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Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
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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 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). 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.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
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.; 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.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number c.3,100,000-3,600,000 individuals (Wetlands International, 2006), while national population estimates include: c.100,000-1 million breeding pairs, >c.10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China; c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Taiwan; c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-1 million breeding pairs and >c.1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Behaviour This species is a full migrant, travelling overland on a broad front across Europe and the Middle East (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The adults start to move away from the breeding grounds in late-June, with juveniles following in late-August, arriving in tropical Africa from late-July through August to October (Snow and Perrins 1998). On this southern migration many birds frequent stop-over sites to the north of the Mediterranean (especially in France and Italy), after which they overfly the Sahara (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Spring departure from the wintering grounds begins in late-March to early-April (Snow and Perrins 1998), with breeding areas starting to be reoccupied from late-April (early June in northern Russia) (Snow and Perrins 1998), and with breeding occurring between May and mid-July (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Some non-breeding birds may also remain in the south throughout the summer (Snow and Perrins 1998). The species nests in well-dispersed solitary pairs (from 1-10 pairs per km2 to 50 pairs per km2 in forest tundra) (del Hoyo et al. 1996), but in winter it may occur in small scattered groups or larger flocks (20-50 individuals), and concentrations can exceed 1,000 individuals on migration (Urban et al. 1986). Habitat Breeding During the breeding season this species inhabits open, swampy areas in boreal forest (del Hoyo et al. 1996), scrubland between tundra and coniferous forest with willow, dwarf birch or spruce (Snow and Perrins 1998), wet heathlands, and extensive mossy, sedgy or grassy marshes (Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season this species is less associated with woodlands, being more commonly found in open areas such as the margins of inland freshwater lakes and reservoirs (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996), muddy marshlands, grassy stream banks, sewage farms, wet paddyfields, small temporary pools (del Hoyo et al. 1996), permanent swamps, flooded grassland and irrigation channels (Urban et al. 1986). It rarely occurs in coastal habitats, but may be found along the creeks of saltmarshes and mangrove swamps (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Breeding Whilst on the breeding grounds this species is chiefly carnivorous, taking small insects (up to 2 cm long), especially the aquatic forms such as dytiscid or hydrophilid beetles, Hemiptera and the larvae of Diptera such as midges (Johnsgard 1981). Non-breeding During the non-breeding season the species has a more varied diet consisting of aquatic and terrestrial insects and their larvae, worms, spiders, crustaceans, gastropod molluscs, small fish (up to 2 cm long) and frogs, as well as plant matter such as seeds (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a scrape on the ground amongst dense vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998) or raised on a tussock or slight ridge, and can sometimes be surrounded by water (Snow and Perrins 1998). The species may also nest in trees in the abandoned nests of other species (del Hoyo et al. 1996) such as thrushes (Snow and Perrins 1998). Management information Intensive grazing of grassland (> 1 cow per hectare) was found to attract a higher abundance of this species in Hungary (Baldi et al. 2005).

The species is threatened in some European countries (such as Finland) from exploitation, and peatland drainage and destruction for forestry and agriculture (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The populations in southern Sweden, Germany and Poland have also declined, possibly due to the threats of climatic change (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species is susceptible to both avian botulism (Hubalek et al. 2005) and avian malaria (Mendes et al. 2005), so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases.

Anthes, N. 2004. Long-distance migration timing of Tringa sandpipers adjusted to recent climate change. Bird Study 51: 203-211.

Baldi, A., Batary, B. and Erdos, S. 2005. Effects of grazing intensity on bird assemblages and populations of Hungarian grasslands. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 108: 251-263.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Hubalek, Z., Skorpikova, V.; Horal, D. 2005. Avian botulism at a sugar beet processing plant in South Moravia (Czech Republic). Vetinarni Medicina 50(10): 443-445.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Johnsgard, P. A. 1981. The plovers, sandpipers and snipes of the world. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, U.S.A. and London.

Mendes, L.; Piersma, T.; Lecoq, M.; Spaans, B.; Ricklefs, E. 2005. Disease-limited distributions? Contrasts in the prevalence of avian malaria in shorebird species using marine and freshwater habitats. Oikos 109: 396-404.

Snow, D.W. and Perrins, C.M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Volume 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Urban, E.K., Fry, C.H. and Keith, S. 1986. The Birds of Africa, Volume II. Academic Press, London.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Malpas, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Tringa glareola. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 15,500,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment