This species has an extremely large range and consists of several subpopulations using different flyways. The lapponica subspecies which breeds and winters within Europe is thought to be experiencing an increase in the wintering population but the breeding trend is unknown. Of the taymyrensis subspecies which breeds in Siberia the population wintering in west and south-west Africa is estimated to be declining whilst the trend for the population wintering in south and south-west Asia and east Africa is not known. Two subspecies, menzbieri and baueri, use the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and are both undergoing extremely rapid declines, probably owing to severe habitat loss in the Yellow Sea. As a result of severe declines in populations using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway the species has been uplisted to Near Threatened; it almost meets the requirements for listing as threatened under criteria A2abc+3bc+4abc.
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _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: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html#.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.
37-41 cm medium-sized godwit. Slightly upcurved bill and barred tail, in flight, lacks white wingbar and has white underwing. Virtually no barring on underparts. Upperparts fringed chestnut, shorter legs and bill and less upright stance than other godwits. Female larger, paler and with longer bill. Non-breeding adults have pale grey-brown upperparts, partly edged whitish, breast turns grey with fine dark streaking, underparts white (Van Gils and Wiersma 1996). Similar spp. Has less white on rufous underparts than Bar-tailed Godwit L. limosa.
Related state of the world's birds case studies
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.
BirdLife International. 2015. European Red List of Birds. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.
Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.
Brown, D., Crockford, N., and Sheldon, R. 2014. Drivers of population change and conservation priorities for the Numeniini populations of the world. RSPB and IWSG.
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.
Evans, P. R. 1986. Use of the Herbicide 'Dalapon' for Control of Spartina Encroaching on Intertidal Mudflats: Beneficial Effects on Shorebirds. Colonial Waterbirds 9(1): 171-175.
Flint, V.E., Boehme, R.L., Kostin, Y.V. and Kuznetsov, A.A. 1984. A field guide to birds of the USSR. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.
Hayman, P.; Marchant, J.; Prater, A. J. 1986. Shorebirds. Croom Helm, London.
IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (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.
Kelin, C.; Qiang, X. 2006. Conserving migratory shorebirds in the Yellow Sea region. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 319. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, UK.
Leyrer, J., van Nieuwenhove, N., Crockford, N. and Delany, S. 2014. Proposals for Concerted and Cooperative Action for Consideration by CMS COP 11, November 2014. BirdLife International and International Wader Study Group.
Melville, D. S.; Shortridge, K. F. 2006. Migratory waterbirds and avian influenza in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway with particular reference to the 2003-2004 H5N1 outbreak. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 432-438. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.
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.
Piersma, T., Lok, T., Chen, Y., Hassell, C.J., Yang, H.-Y., Boyle, A., Slaymaker, M., Chan, Y.-C., Melville, D.S., Zhang, Z.-W. and Ma, Z. Submitted. Simultaneous declines in summer survival of three shorebird species signals a flyway at risk. PLOS Biology.
Straw, P.; Saintilan, N. 2006. Loss of shorebird habitat as a result of mangrove incursion due to sea-level rise and urbanization. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 717-720. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.
Studds, C.E. et al. in prep.. Dependence on the Yellow Sea predicts population collapse in a migratory flyway.
Vahatalo, A. V.; Rainio, K.; Lehikoinen, A.; Lehikoinen, E. 2004. Spring arrival of birds depends on the North Atlantic Oscillation. Journal of Avian Biology 35: 210-216.
Van Gils, J. and Wiersma, P. 1996. Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica). 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.
van Roomen, M., van Winden, E. and Langendoen, T. 2014. The assessment of trends and population sizes of a selection of waterbird species and populations from the coastal East Atlantic Flyway for Conservation Status Report 6 of The African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement.
Wetlands International. 2015. Waterbird Population Estimates. Available at: wpe.wetlands.org. (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
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L., Ashpole, J & Symes, A.
Meltofte, H., van Roomen, M., Melville, D., Balachandran, S., Nagy, S. & Alaskan Shorebird Group
IUCN Red List evaluators
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Limosa lapponica. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/07/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/07/2016.
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
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Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Near Threatened|
|Family||Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)|
|Species name author||(Linnaeus, 1758)|
|Population size||mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||1,470,000 km2|
|Links to further information|
- Additional Information on this species|
- 2015 European Red List assessment