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). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not 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.1,200,000-3,600,000 individuals (Wetlands International, 2015). The European population is estimated at 616,000-1,050,000 pairs, which equates to 1,230,000-2,100,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). National population estimated include: 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.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Taiwan, China; c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Korea; c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 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 overall population trend is increasing. Some populations have unknown or stable trends (Wetlands International 2015). The European population trend is estimated to have increased moderately between 1980 and 2013 (EBCC 2015).
Behaviour This species is fully migratory and moves overland on a broad front (Urban et al. 1986) with European populations making well-documented stop-overs in Saharan oases (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Southward movements to the wintering grounds occur between June and early November, with the species being present in the north and equatorial tropics from late-August to early-April, and in southern Africa from October to March (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). The return passage to northern breeding grounds occurs between late-February and mid-May (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), where the species breeds between late April and June (del Hoyo et al. 1996). In mild winters some birds may also remain in the breeding grounds of southern Scandinavia (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species generally occurs in low concentrations during passage and at stop-over sites, although it may occur in small scattered groups of up to 30 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996) in the winter, with aggregations of over 50 being unusual (Snow and Perrins 1998). Habitat Breeding During the breeding season this species inhabits damp areas in swampy, old pine, spruce or alder woodland and montane forest with many fallen and rotten tree stumps, marshy forest floors and heavy carpets of lichens and mosses, generally in the vicinity of rivers, streams, swamps, ponds, lakes (Johnsgard 1981) and bogs (Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season this species shows a preference for a wider variety of inland freshwater habitats such as marshes, lake edges, sewage farms, small dams and ponds, ditches, riverbanks and forest streams, often near villages and cultivation (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) (although less often in the vicinity of woodland) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It is also very rarely found in intertidal areas such as creeks and the channels of saltmarches (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet The species is omnivorous, although its diet is predominantly made up of aquatic and terrestrial insects (Snow and Perrins 1998) (e.g. dragonfly larvae, ants, waterbugs, moth larvae, and the adults and larvae of beetles, Diptera and Trichoptera), annelids, small crustaceans, spiders and fish, as well as plant fragments (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site This species frequently nests high in trees in the abandoned nests of passerine species such as Common Woodpigeon Columba palumbus, thrushes Turdus spp. (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), crows, jays and shrikes (Johnsgard 1981), but may also nest in squirrel dreys (Johnsgard 1981, Snow and Perrins 1998), on natural platforms up to 20 m high (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and occasionally on tree stumps or mounds of accumulated pine needles, among branches and tree roots, or amongst fallen trees on the ground (Johnsgard 1981, Snow and Perrins 1998).
This species is susceptible to avian influenza (strain H5N1) so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006).
Conservation Actions Underway
The following information refers to the species's European range only: The species is not listed on priority lists of the Conventions.
Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's European range only: Unfertilised grasslands with low cattle densities (0.5 cows per hectare) were found to attract a higher abundance of this species in Hungary (Baldi et al. 2005).
Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L.
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Tringa ochropus. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/green-sandpiper-tringa-ochropus on 05/10/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 05/10/2023.