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 extremely 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.2,600,000-3,200,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 794,000-1,460,000 pairs, which equates to 1,590,000-2,920,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). National population estimates include: c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs, c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in China; c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Taiwan; c.100-10,000 breeding pairs, c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Korea; c.100-10,000 breeding pairs, c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-1 million breeding pairs and >c.1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). The European population declined moderately between 1980 and 2013 (EBCC 2015).
Behaviour This species is a full migrant, migrating at night overland on a broad front across both deserts and mountains (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Small numbers may also remain in the northern maritime climatic zone (e.g. the British Isles, Mediterranean and Japan) throughout the year (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). The European population that overwinters in West Africa migrates south between mid-July and August (juveniles following one month later), and returns to the breeding grounds from late-March to April (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). Immature individuals may also remain in the winter range throughout the summer breeding season (Snow and Perrins 1998). The species breeds from May to June in scattered single pairs 60-70 m apart in optimal breeding habitat (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and migrates singly or in small flocks (del Hoyo et al. 1996), although it usually remains solitary in its winter range (Urban et al. 1986). It forages diurnally (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and may aggregate at night (Johnsgard 1981) into roosts of over 100 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat Breeding During the breeding season this species shows a preference for pebbly, sandy or rocky margins of fast-flowing rivers (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998), as well as small ponds, pools (Snow and Perrins 1998) and dams (Urban et al. 1986), clear freshwater lake shores, sheltered sea coasts with rocky or sandy beaches, tidal creeks and estuaries (Urban et al. 1986), and often forages in patches of dry meadow (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It occurs from sea level up to 4,000 m or more in the mountains, but generally avoid frozen, snow-clad or very hot areas (Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding In its winter range this species inhabits a wide variety of habitats, such as small pools, ditches, riverbanks (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998), streams, dam shores (Yalden 1992), marshy areas (Johnsgard 1981), estuaries, freshwater seeps on coastal shores, tidal creeks in mangrove swamps and saltmarshes, harbours, docks (Yalden 1992, Snow and Perrins 1998) and filtration tanks of sewage works (Yalden 1992). It will also forage on grassland along roadsides and occasionally in gardens (Yalden 1992, del Hoyo et al. 1996), but it generally avoids large coastal mudflats (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet The diet of this species consists of adult and larval insects (such as beetles and Diptera), spiders, molluscs, snails, crustaceans, annelids, and occasionally frogs, toads, tadpoles and small fish, as well as plant material (including seeds) (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow depression, sometimes amongst shrubs and trees (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
The size of the breeding population in England is threatened by disturbance from recreational anglers (Yalden 1992).
Conservation Actions Underway
The following information refers to the species's European range only: 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: Recreation at breeding sites needs to be controlled.
Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L.
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Actitis hypoleucos. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/common-sandpiper-actitis-hypoleucos on 09/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 09/12/2023.