Calidris ferruginea


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Calidris ferruginea
Species Authority: (Pontoppidan 1763)
Common Name(s):
English Curlew Sandpiper
French Bécasseau cocorli
Taxonomic Notes: Calidris paramelanotos (Hayman et al.1986) was treated as a subspecies of C. melanotos following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993) but is now considered a hybrid of C. melanotus and C. ferruginea following Higgins and Davies (1996). Calidris cooperi was described by Baird in 1858 based on a specimen collected on Long Island, New York, USA in May 1833 (Cox 1990b). There is a possible Australian record of a bird captured at Stockton, New South Wales, Australia, in March 1981 (Cox 1990a), but studies of the type suggest that the form is of hybrid origin, Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper C. acuminata (Cox 1990b).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.
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). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely 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.

Geographic Range [top]

Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola (Angola); Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Armenia (Armenia); Australia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Barbados; Belarus; Belgium; Benin; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; British Indian Ocean Territory; Brunei Darussalam; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cambodia; Cameroon; Canada; Cape Verde; Central African Republic; Chad; China; Christmas Island; Comoros; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Djibouti; Dominica; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Estonia; Ethiopia; Finland; France; French Southern Territories; Gabon; Gambia; Georgia; Germany; Ghana; Greece; Guadeloupe; Guam; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Hong Kong; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Malawi; Malaysia; Maldives; Mali; Malta; Martinique; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Montserrat; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nepal; Netherlands; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Niger; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Réunion; Romania; Russian Federation; Rwanda; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia (Serbia); Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Singapore; Slovakia; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Swaziland; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States (Georgia); Uzbekistan; Viet Nam; Western Sahara; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Bermuda; Bhutan; Ecuador; Gibraltar; Grenada; Iceland; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Lesotho; Luxembourg; Marshall Islands; Mexico; Puerto Rico; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Sao Tomé and Principe; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Trinidad and Tobago; Virgin Islands, British
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population is estimated to number c.1,800,000-1,900,000 individuals (Wetlands International, 2006), while national population estimates include: c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in Taiwan; < c.1,000 individuals on migration in Korea and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
For further information about this species, see 22693431_calidris_ferruginea.pdf.
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Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour This species is a full migrant, moving long distances by well-travelled routes (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). During the autumn migration adults precede the juveniles, with males leaving 3-4 weeks before the females in early-July, and juveniles following 4-6 weeks later (del Hoyo et al. 1996). On this southern migration, the species crosses Europe in July, reaching Africa from mid-July to September (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The return migration to the breeding grounds begins late-April to May, with arrival in the Arctic beginning in early-June, and breeding stretching from June to July (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Many 1st-year birds remain on the wintering grounds, and non-breeding adults remain just south of the breeding grounds in Central Siberia during the summer (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Nest density on the breeding grounds in commonly 1-2 pairs/ha (Johnsgard 1981), but pairs will sometimes nest as close as 200-300 m (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species is gregarious outside of the breeding season, occurring in small parties or larger flocks of up to several hundreds on the coast, but usually in smaller numbers inland (although gatherings of hundreds can occur locally on passage) (Urban et al. 1986). It forages both diurnally and nocturnally (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat Breeding This species breeds on slightly elevated areas in the lowlands of the high Arctic (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996) especially on southward-facing slopes (Johnsgard 1981), as well as along the coast and islands of the Arctic Ocean (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It shows a preference for open tundra with marshy, boggy depressions and pools (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998) from melting permafrost and snow (Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding In the winter the species chiefly occurs on coastal brackish lagoons, tidal mud- and sandflats, estuaries, saltmarshes (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998), exposed coral, rocky shores and tidewrack on sandy beaches (Urban et al. 1986), and also inland on the muddy edges of marshes, large rivers and lakes (both saline and freshwater), irrigated land, flooded areas (del Hoyo et al. 1996), dams (Urban et al. 1986) and saltpans (Khomenko 2006). Diet Breeding On the breeding grounds the diet of this species consists mainly of insects, such as the adults, pupae and larva of Diptera (e.g. midges, craneflies (Johnsgard 1981)) and beetles, as well as bugs and leeches (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Non-breeding In the winter its diet consists of polycheate worms, molluscs, crustaceans (such as amphipods, brine shrimps and copepods), and occasionally insects and seeds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a cup positioned on the margins of marshes or pools, on the slopes of hummock tundra, or on dry patches in Polygonum tundra (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In China and South Korea important migrational staging areas of this species around the coast of the Yellow Sea are being lost through land reclamation, and degraded as a result of declining river flows (from water abstraction), increased environmental pollution, unsustainable harvesting of benthic fauna and a reduction in the amount of sediment being carried into the area by the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers (Barter 2002, Barter 2006, Kelin and Qiang 2006). The species is threatened on the south-east coast of India (Point Calimere) by illegal hunting (bird trapping), reservoir and marshland habitat alteration by salt-industries, and habitat degradation by diminishing rainfall (changing the salt regime) (Balachandran 2006). It is also threatened at Walvis Bay in Namibia, a key wetland site in southern Africa, by habitat degradation (e.g. changes in the flood regime due to road building, and wetland reclamation for suburb and port development), and disturbance from tourism (Wearne and Underhill 2005). This species is susceptible to avian influenza (Melville and Shortridge 2006, Gaidet et al. 2007) and avian botulism (Blaker 1967, van Heerden 1974) so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Calidris ferruginea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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