NT
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus



Taxonomy

Taxonomic note
Haematopus ostralegus and H. finschi were previously lumped as H. ostralegus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014), but have once more been recognised as species following a review of additional material allowing the scoring of the taxa against each other and H. longirostrisH. chathamensis, and H. unicolor (G. Ehmke in litt. 2015, Hayman et al. 1986, Marchant and Higgins 1993). This restores the taxonomic position of the two species prior to del Hoyo and Collar (2014).

Taxonomic source(s)
Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International. 2019. Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International digital checklist of the birds of the world. Version 4. Available at: http://datazone.birdlife.org/userfiles/file/Species/Taxonomy/HBW-BirdLife_Checklist_v4_Dec19.zip.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2019 Near Threatened A2bc+3b+4bc
2016 Not Recognised
2014 Not Recognised
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 -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 36,600,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 98,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 500000-999999 poor suspected 2019
Population trend Decreasing estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 20-29 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 20-29 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulations 1-89 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 13.7 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c. 925,000-1,030,000 individuals, based on expert opinion (Wetlands International 2019), and comprising the three separate subspecies of H. o. ostralegus (820,000), H. o. longpipes (100,000-200,000) and H. o. osculans (5,000-10,000; Wetlands International 2019). This is roughly equivalent to 616,667-686,667 mature individuals, here placed in the band 500,000-999,999 mature individuals. Population estimates are lower than those of recent assessments due to the recent taxonomic split, whereby Haematopus finschi (South Island Oystercatcher), previously considered a subspecies of Haematopus ostralegus (del Hoyo et. al. 2014), was designated a separate species.

Trend justification: The overall population trend is decreasing (Wetlands International 2019, Nagy et al. 2014, van de Pol et al. 2014, van Roomen et al. 2014a, BirdLife International 2015). The population of ostralegus, the largest of the three subspecies, increased strongly between the 1960s and the 1990s (van de Pol et al. 2014), but has subsequently declined significantly, at a rate exceeding 40% over three generations. The long-term increases are often ascribed to successful adaptation to breeding inland on newly available agricultural grasslands (Meltofte 1993, Goss-Custard et al. 1996) however, apparent concurrent increases in coastal populations contrast with this view. The longipes population is reported to be stable (Sarychev and Mischenko 2014, van Roomen et al. 2014b) and the trend for the osculans population is unknown (Melville et al. 2014). Recent rapid declines in the H. o. ostralegus population may however be part of a longer-term fluctuation. Mechanical shellfisheries operations have been severely restricted in the Netherlands (van de Pol et al. 2014), however, there has not been a concomitant halt in the population decline despite food stocks recovering (M. van de Pol in litt. 2016). Further information is needed to confirm whether the population may reach stability in the future or if it will continue to decline. Because of this uncertainty, the overall rate of decline is currently placed in the band 20-29% in three generations although the current rate within the largest population appears to be higher.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Albania N Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant Yes
Austria N Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes Yes
Bahrain N Extant Yes Yes
Bangladesh N Extant Yes
Belarus N Extant Yes
Belgium N Extant Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina N Extant Yes
Bulgaria N Extant Yes
Cape Verde N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes Yes
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant Yes
Croatia N Extant Yes
Cyprus N Extant Yes
Czechia N Extant Yes
Denmark N Extant Yes Yes
Djibouti N Extant Yes
Egypt N Extant Yes
Eritrea N Extant Yes
Estonia N Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France N Extant Yes Yes
Gambia N Extant Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes Yes
Germany N Extant Yes Yes
Ghana N Extant Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) N Extant Yes
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Guinea N Extant Yes
Guinea-Bissau N Extant Yes
Hungary N Extant Yes
Iceland N Extant Yes
India N Extant Yes Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes Yes
Israel N Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes Yes
Japan N Extant Yes
Jordan N Extant Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes
Kuwait N Extant Yes Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes Yes
Latvia N Extant Yes
Libya N Extant Yes
Lithuania N Extant Yes
Malta N Extant Yes
Mauritania N Extant Yes
Moldova N Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes
Morocco N Extant Yes
Myanmar N Extant Yes Yes
Netherlands N Extant Yes
Nigeria N Extant Yes
North Korea N Extant Yes
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes Yes
Oman N Extant Yes Yes
Pakistan N Extant Yes
Palestinian Authority Territories N Extant Yes
Poland N Extant Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Qatar N Extant Yes Yes
Romania N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes Yes
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes
Senegal N Extant Yes
Serbia N Extant Yes
Sierra Leone N Extant Yes
Slovakia N Extant Yes
Somalia N Extant Yes
South Korea N Extant Yes Yes
Spain N Extant Yes Yes
Sri Lanka N Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes
Sweden N Extant Yes Yes
Switzerland N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes
Taiwan, China N Extant Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Tunisia N Extant Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Ukraine N Extant Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes
Western Sahara N Extant Yes
Yemen N Extant Yes Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
China (mainland) Shuangtai (Shuangtaizi) Estuary and Inner Gulf of Liaodong
China (mainland) Yalu Jiang Estuary
Denmark Fanø
Denmark Mandø
Denmark Rømø
Denmark Vadehavet (Wadden Sea)
France Baie de Saint-Brieuc
France Baie des Veys et Marais du Cotentin
France Baie du Mont Saint Michel et Ile des Landes
France Camargue
France Cap Gris-nez
France Estuaires picards : baies de Somme et d'Authie
France Etangs Montpellierains
France Petite Camargue laguno-marine
Germany Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park
Germany Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park (includes the Halligs, Kniepsand/Amrum, Lister Koog, Rantumbecken, Rickelsb
Greece Amvrakikos gulf
Greece Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas rivers' deltas
Greece Evros delta
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary
Iran, Islamic Republic of Khouran Straits
Iran, Islamic Republic of Rud-i-Gaz and Rud-i-Hara deltas
Iran, Islamic Republic of Rud-i-Shur, Rud-i-Shirin and Rud-i-Minab deltas
Iran, Islamic Republic of Shadegan marshes and tidal mudflats of Khor-al Amaya and Khor Musa
Ireland Dundalk Bay
Mauritania Banc d'Arguin National Park
Netherlands Balgzand
Netherlands Duinen Ameland
Netherlands Duinen Schiermonnikoog
Netherlands Duinen Vlieland
Netherlands Frisian Wadden Sea coast
Netherlands Griend
Netherlands Groningen Wadden Sea coast
Netherlands Oosterschelde
Netherlands Rottumeroog
Netherlands Rottumerplaat
Netherlands Terschelling: De Boschplaat
Netherlands Wadden Sea
Netherlands Westerschelde & Saeftinghe
Oman Barr al Hikman
Oman Masirah island
Oman Ras al Hadd
Russia (Asian) Malakchan bay
Russia (Asian) Perevolochny bay
Saudi Arabia Tarut Bay
South Korea Geum-gang river and estuary
South Korea Namyang Bay
South Korea Yubu-do island
Tunisia Îles Kneiss
United Kingdom Burry Inlet
United Kingdom Dee Estuary
United Kingdom Mid-Essex Coast
United Kingdom Moray Basin, Firths and Bays
United Kingdom Moray Basin, Firths and Bays
United Kingdom Morecambe Bay
United Kingdom North Uist Machair and Islands
United Kingdom Ribble and Alt Estuaries
United Kingdom South Uist Machair and Lochs
United Kingdom The Wash
United Kingdom The Wash
United Kingdom Uists Machairs, Lochs and Coast
United Kingdom Upper Solway Flats and Marshes

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable 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 Rocky Shoreline suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) major breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc major breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches major breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Scale Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Energy production & mining Oil & gas drilling Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Crassostrea gigas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Neovison vison Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Spartina alterniflora Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Unknown Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Vulpes vulpes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic species/disease of unknown origin - Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Viral/prion-induced diseases - Avian Influenza Virus (H5N1 subtype) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Abstraction of surface water (unknown use) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality
Pollution Domestic & urban waste water - Sewage Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem conversion

Utilisation
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 (2020) Species factsheet: Haematopus ostralegus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/01/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/01/2020.