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.
The global population is estimated to number c.460,000-730,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). This roughly equates to 300,000-500,000 mature individuals. National population estimates include: c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China; c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-10,000 wintering individuals in Taiwan, China; c.50-10,000 individuals on migration 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 European population is estimated at 35,900-77,100 pairs, which equates to 71,800-154,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).
The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). In North America, the population has been undergoing a slow or non-significant decline over the last four decades (based on Partners in Flight; A. Panjabi in litt. 2017), while in Europe the population size is estimated to be decreasing by less than 25% over three generations (BirdLife International 2015).
Behaviour This species is fully migratory (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It breeds from May to early-August in solitary pairs, although several pairs may nest close together in optimal habitats along coasts or on islands (Johnsgard 1981, Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). The species migrates in large flocks and is gregarious and sociable when feeding or roosting in winter, often foraging in close flocks of 10-100 or more individuals, especially in tidal areas (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998).
Habitat Breeding The species breeds near the coast or up to several kilometres inland in the high Arctic, nesting on coastal plains, marshes and tundra and showing a preference for mosaics of bare rock, clay or shingle and vegetation near water or in areas that remain damp until late summer (Johnsgard 1981, Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species is mainly coastal, although on migration it may occur inland along dykes or on lake shores (del Hoyo et al. 1996). During the winter it frequents productive rocky and shingle shores, breakwaters, sandy beaches with storm-wracked seaweed, short-grass saltmarshes, sheltered inlets, estuaries, mangroves swamps, exposed reefs and mudflats with beds of molluscs (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Diet Breeding On its Arctic breeding grounds the species takes Diptera (especially adult and larval midges) as well as larval Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera and spiders, occasionally also taking vegetable matter early in the season (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season its diet consists of insects, crustaceans, molluscs (especially mussels or cockles), annelids, echinoderms, small fish, carrion and birds eggs (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Breeding site The nest is a shallow depression in mud, peat or on dry ground with dense vegetation, often positioned on a slight ridge, hummock or tussock, or in cleft or shallow fissure (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). The species usually nests solitarily, although neighbouring pairs may nest as little as 15 m apart along coasts or on islands (where abundant feeding habitats are available) (Snow and Perrins 1998).
Management information Removing feral American mink Neovison vison from a large archipelago with many small islands in the Baltic Sea had the result of increasing the breeding density of this species in the area (Nordstrom et al. 2003).
The species suffers nest predation from feral American mink Neovison vison in some regions (Nordström et al. 2003). It is susceptible to avian influenza, so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006).
Conservation Actions Underway
The species is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention.
Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's European range only: Removing feral American Mink (Neovison vison) from a large archipelago with many small islands in the Baltic Sea had the result of increasing the breeding density of this species in the area (Nordström et al. 2003).
Text account compilers
Malpas, L., Ashpole, J, Ekstrom, J., Everest, J., Butchart, S.
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Arenaria interpres. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2021.