Magellanic Plover to lose family status?

Both the morphology and the behaviour of the Magellanic Plover is unprecedented among shorebirds. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Both the morphology and the behaviour of the Magellanic Plover is unprecedented among shorebirds. © Gyorgy Szimuly

In October last year proposal was addressed to the South American Classification Committee (SACC) to treat Pluvianellidae (Magellanic Plover) as a subfamily of Chionidae (Sheathbills). The Pluvianellidae is considered to be a monotypic family among shorebirds since it was elevated from Charadriidae. As a result of previous genetic studies it was then treated as the sister family of Chionidae.

The current proposal didn’t pass due to the lack of evidence. Both the uniqueness of the behaviour of Magellanic Plover (means also different from that of the Sheathbills) and the genetic data supports the family status of the Pluvianellidae being in close relation to Chionidae.

The Magellanic Plover is a stunning and in a way extraordinary member of the shorebirds. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The Magellanic Plover is a stunning and in a way extraordinary member of the shorebirds. © Gyorgy Szimuly

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