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Ruff Calidris pugnax
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 8,580,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing Suspected -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.3 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number 2,000,000-2,600,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population estimates include: c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in China; c.50-1,000 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 decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant     Yes  
Albania Native Extant        
Algeria Native Extant        
Angola Native Extant        
Anguilla (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Antigua and Barbuda Vagrant Extant        
Armenia Native Extant        
Australia Vagrant Extant        
Austria Native Extant     Yes  
Azerbaijan Native Extant     Yes  
Bahrain Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Bangladesh Native Extant        
Barbados Vagrant Extant        
Belarus Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Belgium Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Benin Native Extant        
Bermuda (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant        
Botswana Native Extant        
Brazil Vagrant Extant        
Brunei Native Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant   Yes    
Burkina Faso Native Extant        
Burundi Native Extant        
Cambodia Native Extant        
Cameroon Native Extant        
Canada Vagrant Extant        
Cape Verde Native Extant        
Cayman Islands (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Central African Republic Native Extant        
Chad Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Colombia Vagrant Extant        
Comoros Vagrant Extant        
Congo Native Extant        
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant        
Costa Rica Vagrant Extant        
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant        
Croatia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Cyprus Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Czech Republic Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Denmark Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Djibouti Native Extant        
Dominica Vagrant Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Estonia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Ethiopia Native Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vagrant Extant        
Finland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gabon Native Extant        
Gambia Native Extant        
Georgia Native Extant        
Germany Native Extant     Yes Yes
Ghana Native Extant        
Greece Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Greenland (to Denmark) Vagrant Extant        
Grenada Vagrant Extant        
Guadeloupe (to France) Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Guatemala Vagrant Extant        
Guinea Native Extant        
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant        
Hong Kong (China) Native Extant        
Hungary Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Iceland Vagrant Extant        
India Native Extant        
Indonesia Native Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Iraq Native Extant     Yes  
Ireland Native Extant   Yes    
Israel Native Extant        
Italy Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Jamaica Vagrant Extant        
Japan Vagrant Extant        
Jordan Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant     Yes  
Laos Vagrant Extant        
Latvia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Lebanon Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Lesotho Native Extant        
Liberia Native Extant        
Libya Native Extant        
Liechtenstein Vagrant Extant        
Lithuania Native Extant Yes      
Luxembourg Native Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Madagascar Vagrant Extant        
Malawi Native Extant        
Malaysia Native Extant        
Maldives Vagrant Extant        
Mali Native Extant        
Malta Native Extant        
Marshall Islands Native Extant   Yes    
Martinique (to France) Vagrant Extant        
Mauritania Native Extant        
Mauritius Vagrant Extant        
Mexico Vagrant Extant        
Micronesia, Federated States of Native Extant   Yes    
Moldova Native Extant     Yes  
Monaco Native Extant        
Mongolia Native Extant        
Montenegro Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Montserrat (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Morocco Native Extant        
Mozambique Native Extant        
Myanmar Native Extant        
Namibia Native Extant        
Nepal Native Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant       Yes
New Zealand Vagrant Extant        
Niger Native Extant        
Nigeria Native Extant        
North Korea Vagrant Extant        
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Norway Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant        
Palau Native Extant   Yes    
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant     Yes  
Panama Vagrant Extant        
Papua New Guinea Native Extant        
Peru Vagrant Extant        
Philippines Native Extant        
Poland Native Extant     Yes Yes
Portugal Native Extant   Yes    
Puerto Rico (to USA) Vagrant Extant        
Qatar Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Romania Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Russia Native Extant Yes   Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (European) Native Extant     Yes Yes
Rwanda Native Extant        
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Senegal Native Extant        
Serbia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Seychelles Vagrant Extant        
Sierra Leone Native Extant        
Singapore Native Extant        
Slovakia Native Extant        
Slovenia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Solomon Islands Vagrant Extant        
Somalia Native Extant        
South Africa Native Extant        
South Korea Native Extant        
South Sudan Native Extant   Yes    
Spain Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Sri Lanka Native Extant        
St Kitts and Nevis Vagrant Extant        
St Lucia Vagrant Extant        
St Vincent and the Grenadines Vagrant Extant        
Sudan Native Extant        
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Vagrant Extant        
Swaziland Native Extant        
Sweden Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Switzerland Native Extant   Yes    
Syria Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Taiwan (China) Native Extant        
Tajikistan Native Extant        
Tanzania Native Extant        
Thailand Native Extant        
Timor-Leste Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Togo Native Extant        
Trinidad and Tobago Vagrant Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant   Yes    
Turkmenistan Native Extant        
Uganda Native Extant        
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes Yes  
United Kingdom Native Extant     Yes Yes
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Vagrant Extant        
USA Vagrant Extant Yes      
Uzbekistan Native Extant        
Venezuela Vagrant Extant        
Vietnam Native Extant        
Virgin Islands (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Virgin Islands (to USA) Vagrant Extant        
Yemen Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Zambia Native Extant        
Zimbabwe Native Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Cameroon Logone flood-plain site factsheet
Chad Lake Chad site factsheet
Estonia Alam-Pedja site factsheet
Estonia Lahemaa site factsheet
Estonia Lavassaare site factsheet
Estonia Muraka site factsheet
Estonia Nätsi-Võlla site factsheet
Ethiopia Abijatta - Shalla Lakes National Park site factsheet
Finland Kemihaara (Vuotos) mires and forests site factsheet
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju site factsheet
Finland Martimoaapa-Lumiaapa-Penikat site factsheet
Finland Oulu region wetlands site factsheet
Finland Pomokaira-Koitelaiskaira site factsheet
Finland Saariselkä and Koilliskaira site factsheet
France Plaine du Forez site factsheet
Germany Jadebusen, inland site factsheet
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to site factsheet
India Bardha Dam site factsheet
India Kaj Lake (Pipalava Bandharo) site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Uromiyeh site factsheet
Italy Cervia saltpans site factsheet
Italy Pantani di Vendicari e di Capo Passero site factsheet
Italy Vercelli rice-fields site factsheet
Kazakhstan Caspian Sea shore between Volga and Ural River Deltas site factsheet
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Kazakhstan Tuzashchy and Karasor Lakes site factsheet
Kazakhstan Uyalyshalkar Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Vicinity of Korgalzhyn village site factsheet
Kazakhstan Zhumay-Mayshukyr Lake System site factsheet
Latvia Engure lake site factsheet
Latvia Liepaja lake site factsheet
Latvia Teici and Pelecare bogs site factsheet
Latvia Ziemelu bogs site factsheet
Lithuania Birveta Fish-farm including segments of Dysna River and Birveta River valleys site factsheet
Lithuania Kretuonas Landscape Reserve site factsheet
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park site factsheet
Mali Lac Débo - Lac Oualado Débo site factsheet
Mali Lac Faguibine site factsheet
Mali Lac Horo site factsheet
Mali Timisobo - Képagou site factsheet
Mauritania Gâat Mahmoûdé site factsheet
Mauritania Gabou site factsheet
Mauritania Tâmourt en Na'âj site factsheet
Netherlands Groote Wielen site factsheet
Netherlands Ilperveld, Varkensland and Twiske site factsheet
Netherlands Lauwersmeer site factsheet
Netherlands Oostzanerveld site factsheet
Netherlands Oude Venen site factsheet
Netherlands Workumerwaard site factsheet
Netherlands Wormer-and Jisperveld site factsheet
Nigeria Hadejia-Nguru wetlands site factsheet
Pakistan Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
Poland Biebrza river valley site factsheet
Romania Buhuşu reservoir - Bacău - Tătărăşti site factsheet
Romania Câmpia Crişurilor site factsheet
Romania Cefa fish-ponds and Radvani wood site factsheet
Romania Comana site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Romania Jijiei şi Miletinului fish-ponds site factsheet
Romania Lacurile Fălticeni site factsheet
Romania Maglavit site factsheet
Romania Miheşu de Câmpie-Taureni fish-ponds site factsheet
Romania Suhaia site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Batanakovskiye swamps site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Khadyn lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Dvuob'ye site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Krutali Lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Ob' site factsheet
Russia (European) Burukshunskiye limans site factsheet
Russia (European) Kozinka lake and Baranikovski segment of Manych site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Sabkhat al-Fasl lagoons site factsheet
Senegal Djoudj wetlands site factsheet
Senegal Ndiaël basin (including the 'Trois Marigots') site factsheet
Senegal River Sénégal (Ntiagar to Richard-Toll) site factsheet
Slovakia Senné site factsheet
Slovenia Lake Cerknica site factsheet
Slovenia River Drava site factsheet
Somalia Far Waamo site factsheet
South Sudan Lake Abiad (South Sudan) site factsheet
Sudan Lake Abiad (Sudan) site factsheet
Sweden Lake Ånnsjön-Storlien site factsheet
Sweden Muddus site factsheet
Tanzania Lake Manyara site factsheet
Ukraine Syvash Bay site factsheet
United Kingdom Dungeness To Pett Levels site factsheet
United Kingdom Hamford Water site factsheet
United Kingdom Humber Estuary site factsheet
United Kingdom Lower Derwent Valley site factsheet
United Kingdom Martin Mere site factsheet
United Kingdom Mid-Essex Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Nene Washes site factsheet
United Kingdom North Norfolk Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Ouse Washes site factsheet
United Kingdom The Swale site factsheet
Uzbekistan Sudochye Lake site factsheet
Zambia Bangweulu Swamps site factsheet
Zambia Barotse Floodplains site factsheet
Zambia Kafue Flats site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels) Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land Major non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland Suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded Suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate Suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) Suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries Suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) Suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) Suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) Suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) Suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - - Subsistence, National
Food - human - - - Subsistence, National
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Calidris pugnax. 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.

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 Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 8,580,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment