Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
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.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Least Concern
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) 13,600,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 20,600,000 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) 7.6 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to be 205,000-295,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 56,700-83,000 pairs, which equates to 113,000-166,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). The population is therefore placed in the band 200,000-299,999 individuals.

Trend justification: This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). Populations elsewhere are stable or unknown. The European population trend is unknown (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Austria V Extant
Belarus V Extant
Belgium N Extant Yes
Canada N Extant Yes Yes
Cape Verde V Extant
Croatia V Extant
Czechia V Extant
Denmark N Extant Yes Yes
Estonia N Extant Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France N Extant Yes Yes
Germany N Extant Yes
Greece V Extant
Greenland (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Hungary V Extant
Iceland N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Italy V Extant
Kazakhstan V Extant
Latvia V Extant
Libya V Extant
Malta V Extant
Montenegro V Extant
Morocco V Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes
Poland N Extant Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes Yes
Serbia V Extant
Slovakia V Extant
Slovenia V Extant
Spain N Extant Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) N Extant Yes Yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) N Extant Yes
Sweden N Extant Yes
Switzerland V Extant
Ukraine V Extant
United Kingdom N Extant Yes Yes
USA N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Greenland (to Denmark) Booth Sund area
Greenland (to Denmark) Kitsissut Avalliit (Ydre Kitsissut)
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Skúvoy
Iceland Longufjorur
Iceland Stokkseyri-Eyrarbakki
Iceland Stafnes-Gardur
Iceland Skerjafjordur
Iceland Alftanes-Akrar
Iceland Melrakkasletta
Ireland Inishkea Islands
Belgium Westkust
Sweden Lake Tjålme – Valley of Lais
Sweden Vindel Mountains (including Lake Tärna)
Sweden Kullaberg
Sweden Lake Ånn – Storlien
Finland Föglö southern archipelago
Finland Kirkkonummi archipelago
Finland Kokkola and Kälviä archipelago
Finland Käsivarsi fjelds
Russia (European) Ainov islands
Russia (European) Bezymyannaya and Gribovaya Bays and adjoining waters
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin
France Iles Saint Marcouf
France Marais de la Baie d'Audierne
France Archipel des Glénan
France Baies de Morlaix et de Carantec
France Baie de Quiberon
France Baie de Goulven
France Cap Fagnet
France Estuaire et embouchure de la Seine
France Cap Gris-nez
France Anse de Fouras, baie d'Yves et marais de Rochefort
France Anse du Fiers d'Ars en Ré
France Traicts et marais salants de la Presqu'île Guérandaise
United Kingdom Belfast Lough
United Kingdom Bridgend Flats, Islay
United Kingdom Coquet Island
United Kingdom Dee Estuary
United Kingdom Duddon Estuary
United Kingdom Dundrum Inner Bay
United Kingdom East Sanday
United Kingdom Calf of Eday
United Kingdom Eden Estuary, Tentsmuir Point and Abertay Sands
United Kingdom Fair Isle
United Kingdom Firth of Forth
United Kingdom Foula
United Kingdom Hamford Water
United Kingdom Humber Estuary
United Kingdom Inner Clyde
United Kingdom Lindisfarne
United Kingdom Mid-Essex Coast
United Kingdom Moray Basin, Firths and Bays
United Kingdom Morecambe Bay
United Kingdom North Mainland Coast
United Kingdom North Norfolk Coast
United Kingdom North Ronaldsay Coast
United Kingdom North Uist Machair and Islands
United Kingdom North Yorkshire Moors
United Kingdom Northumbria Coast
United Kingdom Outer Ards
United Kingdom Papa Stour
United Kingdom Papa Westray (North Hill and Holm)
United Kingdom Poole Harbour
United Kingdom Ribble and Alt Estuaries
United Kingdom Rosehearty to Fraserburgh Coast
United Kingdom Uists Machairs, Lochs and Coast
United Kingdom South Westray Coast
United Kingdom South-eastern Stronsay
United Kingdom Solent Marshes and Southampton Water
United Kingdom Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast
United Kingdom Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay
United Kingdom The Wash
United Kingdom Tiree and Coll
United Kingdom Upper Solway Flats and Marshes
United Kingdom Eoligarry, Barra
United Kingdom West Westray
United Kingdom Sounds around Wyre
United Kingdom Isle of Man Sea Cliffs
United Kingdom Jersey Shoreline
United Kingdom Guernsey Shoreline
United Kingdom West Coast of Benbecula
Greenland (to Denmark) Kitsissunnguit (Grønne Ejland)
Norway Ørlandet
Norway Vega archipelago
Norway Neiden- & Munkefjord
Norway Varangerfjord
Norway Stjørdalsfjord
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Inner parts of Kongsfjorden
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve
Sweden Tavvavouma
France Estuaire de la Bidassoa et Baie de Fontarabie
France Baie de Saint-Brieuc
France Rade de Brest: Baie de Daoulas et Anse du Poulmic
France Baie de Vilaine
France Rade de Lorient
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon
France Archipel des Sept-Iles
Canada Grand Manan Archipelago
Canada Point Lepreau/Maces Bay
Canada Quoddy Region
Canada Cape St. Francis
Canada Mistaken Point
Canada Coats Island/Cape Pembroke
Canada Twin Islands
Canada Île Blanche
Canada Île aux Fraises
Canada Marais de Saint-Fulgence
Canada Île Rouge
Canada Batture aux Alouettes and mouth of Saguenay River
Canada Northeast James Bay Coast
Sweden Weather Islands
Finland Korppoo and Nauvo southern archipelago
Ireland Mid Clare Coast including Mutton and Mattle Islands
Ireland Broadhaven, Blacksod and Tullaghan Bays and parts of the Mullet peninsula
Ireland Skerries Islands
Norway Balsfjord
Norway Inner Porsangerfjord
Norway Varangerfjord (including Hornøya and Reinøya)
Norway Froan
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Adventdalen & Adventfjorden
Norway Reisa
Norway Varanger Peninsula
Norway Hardangervidda
Norway Dovrefjell
Sweden Sjaunja
Iceland Breidafjördur
Iceland Skardsfjördur
Iceland Borgarfjördur-Myrar-Longufjorur

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Tundra major breeding
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches major breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Tundra Wetlands (incl. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 300 m 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
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Calidris maritima. Downloaded from on 26/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/03/2023.