Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Pelecaniformes Threskiornithidae

Scientific Name: Plegadis falcinellus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Glossy Ibis
French Ibis falcinelle
Taxonomic Source(s): AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.
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 extremely 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.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola (Angola); Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Armenia (Armenia); Aruba; Australia; Azerbaijan; Bahamas; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Barbados; Belize; Benin; Bermuda; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cambodia; Cameroon; Canada; Cayman Islands; Central African Republic; Chad; China; Colombia; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cuba; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Djibouti; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; France; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Greece; Guadeloupe; Guinea-Bissau; Haiti; Honduras; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jamaica; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kuwait; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Malawi; Malaysia; Mali; Malta; Martinique; Mauritania; Mexico; Moldova; Montenegro; Montserrat; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nepal; Niger; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation; Rwanda; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia (Serbia); Sierra Leone; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Spain (Canary Is. - Vagrant); Sri Lanka; Sudan; Swaziland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Turks and Caicos Islands; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United States; Uzbekistan; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Viet Nam; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Austria; Belarus; Belgium; British Indian Ocean Territory; Brunei Darussalam; Cape Verde; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Denmark; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Fiji; Finland; Germany; Gibraltar; Hong Kong; Iceland; Ireland; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lesotho; Maldives; Netherlands; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Norway; Poland; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Solomon Islands; Sweden; Switzerland; Togo; United Kingdom; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 19400000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour All populations of this species undergo post-breeding dispersal movements (del Hoyo et al. 1992) and are considerably nomadic (Snow and Perrins 1998). In addition northern breeding populations are fully migratory (del Hoyo et al. 1992) and may travel on a broad front (e.g. across the Sahara) (Brown et al. 1982). Northern and southern breeding populations breed during the local spring, whilst breeding elsewhere coincides with the rains (del Hoyo et al. 1992). The species nests in mixed-species colonies, either in small groups (e.g. 5-100 pairs in Africa) (Brown et al. 1982) or in large aggregations of thousands of pairs, and during the winter or dry seasons the species usually forages in small flocks (Hancock et al. 1992, del Hoyo et al. 1992) of up to 30 indivduals (Brown et al. 1982). It often roosts communally at night in large groups (sometimes thousands of individuals) with other species, occasionally in trees far from wetland feeding sites (Brown et al. 1982). Habitat The species feeds in very shallow water (Hancock et al. 1992) and nests in freshwater or brackish wetlands with tall dense stands of emergent vegetation (e.g. reeds or rushes) and low trees or bushes (Marchant and Higgins 1990, del Hoyo et al. 1992). It shows a preference for marshes at the edges of lakes and rivers (Hancock et al. 1992), as well as lagoons, flood-plains, wet meadows (Marchant and Higgins 1990, del Hoyo et al. 1992), swamps (del Hoyo et al. 1992), reservoirs (Hancock et al. 1992), sewage ponds, rice-fields and irrigated cultivation (Marchant and Higgins 1990, del Hoyo et al. 1992). It less often occurs in coastal locations such as estuaries, deltas, saltmarshes (Hancock et al. 1992) and coastal lagoons (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Roosting sites are often large trees that may be far from water (Brown et al. 1982, del Hoyo et al. 1992). Diet The diet of the species varies seasonally depending on what is available (Hancock et al. 1992). It takes adult and larval insects (e.g. aquatic beetles, dragonflies, grasshoppers, crickets, flies and caddisflies), worms, leeches, molluscs (e.g. snails and mussels), crustaceans (e.g. crabs and crayfish) and occasionally fish, frogs, tadpoles, lizards, small snakes and nestling birds (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Breeding site The nest is a platform of twigs and vegetation usually positioned less than 1 m above water (occasionally up to 7 m) in tall dense stands of emergent vegetation (e.g. reeds or rushes), low trees or bushes over water (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 6.7
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened by wetland habitat degradation and loss (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Snow and Perrins 1998) through drainage (Marchant and Higgins 1990, Hancock et al. 1992) for irrigation and hydroelectric power production (Balian et al. 2002), clearing, grazing, burning, increased salinity, groundwater extraction and invasion by exotic plants (Marchant and Higgins 1990). It is also threatened locally by hunting (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Snow and Perrins 1998), disturbance and pesticides (del Hoyo et al. 1992), and is susceptible to avian influenza so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Plegadis falcinellus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22697422A40228305. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided