Dunlin Calidris alpina


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 51,200,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 185,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2012
Population trend decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8.1 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.4,295,000-6,800,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 426,000-562,000 pairs, which equates to 853,000-1,120,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). National population estimates include: < c.10,000 individuals on migration and > c.10,000 wintering individuals in China; > c.1,000 individuals on migration and > c.1,000 wintering individuals in Taiwan; > c.1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Korea; > c.1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-10,000 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 population is therefore placed in the band 4,300,000-6,799,999 individuals.

Trend justification: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations are stable or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). This species has had stable population trends over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). The European population size trend is unknown (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan extant native yes
Albania extant native yes
Algeria extant native
Antigua and Barbuda extant vagrant
Armenia extant native
Australia extant vagrant
Austria extant native yes
Azerbaijan extant native yes
Bahamas extant vagrant
Bahrain extant native yes yes
Bangladesh extant native
Barbados extant vagrant
Belarus extant native yes yes
Belgium extant native yes
Belize extant vagrant yes
Benin extant vagrant
Bermuda (to UK) extant vagrant
Bosnia and Herzegovina extant vagrant
Brunei extant vagrant
Bulgaria extant native yes
Burkina Faso extant native
Burundi extant vagrant
Cameroon extant vagrant
Canada extant native yes yes
Cape Verde extant native
Cayman Islands (to UK) extant vagrant
Chad extant vagrant
China (mainland) extant native
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the extant vagrant
Costa Rica extant vagrant yes
Côte d'Ivoire extant native
Croatia extant native yes yes
Cuba extant vagrant
Cyprus extant native yes
Czechia extant native yes
Denmark extant native yes yes
Djibouti extant native
Dominica extant vagrant
Dominican Republic extant vagrant
Ecuador extant vagrant
Egypt extant native
Eritrea extant native
Estonia extant native yes
Ethiopia extant native
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) extant native yes
Finland extant native yes yes
France extant native yes yes
French Guiana extant vagrant
Gambia extant native
Georgia extant native
Germany extant native yes yes
Ghana extant vagrant
Gibraltar (to UK) extant vagrant
Greece extant native yes yes
Greenland (to Denmark) extant native yes
Guadeloupe (to France) extant vagrant
Guam (to USA) extant native yes
Guatemala extant vagrant
Guinea extant native
Guinea-Bissau extant native
Hong Kong (China) extant native yes
Hungary extant native
Iceland extant native yes yes
India extant native
Iran, Islamic Republic of extant native yes yes
Iraq extant native yes yes
Ireland extant native yes
Israel extant native
Italy extant native yes yes
Jamaica extant vagrant
Japan extant native
Jordan extant native yes yes
Kazakhstan extant native
Kenya extant vagrant
Kuwait extant native yes yes
Kyrgyzstan extant native
Laos extant vagrant
Latvia extant native yes
Lebanon extant native yes yes
Liberia extant native
Libya extant native
Liechtenstein extant vagrant
Lithuania extant native yes
Luxembourg extant native
Malaysia extant vagrant
Maldives extant native
Mali extant native
Malta extant native
Martinique (to France) extant vagrant
Mauritania extant native
Mexico extant native
Micronesia, Federated States of extant native yes
Moldova extant native
Mongolia extant vagrant
Montenegro extant native yes
Montserrat (to UK) extant vagrant
Morocco extant native
Nepal extant native
Netherlands extant native yes
New Zealand extant vagrant
Nicaragua extant vagrant
Niger extant vagrant
Nigeria extant vagrant
North Korea extant native
North Macedonia extant native yes
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) extant native yes
Norway extant native yes yes
Oman extant native yes yes
Pakistan extant native
Palau extant native yes
Palestine extant native yes yes
Panama extant vagrant
Paraguay extant vagrant
Peru extant vagrant
Philippines extant vagrant
Poland extant native yes yes
Portugal extant native yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) extant vagrant
Qatar extant native yes yes
Romania extant native yes yes
Russia extant native yes yes yes
Russia (Asian) extant native yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant native yes yes
Russia (European) extant native yes yes
Saudi Arabia extant native yes yes
Senegal extant native
Serbia extant native yes
Sierra Leone extant native
Singapore extant native
Slovakia extant native
Slovenia extant native yes yes
Somalia extant native
South Korea extant native
South Sudan extant native yes
Spain extant native yes yes
Sri Lanka extant native
St Kitts and Nevis extant vagrant
St Lucia extant vagrant
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) extant native yes yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines extant vagrant
Sudan extant native
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) extant native yes
Sweden extant native yes yes
Switzerland extant native yes
Syria extant native yes yes
Taiwan, China extant native
Tajikistan extant native
Thailand extant native
Togo extant vagrant
Tunisia extant native yes
Turkey extant native yes
Turkmenistan extant native
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) extant vagrant
Uganda extant vagrant
Ukraine extant native yes yes
United Arab Emirates extant native yes yes
United Kingdom extant native yes yes
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) extant uncertain
USA extant native yes
Uzbekistan extant native
Venezuela extant vagrant
Vietnam extant native yes
Virgin Islands (to UK) extant vagrant
Virgin Islands (to USA) extant vagrant
Western Sahara extant vagrant
Yemen extant native yes yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Azerbaijan Gizilagach State Reserve
Bahrain Tubli Bay
Canada Boundary Bay - Roberts Bank - Sturgeon Bank (Fraser River Estuary)
Canada East Point
China (mainland) Anqing wetlands (Caizi Hu, Wuchang Hu and other lakes)
China (mainland) Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve
China (mainland) Hangzhou Wan
China (mainland) Shuangtai (Shuangtaizi) Estuary and Inner Gulf of Liaodong
China (mainland) Taizhou Wan
China (mainland) Wenzhou Wan
China (mainland) Xuanmen Wan
China (mainland) Yalu Jiang Estuary
China (mainland) Yong Jiang Estuary
China (mainland) Yueqing Wan
Denmark Coast between Dokkedal and Lyngså
Denmark Fanø
Denmark Mandø
Denmark Nissum Fjord
Denmark Rømø
Denmark South Læsø
Denmark Tøndermarsken, Magisterkog and Rudbøl Sø
Denmark Vadehavet (Wadden Sea)
Estonia Lahemaa
Estonia Lavassaare
Estonia Lõu bay
Estonia Pärnu bay (NEW)
Estonia Siiksaare-Oessaare bays
Estonia Väinameri
France Anse de Fouras, baie d'Yves et marais de Rochefort
France Anse du Fiers d'Ars en Ré
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton
France Baie de Saint-Brieuc
France Baie des Veys et Marais du Cotentin
France Baie du Mont Saint Michel et Ile des Landes
France Baies de Morlaix et de Carantec
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin
France Cap Gris-nez
France Estuaires picards : baies de Somme et d'Authie
France Golfe du Morbihan et Etier de Penerf
France Ile d'Oléron, marais de Brouage-Saint-Agnant
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon
Germany Coast and lagoons of Western Pomerania
Germany Dollart
Germany Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park
Germany Krummhörn-Westermarsch
Germany Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park
Germany Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park (includes the Halligs, Kniepsand/Amrum, Lister Koog, Rantumbecken, Rickelsb
Hong Kong (China) Inner Deep Bay and Shenzhen River catchment area
Iceland Osasvædi Olfusar
Iceland Skardsfjördur
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Bakhtegan, Lake Tashk and Kamjan marshes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay
Ireland Inishkea Islands
Italy Po Delta
Italy Venice lagoon
Japan Fujimae tidal flat
Japan Hakata bay
Japan Inner Ariake bay
Japan Inner Tokyo bay
Japan Shiokawa tidal flat
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Kushmurun Lake
Lithuania Flooded coastal meadows near Tyrai bog
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park
Mauritania Banc d'Arguin National Park
Mexico Complejo Lagunar Ojo de Liebre
Morocco Baie d'Ad Dakhla
Netherlands Oosterschelde
Netherlands Wadden Coast
Netherlands Wadden Sea
Netherlands Westerschelde & Saeftinghe
North Korea Orangchon River estuary
Norway Dovrefjell
Norway Hardangervidda
Norway Øvre Pasvik
Norway Reisa
Norway Varanger Peninsula
Oman Barr al Hikman
Oman Khawr Ghawi
Portugal Ria de Aveiro
Portugal Ria Formosa (Faro lagoon)
Portugal Sado estuary
Portugal Tejo estuary
Romania Danube Delta
Russia (Asian) Bol'shaya River Estuary
Russia (Asian) Chaun delta
Russia (Asian) Gusikha river basin and lower Balakhnya river
Russia (Asian) Kolyma delta
Russia (Asian) Konstantin and Tugur bays
Russia (Asian) Korfa Gulf (northern part)
Russia (Asian) Lower Anadyr lowlands
Russia (Asian) Meechkyn spit and adjacent plain
Russia (Asian) Ola lagoon
Russia (Asian) Preobrazheniya island
Russia (Asian) Utkholok river
Russia (Asian) West Chaun plain
Russia (Central Asian) Dvuob'ye
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Ob'
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Yuribey
Russia (Central Asian) Upper and Middle Yuribey
Saudi Arabia Jizan Bay
Saudi Arabia Sabkhat al-Fasl lagoons
Saudi Arabia Tarut Bay
South Korea Asan Bay (including Asan-ho lake and Sapgyo-ho lake)
South Korea Baeksu tidal flat
South Korea Daebu-do island
South Korea Dongjin estuary
South Korea Mangyeong estuary
South Korea Nakdong-gang estuary
South Korea Namyang Bay
South Korea Sihwa-ho lake
South Korea Suncheon Bay
South Korea Tidal flat area of southern Ganghwa-do island
South Korea Tidal flat area of Yeongjong-do island
South Korea Yubu-do island
Spain Cádiz bay
Spain Ebro delta
Spain Isla Cristina and Ayamonte marshes and Prado lagoon
Spain Ría de Arosa (O Grove) estuary
Spain River Piedras marshes and Rompido sandbank
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Adventdalen & Adventfjorden
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
Sweden Archipelago and coastline of North-East Scania
Sweden Falsterbo – Bay of Fote
Sweden Fjord of Båta
Sweden Lundåkra Bight
Sweden River Helge
Tunisia Îles Kneiss
Turkey Ceyhan Delta
Turkey Gediz Delta
Ukraine Syvash Bay
United Kingdom Benfleet and Southend Marshes
United Kingdom Burry Inlet
United Kingdom Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands
United Kingdom Chichester and Langstone Harbours
United Kingdom Dee Estuary
United Kingdom Duddon Estuary
United Kingdom Firth of Forth
United Kingdom Gibraltar Point
United Kingdom Humber Estuary
United Kingdom Lewis Peatlands
United Kingdom Lindisfarne
United Kingdom Medway Estuary and Marshes
United Kingdom Mersey Estuary
United Kingdom Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore
United Kingdom Mid-Essex Coast
United Kingdom Morecambe Bay
United Kingdom North Pennine Moors
United Kingdom Poole Harbour
United Kingdom Portsmouth Harbour
United Kingdom Ribble and Alt Estuaries
United Kingdom Severn Estuary
United Kingdom Solent Marshes and Southampton Water
United Kingdom South Pennine and Peak District Moors
United Kingdom Stour and Orwell Estuaries
United Kingdom Thames Estuary and Marshes
United Kingdom The Swale
United Kingdom The Wash
United Kingdom Uists Machairs, Lochs and Coast
United Kingdom Upper Solway Flats and Marshes
USA Copper River Delta
USA Kvichak Bay
USA Nelson Lagoon-Mud Bay
USA Teshekpuk Lake-E. Dease Inlet
Vietnam Xuan Thuy

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Salt Exploitation Sites suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Wastewater Treatment Areas suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Tundra Wetlands (incl. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt) suitable breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Wood & pulp plantations - Scale Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 3
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Other
Biological resource use Gathering terrestrial plants - Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species disturbance
Human intrusions & disturbance War, civil unrest & military exercises Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Other
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Viral/prion-induced diseases - Avian Influenza Virus (H5N1 subtype) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Past Impact
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Abstraction of ground water (agricultural use) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 3
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Other
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Past Impact
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Calidris alpina. Downloaded from on 04/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 04/06/2023.