Red Knot Calidris canutus


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#.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
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.
SACC. 2005 and updates. 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.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Near Threatened A2abc+3bc+4abc
2016 Near Threatened A2abc+3bc+4abc
2015 Near Threatened A2abc+3bc+4abc
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 142 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 17,800,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 300,000,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size unknown poor estimated 2012
Population trend decreasing - suspected 2006-2026
Rate of change over the past 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 20-29% - - -
Rate of change over the future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 20-29% - - -
Rate of change over the past & future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 20-29% - - -
Generation length 6.8 years - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number 891,000-979,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 15,000-30,000 pairs, which equates to 30,000-60,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015), and the population overwintering in Australia and the Americas have been estimated at 110,000 individuals (Hansen et al. 2016) and 44,763 individuals (Niles et al. 2010) respectively.

Trend justification: The islandica population trend shows a moderate decrease between 2003 and 2012, whilst the long-term trend is fluctuating (Nagy et al. 2014, Wetlands International 2018). However the European Red List of Birds suggests that the population is increasing strongly in the short-term and experiencing a moderate increase in the long-term (BirdLife International 2015). Van Roomen et al. (2014) found the population was stable/fluctuating in the short- and long-term. The canutus population decreased strongly in the short- and long-term (2003-2014 and 1979-2014, respectively) (van Roomen et al. 2014). The roselaari population trend is uncertain, but is possibly declining (Andres et al. 2012).

The rufa population has undergone a significant decline in the last decade (Andres et al. 2012). The number of birds in Tierra del Fuego declined strongly (75% decrease) between 1985-2000 (52,244 individuals) and 2011-2013 (11,385 individuals) (USFWS 2014). Between 2010 and 2015 the population at Tierra del Fuego has varied in the range of 10,000-15,000 individuals (R.I.G. Morrison in litt. 2015). Whilst counts in Delaware Bay showed similarly large declines: 70% decrease between 1981-1983 (59,946 individuals) and 2005-2014 (18,387) (USFWS 2014). 

Approximately 10-14% of the global population uses the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. An analysis of monitoring data from around Australia and New Zealand found that both the piersmai and rogersi populations which use the flyway have experienced strong population declines, estimated at a 57.4% decrease over three generations (Studds et al. 2017). This decrease is supported by a study on adult survival. Survival in north-west Australia in late winter was constantly high however survival during periods away from Australia declined in 2011, with an annual survival rate of 0.67 (Piersma et al. 2016). The study predicts the population will halve within four years. Overall the global population is estimated to be decreasing at a rate of c. 25% in three generations.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Albania extant vagrant
Algeria extant native
Angola extant native
Anguilla (to UK) extant native
Antigua and Barbuda extant native
Argentina extant native yes yes
Aruba (to Netherlands) extant native
Australia extant native yes
Austria extant native
Azerbaijan extant vagrant
Bahamas extant native
Bangladesh extant native
Barbados extant native
Belarus extant vagrant yes
Belgium extant native yes
Belize extant native yes
Benin extant native
Bermuda (to UK) extant native
Bolivia extant native
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) extant native
Botswana extant vagrant
Brazil extant native
Brunei extant native
Bulgaria extant native yes
Cameroon extant native
Canada extant native yes
Cape Verde extant vagrant
Cayman Islands (to UK) extant native
Chile extant native yes
China (mainland) extant native yes
Colombia extant native
Congo extant native
Costa Rica extant native yes
Côte d'Ivoire extant native
Croatia extant vagrant
Cuba extant native
Curaçao (to Netherlands) extant native
Cyprus extant vagrant
Czechia extant native
Denmark extant native yes yes
Dominica extant native
Dominican Republic extant native
Ecuador extant native
Egypt extant native
El Salvador extant native
Equatorial Guinea extant native yes
Estonia extant native yes
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) extant vagrant
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) extant native
Fiji extant vagrant yes
Finland extant native yes
France extant native yes yes
French Guiana extant native
French Southern Territories extant vagrant
Gabon extant native
Gambia extant native
Georgia extant vagrant
Germany extant native yes yes
Ghana extant native
Gibraltar (to UK) extant vagrant
Greece extant native yes yes
Greenland (to Denmark) extant native yes
Grenada extant native
Guadeloupe (to France) extant vagrant yes
Guam (to USA) extant vagrant
Guatemala extant native
Guinea extant native
Guinea-Bissau extant native
Guyana extant native
Haiti extant native
Honduras extant native
Hong Kong (China) extant native
Hungary extant native
Iceland extant native yes yes
India extant native
Indonesia extant native yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of extant native yes yes
Iraq extant vagrant
Ireland extant native yes
Israel extant native
Italy extant native yes
Jamaica extant vagrant
Japan extant native
Jordan extant vagrant
Kazakhstan extant vagrant
Kenya extant vagrant
Kuwait extant vagrant yes
Latvia extant native
Lebanon extant vagrant yes
Liberia extant native
Libya extant native
Luxembourg extant vagrant
Malaysia extant native
Mali extant vagrant
Malta extant vagrant
Martinique (to France) extant native
Mauritania extant native
Mexico extant native
Mongolia extant vagrant
Montenegro extant vagrant
Montserrat (to UK) extant native
Morocco extant native
Mozambique extant vagrant
Myanmar extant native
Namibia extant native
Nepal extant vagrant
Netherlands extant native yes yes
New Zealand extant native yes
Nigeria extant native
North Korea extant native yes
North Macedonia extant native yes
Norway extant native yes
Oman extant vagrant yes
Pakistan extant native
Palau extant vagrant
Panama extant native
Papua New Guinea extant native
Paraguay extant native
Peru extant native
Philippines extant native
Poland extant native yes
Portugal extant native yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) extant native
Romania extant vagrant
Russia extant native yes
Russia (Asian) extant native yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant native yes
Russia (European) extant native
Saudi Arabia extant vagrant yes
Senegal extant native
Serbia extant vagrant
Seychelles extant native
Sierra Leone extant native
Singapore extant native
Slovakia extant native
Slovenia extant vagrant
Somalia extant vagrant
South Africa extant native
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands extant native
South Korea extant native yes
Spain extant native yes yes
Sri Lanka extant native
St Barthelemy (to France) extant native
St Kitts and Nevis extant native
St Lucia extant native
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) extant native yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines extant native
Sudan extant vagrant yes
Suriname extant native
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) extant native yes
Sweden extant native yes
Switzerland extant native
Taiwan, China extant native
Tanzania extant native
Thailand extant native
Timor-Leste extant vagrant
Togo extant native
Trinidad and Tobago extant native
Tunisia extant native
Türkiye extant native yes yes
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) extant native
Ukraine extant native yes
United Arab Emirates extant vagrant yes yes
United Kingdom extant native yes yes
Uruguay extant native yes
USA extant native yes
Venezuela extant native
Vietnam extant native
Virgin Islands (to UK) extant native yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) extant native yes
Western Sahara extant native
Yemen extant vagrant yes yes
Zambia extant vagrant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Greenland (to Denmark) Hochstetter Forland
Iceland Longufjorur
Iceland Alftanes-Akrar
Iceland Skerjafjordur
Iceland Stokkseyri-Eyrarbakki
Iceland Melrakkasletta
Iceland Alftafjordur-Hofsstadavogur
France Baie du Mont Saint Michel et Ile des Landes
France Ile d'Oléron, marais de Brouage-Saint-Agnant
France Estuaires picards : baies de Somme et d'Authie
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin
France Pointe de Grave
France Estuaire de la Charente
Greenland (to Denmark) South coast of Germania Land, and Slaedelandet
Denmark Vadehavet (Wadden Sea)
Denmark Mandø
Denmark Tøndermarsken, Magisterkog and Rudbøl Sø
Denmark Fanø
Guinea-Bissau Rio Tombali, Rio Cumbijã and Ilha de Melo
Morocco Baie d'Ad Dakhla
South Africa West Coast National Park and Saldanha Bay islands
Venezuela Refugio de Fauna Silvestre y Reserva de Pesca Ciénaga de Los Olivitos
Russia (Asian) Tyk and Viakhtu bays
Russia (Asian) Kuril islands (between Urup and Paramushir)
Russia (Asian) Aniva bay
Russia (Asian) Lesser Kuril Ridge and Kunashir Island
Russia (Asian) Nevskoye Lake
Russia (Asian) North-east Sakhalin lagoons
Russia (Asian) Moroshechnaya River
Malaysia Sadong-Saribas coast
Canada Batture aux Alouettes and mouth of Saguenay River
Argentina San Antonio Oeste
Costa Rica Nicoya Gulf mangroves and coastal areas
United Kingdom Lindisfarne
United Kingdom Gibraltar Point
United Kingdom Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore
United Kingdom North Norfolk Coast
United Kingdom Benfleet and Southend Marshes
United Kingdom Dee Estuary
United Kingdom Firth of Forth
United Kingdom Morecambe Bay
United Kingdom Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast
United Kingdom Humber Estuary
United Kingdom The Swale
United Kingdom Ribble and Alt Estuaries
United Kingdom Stour and Orwell Estuaries
United Kingdom The Wash
United Kingdom Upper Solway Flats and Marshes
United Kingdom Mid-Essex Coast
United Kingdom Montrose Basin
United Kingdom Moray Basin, Firths and Bays
United Kingdom Strangford Lough and islands
Argentina Reserva Costa Atlántica de Tierra del Fuego y zonas adyacentes
French Guiana Amana
Chile Marisma Buque Quemado
Chile Bahía Lomas
Australia Eighty Mile Beach
USA Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Germany Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park
Germany Rysumer Nacken
Germany Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park (includes the Halligs, Kniepsand/Amrum, Lister Koog, Rantumbecken, Rickelsb
Ireland Dundalk Bay
Ireland Boyne estuary
Ireland Nanny estuary and shoreline
Ireland Rogerstown estuary
Ireland Dublin Bay
China (mainland) Shuangtai (Shuangtaizi) Estuary and Inner Gulf of Liaodong
Russia (Asian) Ola lagoon
Norway Lille Porsangen
Norway Inner Porsangerfjord
Norway Balsfjord
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Sassen-Bünsow Land
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) South Spitsbergen National Park
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Nordenskiöldkysten
USA Delaware Coastal Zone
USA Cape Lookout National Seashore
USA Delaware Bayshore Region
Netherlands Oosterschelde
Netherlands Wadden Sea
Germany Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park
Guinea-Bissau Rio Cacheu
Guinea-Bissau Rio Mansôa and Gêba estuary
Guinea-Bissau Lagoas de Cufada
Guinea-Bissau Ilha de Bolama - Rio Grande de Buba
Guinea-Bissau Arquipélago dos Bijagós
Guinea-Bissau Cantanhez forests
Sierra Leone Yawri Bay
Senegal Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie
Senegal Niayes (from Dakar to St Louis)
Senegal La Petite Côte
Senegal Joal-Fadiouth
Senegal Delta du Saloum
Senegal Kalissaye Avifaunal Reserve
Mauritania Banc d'Arguin National Park
Mauritania Aftout es Sâheli
Mauritania Diawling National Park
Brazil Baixada Maranhense
Brazil Parque Nacional da Lagoa do Peixe
Brazil Reentrâncias Maranhenses / Paraenses
Mexico Ría Celestún
Mexico Ría Lagartos
Mexico Bahía Navachiste
Mexico Bahía Santa María
Mexico Istmo de Tehuantepec - Mar Muerto
Mexico Marismas Nacionales
Mexico Complejo Lagunar Ojo de Liebre
Mexico Área de San Quintín
Mexico Bahía Todos Santos
Mexico Zonas Húmedas de Yávaros
Colombia Complejo de Humedales Costeros de la Guajira
Guyana Guyana East Coast
Honduras Golfo de Fonseca
Russia (Asian) Lower Nizhnyaya Taymyra river

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 suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 300 m 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 Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Marine & freshwater aquaculture - Industrial aquaculture Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species disturbance, Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species disturbance, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species disturbance, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Viral/prion-induced diseases - Avian Influenza Virus (H5N1 subtype) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Whole (>90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Residential & commercial development Tourism & recreation areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Calidris canutus. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/red-knot-calidris-canutus on 04/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 04/12/2023.