Hudsonian Godwit Limosa haemastica


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.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number 77,000 mature individuals (Partners in Flight 2020).

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be decreasing, although some populations may be stable (Partners in Flight 2020; Wetlands International 2020).

Distribution and population

The species breeds in Alaska (U.S.A.) and Canada. In July and August, individuals begin to migrate south to their non-breeding grounds in South America, in Argentina and Chile.


Hudsonian Godwit breeds on marshy tundra close to the treeline in Alaska and Canada. During their migration and over winter in South America, the species occupies mudflats, shallow marshes, tidal pools, shallow freshwater lakes and flooded fields (Van Gils et al. 2019).


The species is threatened by industry at or near its wintering grounds. On Isla Chiloé (Chile) salmon farms, peat mining and seaweed collection threaten the foraging grounds (Senner 2010; Anon. 2015). On Tierra del Fuego (Argentina and Chile) the proximity of major shipping routes to the non-breeding grounds of Hudsonian Godwits increases the risk that a major oil spill could affect a large proportion of the population (Senner 2010). In the breeding grounds, there is a proposal to build a oil and natural gas pipeline in the Mackenzie River Delta and a bridge and coal mine could affect breeding and staging areas around the upper Cook Inlet in Alaska (Senner 2010).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Proposed
Research into the migration routes and staging sites of Hudsonian Godwit. Conduct research into the location and habitat requirements at breeding grounds. Research the population sizes at different breeding and non-breeding sites. Monitor the population size and trends at breeding and non-breeding sites. Monitor habitat changes at important sites and how these affect Hudsonian Godwits. Protect important sites from habitat degradation. Protect islands and tidal areas that are important for shorebirds from development. Raise awareness about the effects of agriculture and aquaculture practices on shorebirds. Introduce laws and regulations to manage human activities around important shorebird sites. Regulate farming and land management practices to conserve important habitat types for Hudsonian Godwits. Enforce regulations within National Parks to protect important wetland habitats. Raise awareness of the importance of the conservation of Hudsonian Godwit populations. Promote the benefits of Godwit populations for bird watching and tourism opportunities. Convene a working group to cooperate and organise research and conservation efforts for the Hudsonian Godwit (Senner 2010).


Text account compilers
Elliott, N., Hermes, C.

Butchart, S. & Ekstrom, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Limosa haemastica. Downloaded from on 07/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 07/06/2023.