Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris


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
C2a(i,ii); D C2a(i,ii); D C2a(i,ii); D1

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Critically Endangered C2a(i,ii);D
2016 Critically Endangered C2a(i,ii);D
2015 Critically Endangered C2a(i,ii);D
2012 Critically Endangered C2a(i,ii);D
2010 Critically Endangered C2a(ii); D1
2009 Critically Endangered C2a(ii); D1
2008 Critically Endangered
2004 Critically Endangered
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Critically Endangered
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 303,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 11,300,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1-49 medium estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing poor 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 1 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 100 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9.9 - - -

Population justification: The population is assumed to be tiny (fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals) based on the lack of recent records. There are no recent confirmed sightings of this species within Europe, where it formerly regularly wintered. At the European level, it is classified as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) (BirdLife International 2015). A record of an individual at Druridge Bay, Northumberland (Great Britain) in May 1998 was not confirmed (Collinson et al. 2014).

Trend justification: There are very few recent (uncontroversial) records of this species and they are becoming more infrequent so a continuing decline is suspected, although the rate is not known.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Albania N Extant Yes Yes
Algeria N Extant Yes Yes
Austria V Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina V Extant Yes Yes
Bulgaria N Extant Yes
Canada V Extant
Croatia N Extant Yes Yes
Cyprus V Extant Yes
Czechia U Extant
Egypt V Extant Yes
France V Extant Yes
Germany V Extant
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Hungary N Extant Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes Yes
Israel V Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes Yes
Japan U Extant
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kuwait V Extant Yes
Libya U Extant Yes
Malta V Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes
Morocco N Extant Yes
Netherlands V Extant
North Macedonia N Extant Yes Yes
Palestine V Extant Yes
Poland V Extant
Portugal V Extant
Romania N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes
Serbia N Extant Yes
Spain V Extant
Sudan U Possibly Extinct Yes
Switzerland V Extant
Tunisia N Extant Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes
Ukraine N Extant Yes
United Kingdom V Extant
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes
Yemen N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Serbia Carska bara
Serbia Slano Kopovo
Azerbaijan Yashma Island
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons
Greece Evros delta
Greece Amvrakikos gulf
Greece Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas rivers' deltas
Greece Alyki Angelochoriou lagoon (Megalou Emvolou)
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou)
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons
Greece Kalamas delta
Greece Lagoons of Kerkyra island
Greece Spercheios valley and delta and Maliakos gulf
Greece Gallikos estuary and Kalochori lagoon
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to
Hungary Hódmezővásárhely Pusztas
Ukraine Yagorlyts'ka and Tendrivs'ka Bays
Ukraine Karkinits'ka and Dzharylgats'ka bays
Italy Orbetello lagoon and Burano lake
Italy Diaccia Botrona
Italy Circeo National Park
Italy River Sesia heronries
Italy Manfredonia Gulf wetlands
Italy Migliarino-San Rossore
Italy Uccellina mountains, Trappola marshes and Ombrone mouth
Italy Lake Massaciuccoli
Italy Simeto mouth and middle course and Biviere di Lentini
Albania Patoku lagoon
Greece Agios Mamas marsh
Greece Mount Dikaios, lake Psalidi and Alyki lagoon, Kos
Greece Schinias marsh
Italy Lakes Lesina and Varano
Croatia Jelas Field
Croatia Neretva Delta
Morocco Merja Zerga
Italy Argentario, Laguna di Orbetello Lagoon e Lago di Burano
Italy Gargano Promontory and Capitanata Wetlands
Iraq Sinnaf Seasonal Wetlands
Iraq Haur Al Hammar
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay
Oman Barr al Hikman
Saudi Arabia Jizan Bay
Yemen Al-Mukha - Al-Khawkhah
Russia (Central Asian) Blagoveschenskaya (Kulunda lake and vicinity)
Bulgaria Atanasovsko Lake
Bulgaria Chengene Skele
Bulgaria Mandra-Poda complex
Uzbekistan Sudochye Lake
Iraq Central Marshes
Iraq Haur Al Shubaicha
Israel Western Negev
Israel Southern Arava valley and Elat mountains
Romania Danube Delta
Greece Lakes Volvi, Koroneia and Rentina Gorge
Greece Evrotas delta

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools unset non-breeding
Altitude   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 Unknown Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Numenius tenuirostris. Downloaded from on 14/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 14/08/2022.