Pluvianellus socialis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Pluvianellus socialis
Species Authority: Gray, 1846
Common Name(s):
English Magellanic Plover

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Imberti, I. & Schlatter, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Butchart, S., Capper, D., Mazar Barnett, J., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.
This species has a small global population which is threatened by predation plus degradation of its breeding and wintering habitat. It is classified as Near Threatened as there is presently no evidence that a decline is taking place.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Pluvianellus socialis is local and partially resident in the extreme south of Chile and south Argentina, with part of the population wintering north to the Valdés peninsula, south-central Argentina, and sometimes as far as Buenos Aires province (Narosky et al. 1993, Chiurla 1996, Piersma 1996a). The population is estimated to number fewer than 10,000 birds (R. Schlatter in litt. 2002 to Wetlands International), and other estimates suggest it may be considerably smaller. Significant recent concentrations of non-breeding birds have included 145 and 123 on the Gallego and Chico estuaries respectively (Argentina) in 1999 (Ferrari et al. 2003).

Argentina; Chile
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number fewer than 10,000 individuals, and so is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals (R. Schlatter in litt. 2002). This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It breeds on the open shores of freshwater or brackish lakes and shallow pools, and perhaps sometimes by rivers, in steppe-like regions up to 1,200 m, but generally at lower elevations in the south. Outside the breeding season, it occurs along rivers (Imberti 2003) and on the coast, mostly in sheltered bays, lagoons and river mouths. It feeds primarily on tiny arthropods during the breeding season, with chironomid larvae apparently forming the staple food in winter, when it forages in small flocks (Piersma 1996a).

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are few apparent reasons for its scarcity. However, the destruction and degradation of natural grassland in Patagonia by grazing livestock and introduced herbivores must have had some impact on mainland breeding habitat, and numbers are perhaps limited by the carrying capacity of the hostile environment (Fjeldså 1988, Dinerstein et al. 1995, S. Imberti in litt. 1999). Trampling of nests and chicks by grazing animals is a potential threat which has been observed in Magellanic Oystercatcher (Ferrari et al. 2003). It may be particularly vulnerable to human disturbance and further potential threats in the non-breeding season include predation by feral cats and dogs and the degradation of estuarine habitat due to oil spills, garbage dumping and sewage (Ferrari et al. 2003). 

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. In Argentina, it breeds in Tierra del Fuego and Perito Moreno National Parks, and Bosques Petrificados Natural Monument, and it is also found in Magallanes and Laguna de los Cisnes National Reserves, Chile.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Systematically survey known sites and search for the species in potentially suitable habitat. Continue monitoring on Gallegos and Chico estuaries and extend monitoring to other areas of likely high importance such as Santa Cruz estuary and river. Study its ecology and research threats. Increase protection at key breeding and wintering sites.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Pluvianellus socialis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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