|Scientific Name:||Charadrius montanus|
|Species Authority:||Townsend, 1837|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Near Threatened ver 3.1|
|Reviewer/s:||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.|
|Contributor/s:||Butcher, G., Dinsmore, S., Dreitz, V., Earsom, S., Estelle, V., Knopf, F., Leachman, B., Lockwood, M., Manzano, P. & Wunder, M.|
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small population. However, it is continuing to decline as a consequence of habitat loss and degradation resulting from cultivation, urbanisation, over-grazing, and changes in native herbivore populations.
|Range Description:||Charadrius montanus breeds in south Alberta and south-west Saskatchewan, Canada, and Montana, Wyoming (3,400 adults), eastern Colorado (8,600 individuals), Park County in Colorado (2,300 adults), New Mexico and the Oklahoma Panhandle (68-91 individuals), U.S.A. (Knopf 1996, Childers and Dinsmore 2008, McConnell et al. 2009). It has bred in Texas, east Utah (Day 1994) and once in eastern Arizona (Knopf and Rupert 1999), and has apparently been extirpated from former breeding areas in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas (McConnell et al. 2009). All these birds winter from Sacramento, San Joaquin and Imperial valleys, California (Knopf and Rupert 1995, S. D. Earsom and V. B. Estelle in litt. 1999), south to Baja California, Mexico (Wilbur 1987), and irregularly in south Arizona and south Texas in the Blackland Prairie (Knopf 1996, M. Lockwood in litt. 1999). Abundant in the 19th century, it declined to an estimated 8,000-9,000 birds in 1995, including a 63% decrease from 1966-1991 (Knopf 1996), but the population is now estimated at 11,000-14,000 individuals (Plumb et al. 2005). These figures are likely to reflect an increase in counting accuracy rather than a recent population increase. Breeding was first successful in Nuevo León, Mexico, in 2004 (Gonzales Rojas et al. 2006) following an unsuccessful attempt in 1998 (F. L. Knopf in litt. 1998, 1999, Knopf and Rupert 1999), and in Coahuila in 1999 (Desmond and Ramirez 2002). These and/or northern birds regularly winter at Janos in Chihuahua (P. Manzano in litt. 1998, S. D. Earsom and V. B. Estelle in litt. 1999), with others reported from Sonora to Tamaulipas south to Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí (Howell and Webb 1995a, Gómez de Silva et al. 1996).|
Native:Canada; Mexico; United States
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||The global population was estimated to number 11,000-14,000 individuals, but this has recently been revised upwards to 15,000-20,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 10,000-14,000 mature individuals.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||It nests in heavily grazed, shortgrass prairie, xeric scrub and fallow fields, typically on prairie dog Cynomys spp. colonies (Knowles et al. 1982, Knopf 1996, Knopf and Rupert 1999). It arrives in Canada and northern U.S.A. in late March-April and leaves in early August (Knopf 1996). It is a dietary generalist in winter (Knopf 1998) when it inhabits semi-desert, dry, bare agricultural land and (in Mexico) breeding-type habitats (S. D. Earsom and V. B. Estelle in litt. 1999). In the Imperial Valley (California) wintering flocks show a preference for burnt Bermudagrass fields and grazed alfalfa (Wunder and Knopf 2003). The species apparently fares better during drought years (Dinsmore 2008). It flocks in winter and on migration (S. D. Earsom and V. B. Estelle in litt. 1999).|
|Major Threat(s):||Hunting probably explains the long-term decline. More recently, cultivation and urbanisation have reduced nesting habitat, and intensive grazing has resulted in desertification and a reduced prey base (S. D. Earsom and V. B. Estelle in litt. 1999). Large declines in grazing species, especially bison and prairie dogs, have resulted in unsuitable habitat succession (Piersma 1996, Knopf and Rupert 1999). Over 70% of nests on cultivated land are destroyed by farm machinery (Shackford et al. 1999).|
Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. Pawnee National Grassland, Colorado, and Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Montana, are important reserves (Shackford et al. 1999). It has been proposed for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act (F. L. Knopf in litt. 1998, 1999). Black-tailed prairie dog Cynomys ludovicianus has also been proposed, partly because it helps to maintain suitable habitat (F. L. Knopf in litt. 1998, 1999). The release of Black-footed Ferret in Mexico is helping with prairie dog colony protection (B. Leachman in litt. 2003). Conservation Actions Proposed
Define Mexican breeding and winter distribution (S. D. Earsom and V. B. Estelle in litt. 1999). Monitor U.S.A. and Canada's populations. Research movements of birds (S. D. Earsom and V. B. Estelle in litt. 1999). Protect prairie dog colonies, especially at Janos (S. D. Earsom and V. B. Estelle in litt. 1999). Restore prairie ecosystems (include protection/reintroduction of grazers). Improve population estimates by documenting the number of birds nesting away from prairie dog colonies. Protect remaining breeding and wintering habitats and prevent further conversion of grasslands. Stop agricultural disturbance at nest sites. Monitor the extent and health of habitat throughout its range (Childers and Dinsmore 2008).
Childers, T. M.; Dinsmore, S. J. 2008. Density and abundance of Mountain Plovers in northeastern Montana. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120(4): 700-707.
Day, K. S. 1994. Observations of Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus) breeding in Utah. Southwestern Naturalist 39: 298-300.
Desmond, M. J.; Ramirez, F. C. 2002. Nest documentation confirms the presence of a breeding population of Mountain Plover Charadrius montanus in north-east Mexico. Cotinga 17: 17-19.
Dinsmore, S. J. 2008. Influence of drought on annual survival of the Mountain Plover in Montana. Condor 110(1): 45-54.
Gómez de Silva Garza, H.; Medellín Legorreta, R. A.; Amín, M. A.; Aguilar, S. 1996. A concentration of Mountain Plovers Charadrius montanus in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Cotinga: 74-75.
González Rojas, J. I.; Cruz Nieto, M. A.; Medrano, O. B.; Ortega, I. R. 2006. First breeding record of a Mountain Plover in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 118: 81-84.
Howell, S. N. G.; Webb, S. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).
Knopf, F. L. 1996. Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus). In: Poole, A.; Gill, F. (ed.), The birds of North America, No. 211, pp. 1-16. The Academy of Natural Sciences, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.
Knopf, F. L. 1998. Foods of Mountain Plovers wintering in California. Condor 100: 382-384.
Knopf, F. L.; Rupert, J. R. 1995. Habits and habitats of Mountain Plovers in California. Condor 97: 743-751.
Knopf, F. L.; Rupert, J. R. 1999. A resident population of Mountain Plovers in Mexico. Cotinga 11: 17-19.
Knowles, C. J.; Stoner, C. J.; Gieb, S. P. 1982. Selective use of black-tailed prairie dog towns by Mountain Plovers. Condor 84: 71-74.
McConnell, S.; O'Connell, T. J.; Leslie, D. M., Jr.; Shackford, J. S. 2009. Mountain Plovers in Oklahoma: distribution, abundance and habitat use. Journal of Field Ornithology 80(1): 27-34.
Morrison, R. I. G.; McCaffery, B.J.; Skagen, S.; Andres, B.; Page, G.; Jones, S.; Gill, R.E. in prep. Population estimates of North American shorebirds.
Piersma, T. 1996. Charadriidae (Plovers). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 384-442. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Plumb, R.E.; Knopf, F. L.; Anderson, S.H. 2005. Minimum population size of Mountain Plovers breeding in Wyoming. Wilson Bulletin 117: 15-22.
Shackford, J. S.; Leslie, D. M.; Harden, W. D. 1999. Range-wide use of cultivated fields by Mountain Plovers during the breeding season. Journal of Field Ornithology 70: 114-120.
Tipton, H. C.; Doherty, P. F., Jr.; Dreitz, V. J. 2009. Abundance and density of Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus and Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) in Eastern Colorado. The Auk 126(3): 493-499.
Wilbur, S. R. 1987. Birds of Baja California. University of California Press, Los Angeles and London.
Wunder, M.B. and F.L. Knopf. 2003. The Imperial Valley of California is critical to wintering Mountain Plovers. Journal of Field Ornithology 74: 74-80.
|Citation:||BirdLife International 2012. Charadrius montanus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 May 2013.|
|Feedback:||If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please fill in the feedback form so that we can correct or extend the information provided|