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Charadrius dubius

warning Critically Endangered
CR (B2(2of3),D1)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Ido Zurim, Zev Labinger, Ezra Hadad, Avner Rinot, Yoav Perlman, Lior Kislev

The Little Ringed Plover is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) because of its extremely small breeding population, estimated at less than 50 adult birds, and because of its small range, which now apparently includes only the mouth of the Jordan at the Dead Sea. In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Critically Endangered (CR). The unaltered threat catagory of the species reflects the continuing severe situation of its population, which comprises only a few pairs.
CR Current Regional Assessment | CR Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

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

The Little Ringed Plover is an extremely rare summer breeder, a common passage migrant and a relatively rare winter visitor. A few pairs apparently nest along the Jordan and Yarmukh rivers and on the northern Dead Sea shores, but these areas are difficult to reach and information is limited. A family with chicks was seen at the mouth of the Jordan River to the Dead Sea in spring 2017 (Amir Balaban, pers. comm.) and nesting was observed in the Sodom Basin in spring 2005 (Yoav Perlman, pers. comm.). Until the 1960s, hundreds of pairs nested in Israel along the Mediterranean coast, in the coastal streams, in the Jordan and the Northern Valleys (Paz, 1986, Shirihai 1996). The coastal population disappeared almost completely during the 1970s, apparently because of human activity, as well as the rise in the number of invasive and eruptive species. In the 1980s there were still 100-150 pairs nesting in Israel, mostly along the Jordan Valley: 30 in the northern Dead Sea, 30 between Jericho and Bet She’an, 17 in the Bet She’an and Jezreel valleys and 5-10 pairs in the northern Coastal Plain (Shirihai 1996). The species responds rapidly to suitable breeding conditions, thus tens of pairs nested along the Jordan and Yarmukh rivers in summer 1992, following intense winter floods that created bare banks and islets along the streams (Amitsur Boldo, pers. comm.).

The Little Ringed Plover has been affected mainly by the destruction and modification of its habitats. The Mediterranean coast and estuaries have been contaminated by tar, oil, trash, sewage and intensive human activity. In addition, the coastal streams were polluted, straightened and regulated, and agricultural areas extend to their banks, leaving no suitable natural habitat for the plovers. Fishponds and reservoirs established on the Coastal Plain and in valleys are not a suitable substitute, both due to the intensive human activity around them and because of the rise of invasive and eruptive species that increase predation pressure on ground-nesting birds. The Jordan River remained relatively protected and clean, but the amount of flowing water is limited and the interruption of water flow from Sea of Galilee (by a dam) put a stop to winter floods, which had once created bare sandy islets on which the plovers nested.

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

The Little Ringed Plover is classified as Critically Endangered (CR). It has been affected mainly by the drainage, pollution and disturbance of freshwater bodies and by direct disturbance and pollution along beaches. There are currently very few records of Little Ringed Plover nesting in Israel and it seems not to nest every year. There may be a few pairs nesting in the southern Jordan River and along the northern Dead Sea shores. Systematic surveys should be conducted in these areas.

There is a lack of comprehensive, up to date information on the status of the Little Ringed Plover in potential breeding areas. Surveys should be conducted along the Dead Sea and Jordan River shores and if necessary, management procedures be implemented to improve and ensure the existence of active nesting sites.

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

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.

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IUCN category

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% of protected sites

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