Semipalmated Plover
(Charadrius semipalmatus)

Picture of bird
© John Reaume


The Semipalmated Plover is widespread and common, breeding across much of sub-arctic North America, and wintering on coastal beaches across the Western Hemisphere. Its population in Canada appears to have increased moderately since about 1970, in contrast to many other species of shorebirds. The species' adaptability and tolerance of human activities may contribute to the secure status of its population.


 StatusDateSubspecies / Population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2009 
Canadian Shorebird Conservation Plan (North America)Low concern2000 
Wildspecies (Canada)Secure2010 

Population status (Click here for more details)

 Population status relative to circa 1970Reliability
CanadaModerate IncreaseMedium

Population estimate

Distribution maps

Migration strategy:

Responsibility (based on Canadian % of global population)


Conservation and management

The Semipalmated Plover winters on coastal beaches throughout the Western Hemisphere, including many that are heavily developed. Disturbance of birds by humans and vehicles in some areas can be significant, but Semipalmated Plovers are less affected by disturbance than some other shorebirds (Pfister et al. 1992). Similarly, Semipalmated Plovers are tolerant to some disturbance on the breeding grounds; man-made structures such as road margins and gravel drill-pads are frequently used as nesting habitat (Nol and Blanken 1999).

Bird Conservation Plans

Information on this and other species has been compiled by ecoregion through the Bird Conservation planning process. For more details, click Bird Conservation Plans.


  • Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas. 2011. Second Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas, 2006-2010 (preliminary results). (Link)
  • Nol, E. and M.S. Blanken. 1999. Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. (Link)
  • Pfister, C., B.A. Harrington and M. Levine. 1992. The impact of human disturbance on shorebirds at a migration staging area. Biological Conservation 60:115-126.



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