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Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis

This species is classified as Near Threatened. It is restricted to the East Asian-Australasian flyway where loss of key stopover sites in the Yellow Sea region are thought to be responsible for declines in waterbird populations. The species is thought to be declining at a rate approaching the threshold for Vulnerable under the population size reduction criterion, according to thirty years of monitoring data from around Australia and New Zealand (almost meets A2bc+3bc+4bc).

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.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Distribution and population
This species breeds in northern and north-eastern Russia and sporadically in western and northern Alaska (U.S.A.). It winters from eastern India, Myanmar, southern China and Taiwan (China) to the Philippines, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand (Van Gils et al. 2013).

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number c.315,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015) of which c. 270,000 reach Australia during the non-breeding season.

Trend justification
The overall population trend is thought to be declining, based on monitoring data from Australia and New Zealand which reported a population decline of 29% over three generations (Studds et al. in prep). Further research is needed to ascertain whether this is entirely due to a genuine global decline or whether it can partly be accounted for by a shift in the wintering range.

During the breeding season the species uses low altitude montane tundra in the subalpine belt. In the non-breeding season it mainly uses coastal and intertidal mudflats, sheltered inlets, bays and lagoons but it also uses freshwater, brackish and saltwater wetlands and occasionally sandy beaches and rocky shorelines (Van Gils et al. 2013).

The species is restricted to the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and habitat loss at critical stopover sites in the Yellow Sea is suspected to be the most important threat to this species. Habitat loss within the Yellow Sea region is thought to be driving waterbird population declines (Amano et al. 2010, Yang et al. 2011). Up to 65% of intertidal habitat in the Yellow Sea has been lost over the past 50 years, and habitat is currently disappearing at a rate of >1% annually since the 1980s owing to reclamation for agriculture, aquaculture, and other development (Murray et al. 2014). Hundreds of birds died as a result of pesticide applications in Western Australia (Van Gils et al. 2013).

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
The species is classified as Near Threatened in Australia.

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Protect key stopover sites in the Yellow Sea. Continue to monitor the population. Implement research to ascertain whether the population decline reported for Australia and New Zealand represents a genuine decline or a shift in the species's wintering range.

Amano, T.; Szekely, T.; Koyama, K.; Amano, H.; Sutherland, W. J. 2010. A framework for monitoring the status of populations: an example from wader populations in the East Asian-Australasian flyway. Biological Conservation 143: 2238-2247.

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

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

Murray, N.J., Clemens, R.S., Phinn, S.R., Possingham, H.P. and Fuller, R.A. 2014. Tracking the rapid loss of tidal wetlands in the Yellow Sea. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12: 267-272.

Studds, C.E. et al. in prep.. Dependence on the Yellow Sea predicts population collapse in a migratory flyway.

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. and Bonan, A. 2013. Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Wetlands International. 2015. Waterbird Population Estimates. Available at: (Accessed: 17/09/2015).

Yang, H.Y., Chen, B., Barter, M., Piersma, T., Zhou, C-F., Li, F-S. and Zhang, Z-W. 2011. Impacts of tidal land reclamation in Bohai Bay, China: ongoing losses of critical Yellow Sea waterbird staging and wintering sites. Bird Conservation International 21: 241-259.

Further web sources of information
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
Ashpole, J, Butchart, S. & Ekstrom, J.

Balachandran, S.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Calidris ruficollis. Downloaded from on 30/11/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 30/11/2015.

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 - Red-necked stint (Calidris ruficollis) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)
Species name author (Pallas, 1776)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 971,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species