NT
Snowy Plover Charadrius nivosus



Taxonomy

Taxonomic note

Charadrius alexandrinus, C. dealbatus and C. nivosus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as C. alexandrinus following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Taxonomic source(s)
AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
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.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Near Threatened A2bc+3bc+4bc
2016 Near Threatened A2bc+3bc+4bc
2014 Near Threatened A2bc+3bc+4bc
2012 Not Recognised
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass 42 g
Distribution

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 40,300,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 39,300,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 24000-31000 medium estimated 2016
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) 25-29 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 25-29 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.51 - - -

Population justification: The North American population was estimated at 25,869 individuals by Thomas et al. (2012). C. n. occidentalis in western South America has been estimated to number 8,000-10,000 individuals, and there are c.2,500 individuals of the population sometimes separated as C. n. tenuirostris on the Gulf Coast, Bahamas and Caribbean (Wetlands International 2014), giving a tentative total of perhaps 36,000-38,000 individuals, roughly equating to 24,000-26,000 mature individuals. Partners in Flight (2019) however, estimate a larger population of 31,000 mature individuals hence, the population is placed here in the range 24,000-31,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: Population trends for this species are difficult to quantify. Whilst some subpopulations are said to be declining (e.g. occidentalis, tenuirostris and nivosus on the Pacific coast [Page et al. 2020, Wetlands International 2020]), trends in other subpopulations are said to be stable or even increasing (Meehan et al. 2018, Page et al. 2020) or are largely unknown (Wetlands International 2020). Overall, the species is assumed to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline approaching 30% over three generations (10.5 years), following evidence of regional declines and on-going threats such as habitat degradation and disturbance (Page et al. 2009, Thomas et al. 2012). Further evidence is required to confirm this trend however.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Anguilla (to UK) N Extant Yes
Aruba (to Netherlands) N Extant Yes
Bahamas N Extant Yes Yes
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) N Extant Yes Yes
Chile N Extant Yes
Colombia N Extant Yes
Cuba N Extant Yes
Curaçao (to Netherlands) N Extant Yes Yes
Dominica N Extant
Dominican Republic N Extant Yes
Ecuador N Extant Yes
Haiti N Extant Yes
Honduras N Extant Yes Yes
Mexico N Extant Yes Yes
Peru N Extant Yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) N Extant Yes
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) N Extant Yes
St Barthelemy (to France) N Extant Yes
St Kitts and Nevis N Extant Yes
St Martin (to France) N Extant Yes
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) N Extant Yes Yes
USA N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Venezuela N Extant Yes
Virgin Islands (to UK) N Extant Yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Mexico Complejo Lagunar San Ignacio
Mexico Complejo Lagunar Ojo de Liebre
Mexico Área de San Quintín
Mexico Ría Lagartos
Mexico Humedales Costeros del Norte de la Península de Yucatán
Mexico Bahía Santa María
Canada Quill Lakes
Canada Old Wives-Frederick Lakes
Canada Chaplin Lake
Ecuador Lagunas de Ecuasal-Salinas
Ecuador Humedales de Pacoa
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Washington-Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Lac Bay, Bonaire
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Pelkermeer Saltworks, Bonaire
Puerto Rico (to USA) Suroeste
Virgin Islands (to UK) Anegada: Western salt ponds and coastal areas
Cuba Río Máximo
Cuba Cayería Centro - Oriental de Villa Clara
Bahamas Great Inagua
Dominican Republic Bahía de las Calderas
Puerto Rico (to USA) Jobos Bay
St Kitts and Nevis Ponds of the Southeast Peninsula
Bahamas Conception Island National Park
Bahamas Grand Bahama Southern Shore
Bahamas North Atlantic Abaco Cays
Costa Rica Caribbean lowlands and wetlands
Costa Rica Pacuare, coastal wetlands and Migratory Bird Corridor
Costa Rica Cahuita, Gandoca-Manzanillo and Migratory Bird Corridor
Bahamas Low Cay, High Cay and Sandy Hook
Bahamas Sandy Point
Bahamas Cat Island Wetlands
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Klein Bonaire, Bonaire
Aruba (to Netherlands) Tierra del Sol Salina
Anguilla (to UK) Cove Pond
Anguilla (to UK) Long Salt Pond
Honduras Rio Platano
Chile Desembocadura del Río Lluta
USA Gilbert Bay/South Arm UT05
USA Gunnison Bay/North Arm UT01
USA Salton Sea
Anguilla (to UK) West End Pond
Mexico Lago de Texcoco
Mexico Bahía de Ceuta - Cospita
Mexico Marismas Nacionales
Mexico Estero Cardonal
Mexico Estero Santa Cruz
Mexico Ciénega de Tláhuac
Colombia Complejo de Humedales Costeros de la Guajira
Mexico Arrecife Alacranes
Mexico Ensenada de Pabellones
Mexico Sistema Lagunario Huizache - Caimanero
Mexico Corredor Central Vallarta - Punta Laguna
Mexico Sian Ka'an
Mexico Ría Celestún
Mexico Ichka' Ansijo
Mexico Yum Balam
Mexico Estero Lobos
Mexico Archipiélago Bahía de los Angeles
Mexico Bahía Navachiste
Mexico Istmo de Tehuantepec - Mar Muerto
Mexico Laguna Cuyutlán-Estero Palo Verde
Mexico Geotérmica Cerro Prieto
Mexico Bahía Magdalena-Almejas
Mexico Ensenada de la Paz
Mexico Bahía Todos Santos
Mexico Delta del Río Colorado
Mexico Sistema Tóbari
Mexico Zonas Húmedas de Yávaros

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Excavations (open) suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Excavations (open) suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha) suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Salt Exploitation Sites major breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Salt Exploitation Sites major non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Desert Hot suitable breeding
Desert Hot suitable non-breeding
Desert Temperate suitable breeding
Desert Temperate suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes and Flats major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes and Flats suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 3000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Unknown Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Clostridium botulinum Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Abstraction of surface water (unknown use) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Dams (size unknown) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Pollution Domestic & urban waste water - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Utilisation
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 (2022) Species factsheet: Charadrius nivosus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/12/2022.