Ruff Calidris pugnax


Taxonomic note
Calidris pugnax (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Philomachus.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _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: #
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
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
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 -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 38,500,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 161,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate 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 - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.3 - - -

Population justification: The European population is estimated at 265,000-1,650,000 calling or lekking males, which equates to 531,000-3,310,000 mature individuals or 797,000-4,970,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 50% of the global range so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 1,594,000-9,940,000 individuals. The global population was previously estimated to number 2,000,000-2,600,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006). The upper estimate of the European population size is considerably larger than the Wetlands International (2006) global estimate. The extrapolated European population size is therefore used here and the population placed in the band 1,500,000-9,999,999 individuals.

Trend justification: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). There is evidence to suggest that the European population (265,000-1,650,000 calling or lekking males, occupying c. 50% of the global breeding range) has declined by less than 25% in 15.9 years (three generations). This may reflect shifts in breeding populations, populations in Asia are not thought to be declining and wintering populations in Africa appear to be increasing.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Albania N Extant
Algeria N Extant
Angola N Extant
Anguilla (to UK) V Extant
Antigua and Barbuda V Extant
Armenia N Extant
Australia V Extant
Austria N Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bahrain N Extant Yes Yes
Bangladesh N Extant
Barbados V Extant
Belarus N Extant Yes Yes
Belgium N Extant Yes Yes
Benin N Extant
Bermuda (to UK) V Extant
Bosnia and Herzegovina N Extant
Botswana N Extant
Brazil V Extant
Brunei N Extant
Bulgaria N Extant Yes
Burkina Faso N Extant
Burundi N Extant
Cambodia N Extant
Cameroon N Extant
Canada V Extant
Cape Verde N Extant
Cayman Islands (to UK) V Extant
Central African Republic N Extant
Chad N Extant
China (mainland) N Extant
Colombia V Extant
Comoros V Extant
Congo N Extant
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant
Costa Rica V Extant
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant
Croatia N Extant Yes Yes
Cyprus N Extant Yes Yes
Czechia N Extant Yes Yes
Denmark N Extant Yes Yes
Djibouti N Extant
Dominica V Extant
Egypt N Extant
Eritrea N Extant
Estonia N Extant Yes Yes
Eswatini N Extant
Ethiopia N Extant
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) V Extant
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France N Extant Yes Yes
Gabon N Extant
Gambia N Extant
Georgia N Extant
Germany N Extant Yes Yes
Ghana N Extant
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) V Extant
Grenada V Extant
Guadeloupe (to France) V Extant Yes
Guam (to USA) N Extant Yes
Guatemala V Extant
Guinea N Extant
Guinea-Bissau N Extant
Hong Kong (China) N Extant
Hungary N Extant Yes Yes
Iceland V Extant
India N Extant
Indonesia N Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Israel N Extant
Italy N Extant Yes Yes
Jamaica V Extant
Japan V Extant
Jordan N Extant Yes Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant
Kuwait N Extant Yes Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes
Laos V Extant
Latvia N Extant Yes Yes
Lebanon N Extant Yes Yes
Lesotho N Extant
Liberia N Extant
Libya N Extant
Liechtenstein V Extant
Lithuania N Extant Yes
Luxembourg N Extant
Madagascar V Extant
Malawi N Extant
Malaysia N Extant
Maldives V Extant
Mali N Extant
Malta N Extant
Marshall Islands N Extant Yes
Martinique (to France) V Extant
Mauritania N Extant
Mauritius V Extant
Mexico V Extant
Micronesia, Federated States of N Extant Yes
Moldova N Extant Yes
Monaco N Extant
Mongolia N Extant
Montenegro N Extant Yes Yes
Montserrat (to UK) V Extant
Morocco N Extant
Mozambique N Extant
Myanmar N Extant
Namibia N Extant
Nepal N Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
New Zealand V Extant
Niger N Extant
Nigeria N Extant
North Korea V Extant
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes Yes
Oman N Extant Yes Yes
Pakistan N Extant
Palau N Extant Yes
Palestinian Authority Territories N Extant Yes
Panama V Extant
Papua New Guinea N Extant
Peru V Extant
Philippines N Extant
Poland N Extant Yes Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) V Extant
Qatar N Extant Yes Yes
Romania N Extant Yes Yes
Russia N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes Yes
Rwanda N Extant
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes Yes
Senegal N Extant
Serbia N Extant Yes Yes
Seychelles V Extant
Sierra Leone N Extant
Singapore N Extant
Slovakia N Extant
Slovenia N Extant Yes Yes
Solomon Islands V Extant
Somalia N Extant
South Africa N Extant
South Korea N Extant
South Sudan N Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes Yes
Sri Lanka N Extant
St Kitts and Nevis V Extant
St Lucia V Extant
St Vincent and the Grenadines V Extant
Sudan N Extant
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) V Extant
Sweden N Extant Yes Yes
Switzerland N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes Yes
Taiwan, China N Extant
Tajikistan N Extant
Tanzania N Extant
Thailand N Extant
Timor-Leste N Extant Yes Yes
Togo N Extant
Trinidad and Tobago V Extant
Tunisia N Extant
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant
Uganda N Extant
Ukraine N Extant Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes Yes
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) V Extant
USA V Extant Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant
Venezuela V Extant
Vietnam N Extant
Virgin Islands (to UK) V Extant
Virgin Islands (to USA) V Extant
Yemen N Extant Yes Yes
Zambia N Extant
Zimbabwe N Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Cameroon Logone flood-plain
Chad Lake Chad
Estonia Alam-Pedja
Estonia Lahemaa
Estonia Lavassaare
Estonia Muraka
Estonia Nätsi-Võlla
Ethiopia Abijatta - Shalla Lakes National Park
Finland Kemihaara (Vuotos) mires and forests
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju
Finland Martimoaapa-Lumiaapa-Penikat
Finland Oulu region wetlands
Finland Pomokaira-Koitelaiskaira
Finland Saariselkä and Koilliskaira
France Plaine du Forez
Germany Aland-Elbe lowlands
Germany Altmühl valley between Treuchtlingen and Leutershausen with Altmühlsee
Germany Blockland - lower Wümme valley - Westliches Hollerland
Germany Coast and lagoons of Western Pomerania
Germany Danube valley: Neu-Ulm - Lauingen incl. Faiminger Stausee, Donau-Moos, and Gundelfinger Moos
Germany Donauried
Germany Drömling (Sachsen-Anhalt)
Germany Elbe marshes between Stade and Otterndorf
Germany Elzniederung between Kenzingen and Rust
Germany Emsaue (Rietberger Emsniederung - Steinhorster Becken)
Germany Federseeried
Germany Greifswalder Bodden
Germany Hellwegbörde
Germany Hessian Rhine alluvion
Germany Isar valley: Gottfrieding - Plattling incl. Isar mouth
Germany Jadebusen, inland
Germany Krummhörn-Westermarsch
Germany Leine valley near Salzderhelden
Germany Lower Havel - Lake Schollene - Lake Gülpe
Germany Lower Inn: Haiming - Neuhaus including the Neuhaus, Egglfing, Ering, and Simbach reservoirs
Germany Lower Oder valley
Germany Lower reaches of River Weser, unembanked area
Germany Lower Rhine
Germany Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park
Germany Lowlands of the Rivers Eider, Treene and Sorge
Germany Mittelwesermarsch
Germany Niedervieland, Ochtumniederung
Germany Nuthe - Nieplitz lowlands
Germany Oberes Rhinluch / Havelländisches Luch Nauen-Friesack
Germany Ponds and Elbe valley near Torgau
Germany Rieselfelder Münster
Germany Rietzer See
Germany Salziger See and Salza valley
Germany Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park (includes the Halligs, Kniepsand/Amrum, Lister Koog, Rantumbecken, Rickelsb
Germany Schwalmaue around Schwalmstadt
Germany Spreewald
Germany Unteres Rhinluch-Dreetzer See / Havelländisches Luch / Belziger Landschaftswiesen
Germany Untersee of Lake Constance
Germany Vogelfreistätte Mittlere Isar-Stauseen
Germany Wagbach lowlands
Germany Werderland
Germany Wümme lowlands Borgfeld-Fischerhude
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to
India Bardha Dam
India Kaj Lake (Pipalava Bandharo)
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Uromiyeh
Kazakhstan Caspian Sea shore between Volga and Ural River Deltas
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Tuzashchy and Karasor Lakes
Kazakhstan Uyalyshalkar Lake System
Kazakhstan Vicinity of Korgalzhyn village
Kazakhstan Zhumay-Mayshukyr Lake System
Latvia Engure lake
Latvia Liepaja lake
Latvia Teici and Pelecare bogs
Latvia Ziemelu bogs
Lithuania Birveta Fish-farm including segments of Dysna River and Birveta River valleys
Lithuania Kretuonas Landscape Reserve
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park
Mali Lac Débo - Lac Oualado Débo
Mali Lac Faguibine
Mali Lac Horo
Mali Timisobo - Képagou
Mauritania Gâat Mahmoûdé
Mauritania Gabou
Mauritania Tâmourt en Na'âj
Netherlands Alde Feanen
Netherlands Groote Wielen
Netherlands Ilperveld, Varkensland, Oostzanerveld & Twiske
Netherlands Lauwersmeer
Netherlands Oostzanerveld
Netherlands Workumerwaard
Netherlands Wormer- en Jisperveld & Kalverpolder
Nigeria Hadejia-Nguru wetlands
Pakistan Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary
Poland Biebrza river valley
Romania Buhuşu reservoir - Bacău - Tătărăşti
Romania Câmpia Crişurilor
Romania Cefa fish-ponds and Radvani wood
Romania Comana
Romania Danube Delta
Romania Jijiei şi Miletinului fish-ponds
Romania Lacurile Fălticeni
Romania Maglavit
Romania Miheşu de Câmpie-Taureni fish-ponds
Romania Suhaia
Russia (Asian) Batanakovskiye swamps
Russia (Asian) Khadyn lake
Russia (Central Asian) Dvuob'ye
Russia (Central Asian) Krutali Lake
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Ob'
Russia (European) Kozinka lake and Baranikovski segment of Manych
Saudi Arabia Sabkhat al-Fasl lagoons
Senegal Djoudj wetlands
Senegal Ndiaël basin (including the Trois Marigots)
Senegal River Sénégal (Ntiagar to Richard-Toll)
Slovakia Senné
Slovenia Lake Cerknica
Slovenia River Drava
Somalia Far Waamo
South Sudan Lake Abiad (South Sudan)
Sudan Lake Abiad (Sudan)
Sweden Lake Ånn – Storlien
Sweden Muddus
Tanzania Lake Manyara
Ukraine Syvash Bay
United Kingdom Dungeness To Pett Levels
United Kingdom Hamford Water
United Kingdom Humber Estuary
United Kingdom Lower Derwent Valley
United Kingdom Martin Mere
United Kingdom Mid-Essex Coast
United Kingdom Nene Washes
United Kingdom North Norfolk Coast
United Kingdom Ouse Washes
United Kingdom The Swale
Uzbekistan Sudochye Lake
Zambia Bangweulu Swamps
Zambia Barotse Floodplains
Zambia Kafue Flats

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels) suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land major non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-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
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Calidris pugnax. Downloaded from on 22/01/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/01/2020.