Gialova) lagoon and Sfaktiria island
Greece Lakes Chortarolimni and Alyki, Moudros gulf, Diapori fen and Fakos peninsula, Limnos
Greece Nea Fokaia marshes
Greece Lake Stymfalia
Greece Islands and islets of northern Sporades and northwestern coast of Alonnisos
Greece Kythira island
Greece Dionysades islets, Crete
Greece Pineios delta
Greece Prespa National Park and Varnountas mountains
Greece Reservoirs of former lake Karla
Greece Paros and Antiparos islands and surrounding islets
Greece Acherontas gorge and estuary
Greece Kalloni Gulf, Lesvos
Greece Lake Kerkini
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou)
Greece Agios Mamas marsh
Greece Strymonas estuary
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons
Greece Lakes Vegoritis and Petron
Greece Lake Kastoria
Greece Northern Evros and Ardas riparian forest
Greece Psara and Antipsara islands and surrounding islets
Greece Kotychi lagoon
Greece Geropotamos estuary, Crete
Greece Lakes Volvi, Koroneia and Rentina Gorge
Greece Northeastern peninsula of Crete
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to
Hungary Alkaline pusztas of Upper Kiskunság
Russia (European) Veselovskoye reservoir
Russia (European) Western Ilmen area
Russia (European) Volga Delta
Russia (European) Agrakhanski Bay (North Agrakhan)
Russia (European) Eastern coast of the Sea of Azov
Russia (European) Dadynskiye lakes
Russia (European) Varnavinsko-Kryukovskaya irrigation system
Russia (European) Kalininski Plavny
Russia (European) Mouth of Yeya river
Russia (European) Kizlyar Bay
Russia (European) Burukshunskiye limans
Spain Guadalquivir marshes
Ukraine Syvash Bay
Ukraine Dnister delta
Ukraine Tyligul's'kyj lyman
Ukraine Kazantip Cape, Aktash lake and Astanins'ka marsh
Ukraine Dnipro delta
Ukraine Bagerove
France Etangs Narbonnais
France Camargue
France Barthes de l'Adour
France Lacs de la Forêt d'Orient
France Lac du Der-Chantecoq et étangs latéraux
France Vallée de l'Aisne
France Basse vallée du Var
Italy Pantani di Vendicari e di Capo Passero
Italy Simeto mouth and middle course and Biviere di Lentini
Italy Le Cesine
Italy Valli di Argenta
Italy Lake Alviano
Italy Punte Alberete and Valle della Canna, Pineta San Vitale and Pialassa della Baiona
Italy Ortazzo and Ortazzino
Italy Marchesato and River Neto
Italy Oristano wetlands
Italy Cagliari wetlands
Italy Biviere and Plain of Gela
Albania Karavasta Lagoon
Albania Drini Delta
Albania Velipoja
Greece Schinias marsh
Romania Bistreţ
Serbia Becej fish-pond
Serbia Jegricka
Serbia Danube loess bluffs
Georgia Javakheti Plateau
Georgia Kolkheti
Serbia Slano Kopovo
Armenia Armash fish-farm
Germany Wagbach lowlands
Croatia Vrana Lake and Jasen
Croatia Poilovlje with Carp Fishponds
Montenegro Ulcinj saltpans
Madagascar Bemamba Wetland Complex
Mali Lac Débo - Lac Oualado Débo
Mali Koumbé Niasso
Mauritania Lac d'Aleg
Malawi Lake Chilwa and flood-plain
Niger Tillabéri roost
Nigeria Hadejia-Nguru wetlands
South Sudan Sudd (Bahr-el-Jebel system)
Senegal Lac de Guiers
Chad Lake Chad
Tanzania Lake Rukwa
Uganda Doho Rice Scheme
Zambia Kafue Flats
Zambia Bangweulu Swamps
Ukraine Karkinits'ka and Dzharylgats'ka bays
Ukraine Kytaj lake
Ukraine Kugurluj and Kartal lakes
Turkey Sakarya Delta
Israel Zevulun valley
Israel Jezre'el, Harod and Bet She'an valleys
Iraq Baquba wetlands
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Kobi
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Uromiyeh
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arjan Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Bakhtegan, Lake Tashk and Kamjan marshes
Saudi Arabia Makkah waste-water stream
Saudi Arabia Malaki dam
Mauritania Gâat Mahmoûdé
Vietnam U Minh Thuong
Russia (European) Turali lakes
Ecuador Ciénaga de La Segua
India Narasambudhi Lake
India Kunthangulam Bird Sanctuary
Azerbaijan Kura Delta
Russia (European) Adzhi Lake
Russia (European) Imeretinskaya lowland
Bulgaria Provadiysko-Royaksko plateau
Bulgaria Batova
Bulgaria Balchik
Bulgaria Hadzi Dimitrovo Fish-ponds
Bulgaria Atanasovsko Lake
France Marais entre Crau et Grand Rhône: Meyranne, Chanoine, Plan de Bourg et Salins du Caban
France Anse de Fouras, baie d'Yves et marais de Rochefort
France Traicts et marais salants de la Presqu'île Guérandaise
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin
France Etang de Biguglia
France Etangs de Vendres, Pissevache et Lespignan
France Petite Camargue fluvio-lacustre
France Salins d'Hyères et de Pesquiers
France Estuaire de la Loire
Cuba Humedal Sur de Sancti Spiritus
Cuba Delta del Cauto
Bahamas Harrold and Wilson Ponds National Park
Bahamas Grog Pond
Canada Manawagonish Island
Iran, Islamic Republic of Shur Gol, Yadegarlu and Dorgeh Sangi lakes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Ghara Gheshlaq No-Hunting Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Nowruzlu and Ghazanlu
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lavandavil Wildlife Refuge
Iran, Islamic Republic of Anzali Mordab complex
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bandar Kiashar lagoon and mouth of Sefid Rud
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lashgarak and Latian dam
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Zaribar
Iran, Islamic Republic of Horeh Bamdej
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Maharlu
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hilleh Protected Area
Israel Carmel coast
Israel Northern Arava valley
Saudi Arabia Al-Ha'ir
Saudi Arabia Wadi Jawwah
Saudi Arabia Jizan Bay
United Arab Emirates Ramtha lagoons
Yemen Al-Murah
Yemen Ta'izz wadis
Bulgaria Srebarna
Bulgaria Belene Islands Complex
Bulgaria Mandra-Poda complex
Bulgaria Kalimok Complex
Russia (European) Manychstroi area
Uzbekistan Aksay Lake and surrounding desert
Panama Santa María Wetlands
Uzbekistan Sudochye Lake
Uzbekistan Tudakul and Kuymazar Reservoirs
Uzbekistan Zholdyrbas Lake
Italy Venice lagoon
Belize Rio Bravo CMA Gallon Jug Estate
Belize Belize Coastal and near shore islands
Italy Magredi of Pordenone
Turkmenistan Garabogaz - Garshy
Antigua and Barbuda McKinnons Salt Pond
Costa Rica Palo Verde Wetlands
Costa Rica Maleku - Caño Negro
Cuba Las Picuas - Del Cristo Cay
Cuba Humedal Sur de Pinar del Río
Ukraine KardashinskI mires
Ukraine Gerojsk Lakes
Yemen Aden
Ukraine Zakaznyk Domuzaly
Ukraine Buzhok river valley (Anastavtsi)
Turkmenistan Deryatakyr
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan portion of the river Volga's Delta - Zhambay
Italy River Po: from Ticino mouth to Boscone island
Italy River Mincio and Bosco Fontana
Kazakhstan Lower reaches of the Emba River
Italy Ticino river
Turkmenistan Mergen
Russia (European) Karakol'skiye lakes
Russia (European) Lysyi Liman lake and valley of Vostochniy Manych river
Russia (European) Prikumskiye steppes
Russia (European) Kalausskiye floods
Uzbekistan Khorezm Fish Farm and adjacent lakes
Jamaica Black River Great Morass
Australia Arafura Swamp
Australia Alligator Rivers Floodplains
Mexico Pantanos de Centla
Honduras El Jicarito
Kenya Tana River Delta
Hungary Lower Tisza Valley
Croatia NW Dalmatia and Pag Island
Italy Fucecchio marsh
Cyprus Akrotiri Peninsula - Episkopi Cliffs
Russia (European) Kazachka
Australia Cooper Floodplain Below Windorah
Australia Mandora Marsh and Anna Plains
USA Barrier Island/Lagoon System
Romania Balta Vederoasa
Romania Braţul Borcea
Romania Calafat - Ciuperceni - Dunăre
Romania Danube Delta
Romania Dunăre - Ostroave
Romania Ostrovu Lung - Gostinu
Romania Lake Bugeac
Romania Comana
Romania Confluenţa Jiu - Dunăre
Romania Dunărea Veche (Braţul Măcin)
Romania Ianca - Plopul - Sărat
Romania Iezerul Călăraşi
Romania Lake Dunăreni
Romania Lake Oltina
Romania Lake Tataru
Romania Ilfov reservoir
Romania Lake Beibugeac (Plopu)
Jamaica Font Hill
Slovenia Škocjan Bay
Kazakhstan Naurzum State Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Delta of the Ural River
Cyprus Famagusta Lakes
Ukraine Tarkhankuts'kyj peninsula
Serbia Gornje Potamisje
USA Hillsborough Bay
USA Raccoon Island
Uzbekistan Mashankul and Khojakul lake complex
Italy Punta Alberete, Canna Valley, San Vitale Pinewood, and Pialassa of Baiona
Serbia Obedska bara
Serbia Srednje Potamišje
Morocco Oued Tahadart
Morocco Merja Bargha
Morocco Merja Halloufa
Morocco Merja Zerga
Morocco Canton Forestier de Sidi Bou Ghaba
Morocco Embouchure Oued Moulouya
Morocco Sidi Moussa - Oualidia
Morocco Barrage al Massira
Morocco Zone Humide de Laayoune
Morocco Baie d'Ad Dakhla
Uzbekistan Sarykamysh lake and surrounding Ustyurt Plateau
Greece Gallikos estuary and Kalochori lagoon
Mauritania Lac de Mâl
Mauritania Aftout es Sâheli
Mauritania Chott Boul
Russia (European) Delta of the River Don
Tanzania Yaida Chini
Kazakhstan Lesser Aral Sea
Kazakhstan Syrdarya Delta Lakes
Kazakhstan Chardara Reservoir
India Navelim wetland
Colombia El Encanto de Guanapalo
Mauritania Diawling National Park
Colombia Reserva Natural Laguna de Sonso
Colombia Hato El Sinai

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   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 - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Plegadis falcinellus. Downloaded from on 02/04/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 02/04/2023.