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Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
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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 very 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.
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.

Tringa cinerea Cramp and Simmons (1977-1994), Tringa cinerea Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Tringa terek Turbott (1990)

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number c.160,000-1,200,000 individuals (Wetlands International, 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in Taiwan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 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 (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The East Asian population migrates along the eastern coast of the continent, whereas the populations in western Asia pass south overland through the Caspian region, the Middle East (del Hoyo et al. 1996) or between the Ural and Volga rivers (Snow and Perrins 1998). The Finnish population flies across Eastern Europe and crosses the Mediterranean and Sahara non-stop (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding occurs between May and June (del Hoyo et al. 1996), after which the adults depart in early-July (the juveniles departing mainly in August) (Snow and Perrins 1998), to arrive in their wintering grounds between August and October (Urban et al. 1986). The return movement northward from Africa begins in late-March and continues throughout April (Snow and Perrins 1998). Many one-year-old (Urban et al. 1986) and other non-breeding birds remain in the wintering grounds throughout the northern summer (del Hoyo et al. 1996). This species is known to breed semi-collonially (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (as many as 10 nests have been found within a square kilometer) (Johnsgard 1981), but is mainly solitary outside of the breeding season (Snow and Perrins 1998). Occasionally it occurs in small flocks of 5-25 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996), or up to 300 at tidal roosting sites (Urban et al. 1986). The species is both a diurnal and nocturnal forager, but its nocturnal activities may by restricted to moonlit nights (Rohweder and Baverstock 1996). Habitat Breeding This species breeds in lowland valleys in northern boreal forest and tundra, especially on floodplains with flooded meadows and marshes, and where overgrown moist grasslands alternate with willow scrub (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). It also frequents lakesides and marshy banks of streams, and extends to the coasts of sheltered seas in the Baltic (Snow and Perrins 1998). The species avoids mountains, fast rocky streams, steep or broken terrain, extensive open spaces and tall dense forest (Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species inhabits tropical coasts, especially open intertidal estuaries and mudflats, as well as coral reefs, sandy and pebbly beaches, sandbars and mudlfats at river mouths, coastal swamps, saltpans (del Hoyo et al. 1996), coastal lagoons and saltmarsh creeks (Johnsgard 1981). It can occasionally also be found up to 10 km inland around brackish pools and riverbeds, and often forms communal roosts in the branches of mangroves (del Hoyo et al. 1996). During migration the species may stop-over at inland freshwater wetlands (del Hoyo et al. 1996), such as muddy lakes or river edges (Urban et al. 1986). Diet Breeding On its breeding grounds the diet of this species consists mainly of adult and larval midges (Diptera) as well as seeds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Non-breeding In its wintering grounds and on migration the diet of this species is more varied, consisting of a variety of insects, small molluscs, crustaceans (including crabs), spiders and annelid worms (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow depression close to water either in the open, or sheltered by short grasses (Urban et al. 1986).

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 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). This species is also potentially at risk from exposure to DDT's in southern India (Tanabe et al. 1998).

Barter, M. 2002. Shorebirds of the Yellow Sea. Wetlands International, Canberra, Australia.

Barter, M. A. 2006. The Yellow Sea - a vitally important staging region for migratory shorebirds. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 663-667. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

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

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; 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.

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

Rohweder, D. A.; Baverstock, P. R. 1996. Preliminary investigation of nocturnal habitat use by migratory waders (order charadriiformes) in northern New South Wales. Wildlife Research 23(2): 169-184.

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

Tanabe, S.; Senthilkumar, K.; Kannan, K.; Subramanian, A. N. 1998. Accumulation features of polychlorinated biphenyls and organochloride pesticides in resident and migratory birds from south India. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 34(3): 387-397.

Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 1986. The birds of Africa vol. 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
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Xenus cinereus. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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 - Terek sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)
Species name author (Güldenstädt, 1775)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,640,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment