Calidris alpina 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Scolopacidae

Scientific Name: Calidris alpina (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Dunlin
French B├ęcasseau variable
Taxonomic Source(s): 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.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-03-31
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Burfield, I., Ieronymidou, C., Pople, R., Van den Bossche, W, Wheatley, H. & Wright, L
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU27 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

In Europe this species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (30% decline over ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern in Europe.

Within the EU27 this species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (30% decline over ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern in the EU27.

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Albania; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Greenland; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (European Russia); Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Bosnia and Herzegovina; Gibraltar; Liechtenstein
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1390000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:22693427-1

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 426,000-562,000 pairs, which equates to 853,000-1,120,000 mature individuals. The population in the EU27 is estimated at 24,200-41,300 pairs, which equates to 48,400-82,600 mature individuals. For details of national estimates, see the supplementary material.

Trend Justification:  In Europe the population size trend is unknown. In the EU27 the population size is estimated to be stable. For details of national estimates, see attached PDF.
For further information about this species, see 22693427_calidris_alpina.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:853000-1120000,968000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is a fully migratory circumpolar breeder with several sub-populations that employ a number of migration strategies, from short coastal flights to long, non-stop flights overland on a broad front. The sub-population that breeds in north-east Greenland migrates through Iceland, Britain and western France to arrive in its West African wintering grounds (specifically Banc d'Arguin in Mauritania) from late-July, returning again between March and early-April (Van Gils and Wiersma 1996). In the breeding season this species frequents moist boggy ground interspersed with surface water, such as tussock tundra and peat-hummock tundra in the arctic, as well as wet coastal grasslands, salt marshes and wet upland moorland (Cramp and Simmons 1977, Van Gils and Wiersma 1996). In the non-breeding season this species mainly prefer estuarine mudflats, but also frequent a wide variety of freshwater and brackish wetlands (Cramp and Simmons 1977, Van Gils and Wiersma 1996), both coastal and inland, including lagoons, muddy freshwater shores, tidal rivers, flooded fields, sewage farms, salt-works, sandy coasts (Cramp and Simmons 1977, Van Gils and Wiersma 1996), lakes and dams (Hockey et al. 2005). For roosting during high tides and at night this species prefers large fields of naturally fertilised short pasture or soil-based crops with few vertical structures that could be used by predators (Shepherd and Lank 2004). This species is omnivorous during the breeding season, consuming mostly adult and larval insects (dipteran flies, beetles, caddisflies, wasps, sawflies and mayflies), and also spiders, mites, earthworms, snails, slugs and plant matter (usually seeds) (Cramp and Simmons 1977, Van Gils and Wiersma 1996). It is also omnivorous during the non-breeding season, consuming mostly polychaete worms and small gastropods, as well as insects (dipteran flies and beetles), crustaceans, bivalves, plant matter and occasionally small fish (Cramp and Simmons 1977, Van Gils and Wiersma 1996). Its nest is a scrape or shallow depression in the ground, concealed in vegetation and sometimes in a tuft or tussock (and thus raised slightly off the ground) (Cramp and Simmons 1977, Van Gils and Wiersma 1996).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):8.1
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is significantly threatened by the loss of its breeding habitat though afforestation of moorland (Van Gils and Wiersma 1996, Lavers and Haines-Young 1997). It may also suffer from nest predation by introduced mammals (e.g. European hedgehog Erinaceus europeaus) on some islands (Jackson 2001). In the winter this species is restricted to a small number of estuaries, so it is vulnerable to any changes in this habitat for example through land reclamation (drainage) (Van Gils and Wiersma 1996), and the invasion of alien plant species (such as the grass Spartina anglica which has spread on British mudflats, resulting in the reduction in size of feeding areas available) (Van Gils and Wiersma 1996). The species is also threatened by disturbance on intertidal mudflats from construction work (UK) (Burton et al. 2002a) and foot-traffic on footpaths (Burton et al. 2002b). Important migratory stop-over habitats on the Baltic Sea coastline adjacent to the Kaliningrad region of Russia are threatened by petroleum pollution, wetland drainage for irrigation, peat-extraction, reedbed mowing and burning, and abandonment and changing land management practices leading to scrub and reed overgrowth (Grishanov 2006). The species is also susceptible to avian influenza (strain H5N1 in particular) and is therefore threatened by outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species is listed on Annex I of the EU Birds Directive and Annex II of the Bern Convention.

Conservation Actions Proposed
The provision of well-surfaced paths in breeding areas that receive > 30 visitors a day has been shown to reduce the impact of human disturbance on this species's reproductive performance (Pearce-Higgins et al. 2007). It is also known to show increased hatching success when ground predators have been excluded by erecting protective fences around nesting areas (Jackson 2001). Recreation, pollution of wetland habitats, drainage and afforestation of wetland areas at key breeding and staging areas should be controlled.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Calidris alpina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22693427A60052643. . Downloaded on 15 August 2018.
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