IOC to adopt sand plover split


The International Ornithological Committee (IOC) has announced that it will adopt the split of Lesser Sand Plover into two species in the next update to its World Bird List.

A genetic study published in 2022 revealed that the two subspecies groups of Lesser Sand Plover – the mongolus group, comprising subspecies mongolus and stegmanni (often referred to as 'Mongolian Sand Plover'), and the atrifrons group, consisting of subspecies atrifrons, pamirensis and schaeferi – were in fact not each others' closest relatives, and that and that mongolus is actually sister species to Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii.

The IOC has announced that Lesser Sand Plover will be split into two species as part of its next World Bird List update (Dave Williams).

An update, posted on the IOC website on 12 February, confirmed that the body had accepted the split of Lesser Sand Plover into Tibetan Sand Plover (the atrifrons group) and Siberian Sand Plover (the mongolus group).

Version 13.2 of the IOC's World Bird List will be published in the summer.