Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The global population is estimated to number c.415,000-1,400,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). National population sizes have been estimated at < c.1,000 individuals on migration and < c.1,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009). The European population is estimated at 140,000-213,000 pairs, which equates to 280,000-426,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).
The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have fluctuating trends (Wetlands International 2015). At the European level the population is unknown however at the EU level the population trend is decreasing (BirdLife International 2015).
Behaviour The majority of this species is fully migratory (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005) and travels either on a broad or narrow front depending on the location of each population's breeding and wintering grounds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species starts to breed from April until June, nesting in solitary pairs or loose semi-colonial groups (especially in undisturbed areas) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It is a gregarious species (Hayman et al. 1986) and often roosts communally in flocks of several hundred close to its feeding areas (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), occurring singly, in small (up to 50 individuals) or large flocks (up to 1,200-1,500 individuals) during the non-breeding season (Urban et al. 1986). Habitat Breeding The species breeds primarily on sand or shingle beaches either along the Arctic coast (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998) or around coastal tundra pools or lakes (Johnsgard 1981). In the south of its range it may also breed inland on the Arctic tundra (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) on muddy plains with stones or pebbles (Johnsgard 1981), on shores and sandbars of inland rivers, lakes, gravel pits or reservoirs (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998), or on short grassland, farmland (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998) and other well-drained sites (Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species inhabits muddy, sandy or pebbly coasts in the tropics and subtropics (Johnsgard 1981) including estuaries (del Hoyo et al. 1996), tidal mudflats, sandflats and exposed coral reefs (Urban et al. 1986). It also frequents mudbanks or sandbanks along rivers and lakes (Urban et al. 1986), lagoons, saltmarshes, short grassland, farmland, flooded fields, gravel pits, reservoirs (del Hoyo et al. 1996), sewage works and saltpans during this season (Hockey et al. 2005). Diet Its diet consists of small crustaceans, molluscs, polycheate worms, isopods, amphipods, insects (e.g. ants, beetles, flies and fly larvae) and millipedes (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow scrape (del Hoyo et al. 1996) positioned near the high-water mark on shingle or sandy beaches (Johnsgard 1981, Hayman et al. 1986). The species is a solitary nester although it may breed at quite high densities in undisturbed areas, neighbouring nests spaced between 5 and 100 m apart (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Management information Removing feral American mink Neovison vison from a large archipelago with many small islands in the Baltic Sea resulted in an increase in the breeding density of this species in the area (Nordstrom et al. 2003).
Important migratory stop-over habitats for this species on the Baltic Sea coastline are threatened by petroleum pollution, wetland drainage for irrigation, land abandonment and changing land management practices leading to scrub overgrowth (Grishanov et al. 2006). The species is also susceptible to avian botulism (so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the disease) (Blaker 1967), and suffers predation from feral America mink Neovison vison in some regions (Nordstrom et al. 2003).
Conservation Actions Underway
The species is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention.
Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's European range only: Removing feral American Mink (Neovison vison) from a large archipelago with many small islands in the Baltic Sea resulted in an increase in the breeding density of this species in the area (Nordström et al. 2003). Pollution of wetland habitats, wetland drainage for irrigation, land abandonment and changing land management practices at breeding sites needs to be stopped.
Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Malpas, L.
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Charadrius hiaticula. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2022.