LC
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S. and Perrins, C.M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 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. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html#.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.htm#.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.
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
2014 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 -
Range

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 6,070,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 72,100,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Population
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 270000 mature individuals poor estimated 2006
Population trend decreasing - suspected 2001-2018
Rate of change over the past 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 10-19% - - -
Rate of change over the future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 10-19% - - -
Rate of change over the past & future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 10-19% - - -
Generation length 5.7 years - - -

Population justification: Morrison et al. (2006) give a population estimate of 400,000 birds, with a range of 300,000–500,000. This estimate is assumed here to equate to c.270,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: Data from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) suggest that the species has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease in North America over the last 40 years (-94.9% decline over 40 years, equating to a -52.6% decline per decade; Butcher and Niven 2007); however, these surveys cover much less than 50% of the species’s range in North America thus may not provide data that are representative of the overall population (G. Donaldson in litt. 2012).

Following reported declines in the wintering population of T. flavipes in Suriname since the 1970s, surveys were carried out at one site in 2008-2009 using the methods of a previous survey at the same location (Ottema and Ramcharan 2009). The results showed that numbers of T. flavipes were down by c.80% on those recorded in 2002-2003. This change is assumed by Ottema and Ramcharan (2009) to be representative of the entire coast of Suriname, based on an aerial survey of the coast in December 2008, additional ground-based observations and four surveys at another location. Ottema and Ramcharan (2009) suggest that the global population may have declined by c.75% from 2002-2003 to 2008-2009, and that the species may face extinction within 20-30 years, citing Morrison and Ross’s (1989) observations from the mid-1980s that more than 70% of T. flavipes and Greater Yellowlegs T. melanoleuca wintering on the South American coast do so in Suriname. The current estimate for the combined wintering populations of T. flavipes and T. melanoleuca along the coast of north-eastern South America is 8,000, based on multiple aerial surveys (Suriname: 2008, 2011, 2014; French Guiana: 2008, 2014; Brazil: 2011, 2014), suggesting a c.90% decline since 2002-2003 (D. Mizrahi in litt. 2014). Populations in Suriname appear to have experienced the most dramatic change, with declines exceeding 96%, while populations in French Guiana (c.5,000-6,000 individuals) generally appear stable (D. Mizrahi in litt. 2014). However, on present evidence it cannot be discounted that the population is shifting its geographical preferences during the non-breeding season, either along the coast of north-eastern South America or more widely.

Declines have also been noted on St Martin since 2000-2001, with 348 counted in January 2001 and fewer than 5 birds counted each year in 2006-2011 (A. Brown in litt. 2011), and at wetlands around Bogota, Colombia, where more than 98% of habitat has been lost (O. Cortes in litt. 2012). Furthermore, a significant downward trend has been noted since 1991 in the population of this species wintering at the Salinas lagoons in south-western Ecuador (B. Haase in litt. 2011 in Clay et al. 2012). In contrast, there are no signs of a significant decline on the coast of Peru (F. Angulo in litt. 2014).

The species is known to be hunted in some parts of the Caribbean and South American coast and is the most hunted shorebird species on Guadeloupe and Martinique, where several thousand are reported to be shot each year (A. Levesque in litt. 2012). Such evidence suggests that hunting pressure is not sustainable in some years (B. Andres in litt. 2012), and studies are planned and being carried out to quantify the impact of hunting and the rate of population decline (B. Andres in litt. 2012, 2014; A. Levesque in litt. 2012). Other threats to the species include habitat loss through logging, agricultural expansion and intensification, urban development and mining, the use of agrochemicals and climate change (Clay et al. 2012).

Until further evidence is available, this species's population is suspected to be undergoing a moderate decline.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Anguilla (to UK) extant native
Antigua and Barbuda extant native
Argentina extant native
Aruba (to Netherlands) extant native
Australia extant vagrant
Austria extant vagrant
Bahamas extant native
Barbados extant native
Belgium extant vagrant
Belize extant native yes
Bermuda (to UK) extant native
Bolivia extant native
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Brazil extant native
Canada extant native yes yes
Cayman Islands (to UK) extant native
Chile extant native
Colombia extant native
Costa Rica extant native yes
Cuba extant native
Curaçao (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Denmark extant vagrant
Dominica extant native
Dominican Republic extant native
Ecuador extant native
El Salvador extant native
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) extant vagrant
Finland extant vagrant
France extant vagrant
French Guiana extant native
Gambia extant vagrant
Germany extant vagrant
Ghana extant vagrant
Greece extant vagrant
Greenland (to Denmark) extant vagrant
Grenada extant native
Guadeloupe (to France) extant native yes
Guatemala extant native
Guyana extant native
Haiti extant native
Honduras extant native
Hong Kong (China) extant vagrant
Hungary extant vagrant
Iceland extant vagrant
Indonesia extant vagrant
Ireland extant vagrant
Israel extant vagrant
Italy extant vagrant
Jamaica extant native yes
Japan extant vagrant
Marshall Islands extant vagrant
Martinique (to France) extant native
Mexico extant native
Montserrat (to UK) extant native
Morocco extant vagrant
Netherlands extant vagrant
New Zealand extant vagrant
Nicaragua extant native
Nigeria extant vagrant
Norway extant vagrant
Panama extant native
Paraguay extant native
Peru extant native
Poland extant vagrant
Portugal extant vagrant
Puerto Rico (to USA) extant native
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Slovenia extant vagrant
South Africa extant vagrant
Spain extant vagrant
St Barthelemy (to France) extant native
St Kitts and Nevis extant native
St Lucia extant native
St Martin (to France) extant native yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) extant native yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines extant native
Suriname extant native
Sweden extant vagrant
Trinidad and Tobago extant native yes
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) extant native yes
United Kingdom extant vagrant
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) extant native
Uruguay extant native yes
USA extant native yes
Venezuela extant native
Virgin Islands (to UK) extant native yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) extant native yes
Zambia extant vagrant
Zimbabwe extant vagrant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) North, Middle and East Caicos Ramsar Site
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Grand Turk Salinas and Shores
Cuba Humedal Sur de Sancti Spiritus
Cuba Delta del Cauto
Canada Sounding Lake
Argentina Reserva de Uso Múltiple Bañados del Río Dulce y Laguna Mar Chiquita
Barbados St Lucy Shooting Swamps
Barbados St Philip Shooting Swamps
French Guiana Amana
French Guiana Littoral
French Guiana Littoral Sinnamary
French Guiana Littoral Kourou
French Guiana Littoral Macouria
French Guiana Ile de Cayenne
French Guiana Plaine Kaw et Pointe Béhague
Guyana Guyana East Coast

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Wastewater Treatment Areas suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Boreal suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-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
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Tringa flavipes. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/lesser-yellowlegs-tringa-flavipes on 22/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 22/02/2024.