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
Range

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 40,300,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 39,300,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Population
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 24000-31000 mature individuals medium estimated 2016
Population trend decreasing - suspected 2014-2024
Rate of change over the past 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 25-29% - - -
Rate of change over the future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 25-29% - - -
Rate of change over the past & future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 25-29% - - -
Generation length 3.51 years - - -

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 Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Anguilla (to UK) extant native yes
Aruba (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Bahamas extant native yes yes
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) extant native yes yes
Chile extant native yes
Colombia extant native yes
Cuba extant native yes
Curaçao (to Netherlands) extant native yes yes
Dominica extant native
Dominican Republic extant native yes
Ecuador extant native yes
Haiti extant native yes
Honduras extant native yes yes
Mexico extant native yes yes
Peru extant native yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) extant native yes
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) extant native yes
St Barthelemy (to France) extant native yes
St Kitts and Nevis extant native yes
St Martin (to France) extant native yes
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) extant native yes yes
USA extant native yes yes yes
Venezuela extant native yes
Virgin Islands (to UK) extant native yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Mexico Lago de Texcoco
Ecuador Lagunas de Ecuasal-Salinas
Mexico Marismas Nacionales
Mexico Tecolutla
Mexico Bahía de Ceuta - Cospita
Mexico Estero Cardonal
Mexico Complejo Lagunar Ojo de Liebre
Mexico Área de San Quintín
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 Ría Lagartos
Mexico Yum Balam
Mexico Estero Lobos
Mexico Archipiélago Bahía de los Angeles
Mexico Bahía Navachiste
Mexico Bahía Santa María
Mexico Istmo de Tehuantepec - Mar Muerto
Mexico Estero Santa Cruz
Mexico Laguna Cuyutlán-Estero Palo Verde
Mexico Geotérmica Cerro Prieto
Mexico Bahía Magdalena-Almejas
Mexico Ensenada de la Paz
Mexico Complejo Lagunar San Ignacio
Mexico Bahía Todos Santos
Mexico Delta del Río Colorado
Mexico Sistema Tóbari
Mexico Zonas Húmedas de Yávaros
Colombia Complejo de Humedales Costeros de la Guajira
Costa Rica Caribbean lowlands and wetlands
Costa Rica Cahuita, Gandoca-Manzanillo and Migratory Bird Corridor
Costa Rica Pacuare, coastal wetlands and Migratory Bird Corridor
Puerto Rico (to USA) Suroeste
USA Gunnison Bay/North Arm UT01
USA Gilbert Bay/South Arm UT05
USA Salton Sea

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 (2024) Species factsheet: Charadrius nivosus. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/snowy-plover-charadrius-nivosus on 23/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 23/02/2024.