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Charadrius alexandrinus

warning Endangered
EN (C1,D1)

Contributed: Lior Kislev, Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Ido Zurim

The Kentish Plover is classified as Endangered (EN) due to its small and declining population (less than 250 mature individuals). The rate of decrease in population size is estimated at more than 20% in two generations (10 years). In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Critically Endangered (CR). The change in its status reflects a degree of stabilization in the number of breeding individuals and the areas occupied by the species.
EN Current Regional Assessment | CR Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Salt Ponds, Wetlands with Shallow Banks
Presence In Israel Summer Breeder
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Short Range / Partial
Zoography Zones Mediterranean, Sudano-Zambezian
Landscape Formations Salt Ponds, Sandy Beach, Wetlands, Salt Marsh
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Ground
Diet Types Invertebrate
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Human Activity, Invasive Species, Wetland Drainage & Pollution

The Kentish Plover is an extremely rare resident and summer breeder, and a common passage migrant and winter visitor. The breeding population apparently numbers 30-40 pairs; most of them in the southern Arava saltpans (Itai Shani & Noam Weiss, pers. comm.) and some along the Dead Sea shores (Ron Haran & Avner Rinot, pers. comm.). In 2014, an unsuccessful nesting attempt was observed at the Atlit saltpans (Asaf Mayrose & Yossi Eshbol). Until the mid-1960s, the Kentish Plover was a common breeder along the Mediterranean shores, in the Jordan Valley and in the Northern Valleys. The coastal population disappeared almost completely during the 1970s. In the 1980s there were still about 30 pairs breeding in the northern Coastal Plain and the Bet Tsayda and Hula valleys. The breeding population around the Dead Sea numbered about 100 pairs at that time (Paz 1986, Shirihai 1996). During the decades since, the breeding population in Northern Israel became extinct and the Dead Sea population apparently decreased significantly, although there is a lack of comprehensive data from the region. The population in the southern Arava started breeding during the 1980s and have increased to around 30 pairs.

Sandy, pebbled or mudflat shores along streams, pools, lakes and seas. In the winter moist fields and winter pools are also frequented.

Habitat destruction: including stream regulation and flood prevention at the Jordan River (because of the Deganya Dam) that led to bank stabilization and overgrown with vegetation thickets.
Pollution: pollution of seashores and coastal streams by oils and tar.
Direct disturbance: overload of people and vehicles on seashores, near fishponds, saltpans and along streams.
Eruptive species: increase in the number of predators such as crows, jackals, foxes and mongooses around fishponds, saltpans and reservoirs results in increased predation pressure.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.

The Kentish Plover is classified as an endangered species. It has been affected mainly by drainage, pollution and disturbance of freshwater bodies, and direct disturbances, increase in eruptive species and pollution of seashores. The current breeding population in Israel is very small and most of it occupies artificial habitats; a few pairs nest along the Dead Sea shores).

Restricting traffic of people and vehicles around saltpans in the Arava. Comprehensive and updated information from its distribution area around the Dead Sea is needed to assess the status of the species.

  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
Contributed: Lior Kislev, Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Ido Zurim

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

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% of protected sites

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