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Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica

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) 1,470,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 6,870,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8.9 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.1,100,000-1,200,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population estimates include: < c.10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China; c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 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 may be stable and others have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Vagrant Extant        
Algeria Native Extant        
American Samoa Native Extant        
Angola Native Extant        
Armenia Native Extant        
Australia Native Extant        
Austria Native Extant        
Azerbaijan Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Bahrain Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Bangladesh Native Extant        
Belarus Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Belgium Native Extant   Yes    
Benin Native Extant   Yes    
Bermuda (to UK) Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Botswana Native Extant        
Brazil Vagrant Extant        
British Indian Ocean Territory Native Extant        
Brunei Native Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant   Yes    
Burundi Vagrant Extant        
Cambodia Native Extant        
Cameroon Native Extant        
Canada Native Extant        
Cape Verde Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant   Yes    
Christmas Island (to Australia) Vagrant Extant        
Comoros Native Extant        
Congo Native Extant        
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Vagrant Extant        
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant        
Croatia Native Extant   Yes    
Cyprus Native Extant        
Czech Republic Native Extant        
Denmark Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Djibouti Native Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
Equatorial Guinea Vagrant Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Estonia Native Extant        
Ethiopia Native Extant     Yes  
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vagrant Extant        
Fiji Native Extant     Yes  
Finland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
France Native Extant   Yes Yes  
French Southern Territories Vagrant Extant        
Gabon Native Extant        
Gambia Native Extant        
Georgia Native Extant        
Germany Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Ghana Native Extant        
Gibraltar (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Greece Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Guinea Native Extant        
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant        
Hong Kong (China) Native Extant        
Hungary Native Extant        
Iceland Native Extant   Yes    
India Native Extant        
Indonesia Native Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Iraq Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Ireland Native Extant   Yes    
Israel Native Extant        
Italy Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Japan Native Extant        
Jordan Vagrant Extant        
Kazakhstan Native Extant        
Kenya Native Extant        
Kiribati Native Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant        
Latvia Native Extant        
Lebanon Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Liberia Vagrant Extant        
Libya Native Extant        
Liechtenstein Vagrant Extant        
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Madagascar Native Extant        
Malawi Native Extant        
Malaysia Native Extant   Yes    
Maldives Native Extant        
Malta Vagrant Extant        
Marshall Islands Native Extant   Yes    
Mauritania Native Extant        
Mauritius Vagrant Extant        
Mayotte (to France) Native Extant        
Mexico Vagrant Extant        
Micronesia, Federated States of Native Extant   Yes    
Moldova Native Extant        
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Vagrant Extant        
Morocco Native Extant        
Mozambique Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Namibia Native Extant        
Nauru Native Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant   Yes Yes  
New Caledonia (to France) Native Extant        
New Zealand Native Extant        
Nigeria Native Extant        
Niue (to New Zealand) Native Extant        
North Korea Native 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    
Papua New Guinea Native Extant        
Philippines Native Extant        
Poland Native Extant     Yes  
Portugal Native Extant   Yes    
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant        
Qatar Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Réunion (to France) Vagrant Extant        
Romania Vagrant Extant        
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (European) Native Extant     Yes Yes
Samoa Native Extant        
São Tomé e Príncipe Vagrant Extant        
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Senegal Native Extant        
Serbia Vagrant Extant        
Seychelles Native Extant        
Sierra Leone Native Extant        
Singapore Native Extant        
Slovakia Native Extant        
Slovenia Vagrant Extant        
Solomon Islands Native Extant        
Somalia Native Extant        
South Africa Native Extant        
South Korea Native Extant        
Spain Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Sri Lanka Native Extant        
St Helena (to UK) Native Extant        
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Sudan Native Extant     Yes  
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Vagrant Extant        
Sweden Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Switzerland Native Extant        
Syria Native Extant     Yes  
Taiwan (China) Native Extant        
Tanzania Native Extant        
Thailand Native Extant        
Timor-Leste Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Togo Native Extant        
Tonga Native Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant   Yes    
Turkey Native Extant        
Turkmenistan Native Extant        
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes  
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes Yes  
United Kingdom Native Extant   Yes Yes  
USA Native Extant Yes      
Uzbekistan Native Extant        
Vanuatu Native Extant        
Venezuela Vagrant Extant        
Vietnam Native Extant        
Virgin Islands (to USA) Vagrant Extant        
Western Sahara Native Extant        
Yemen Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Zambia Native Extant        
Zimbabwe Vagrant Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Australia Eighty Mile Beach site factsheet
Australia Great Sandy Strait site factsheet
Australia Moreton Bay and Pumicestone Passage site factsheet
Australia Roebuck Bay site factsheet
China (mainland) Laizhou Wan site factsheet
China (mainland) Shuangtai (Shuangtaizi) Estuary and Inner Gulf of Liaodong site factsheet
China (mainland) Yalu Jiang Estuary site factsheet
Denmark Fanø site factsheet
Denmark Ho Bugt meadows site factsheet
Denmark Horsens Fjord, Svanegrunden & Endelave site factsheet
Denmark Mandø site factsheet
Denmark Nissum Fjord site factsheet
Denmark Ringkøbing Fjord site factsheet
Denmark Rømø site factsheet
Denmark Skallingen and Langli site factsheet
Denmark South Læsø site factsheet
Denmark Tøndermarsken, Magisterkog and Rudbøl Sø site factsheet
Denmark Vadehavet (Wadden Sea) site factsheet
Finland Käsivarsi fjelds site factsheet
Finland Kevo site factsheet
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju site factsheet
Finland Saariselkä and Koilliskaira site factsheet
Finland Sammutinjänkä-Vaijoenjänkä site factsheet
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton site factsheet
France Baie de Goulven site factsheet
France Baie de Saint-Brieuc site factsheet
France Baie du Mont Saint Michel et Ile des Landes site factsheet
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin site factsheet
France Cap Gris-nez site factsheet
France Estuaire et embouchure de la Seine site factsheet
France Estuaires du Trieux et du Jaudy site factsheet
France Estuaires picards : baies de Somme et d'Authie site factsheet
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon site factsheet
Guinea-Bissau Arquipélago dos Bijagós site factsheet
Guinea-Bissau Rio Mansôa and Gêba estuary site factsheet
Guinea-Bissau Rio Tombali, Rio Cumbijã and Ilha de Melo site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bahu Kalat (Gandu) Protected Area site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Khouran Straits site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Rud-i-Gaz and Rud-i-Hara deltas site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Rud-i-Shur, Rud-i-Shirin and Rud-i-Minab deltas site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Shadegan marshes and tidal mudflats of Khor-al Amaya and Khor Musa site factsheet
Ireland Baldoyle Bay site factsheet
Ireland Ballymacoda site factsheet
Ireland Bannow Bay site factsheet
Ireland Broadhaven, Blacksod and Tullaghan Bays and parts of the Mullet peninsula site factsheet
Ireland Castlemaine Harbour site factsheet
Ireland Cork Harbour site factsheet
Ireland Cummeen Strand (Sligo Harbour) site factsheet
Ireland Dublin Bay site factsheet
Ireland Dundalk Bay site factsheet
Ireland Dungarvan Harbour site factsheet
Ireland Inner Galway Bay site factsheet
Ireland Killala Bay site factsheet
Ireland Lough Foyle site factsheet
Ireland Shannon and Fergus Estuaries site factsheet
Ireland Tralee Bay and Barrow Harbour site factsheet
Ireland Tramore Backstrand site factsheet
Ireland Wexford Harbour and Slobs site factsheet
Malaysia North-central Selangor coast site factsheet
Mauritania Banc d'Arguin National Park site factsheet
Morocco Baie d'Ad Dakhla site factsheet
Morocco Lagune de Khnifiss site factsheet
Netherlands Ameland: Duinen-Oerd site factsheet
Netherlands Balgzand site factsheet
Netherlands Dollard site factsheet
Netherlands Frisian Wadden Sea coast site factsheet
Netherlands Griend site factsheet
Netherlands Groningen Wadden Sea coast site factsheet
Netherlands Oosterschelde site factsheet
Netherlands Schiermonnikoog site factsheet
Netherlands Terschelling: De Boschplaat site factsheet
Netherlands Texel: Dunes and Hors site factsheet
Netherlands Texel: Schorren and Zeeburg site factsheet
Netherlands Vlieland site factsheet
Netherlands Wadden Sea site factsheet
Netherlands Westerschelde and Saeftinghe site factsheet
Norway Altaelvmunningen site factsheet
Norway Inner Porsangerfjord site factsheet
Norway Neiden- & Munkefjord site factsheet
Norway Øvre Anárjohka site factsheet
Norway Reisa site factsheet
Norway Varanger Peninsula site factsheet
Oman Barr al Hikman site factsheet
Oman Masirah island site factsheet
Portugal Ria Formosa (Faro lagoon) site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Malakchan bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Moroshechnaya river site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Ola lagoon site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Perevolochny bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Rekinninskaya bay site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Basins of the Schuchya and Khadytayakha rivers site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Valley of headwaters of the river Schuchya site factsheet
Russia (European) Seskar island site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Jizan Bay site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Tarut Bay site factsheet
South Korea Asan Bay (including Asan-ho lake and Sapgyo-ho lake) site factsheet
South Korea Baeksu tidal flat site factsheet
South Korea Dongjin estuary site factsheet
South Korea Geum-gang river and estuary site factsheet
South Korea Mangyeong estuary site factsheet
South Korea Nakdong-gang estuary site factsheet
South Korea Namyang Bay site factsheet
South Korea Suncheon Bay site factsheet
South Korea Tidal flat area of Yeongjong-do island site factsheet
South Korea Yubu-do island site factsheet
Spain Cádiz bay site factsheet
Spain Cape Candelaria-Ortigueira estuary-Cape Estaca de Bares site factsheet
Spain Costa da Morte site factsheet
Spain Ebro delta site factsheet
Spain Isla Cristina and Ayamonte marshes and Prado lagoon site factsheet
Sweden Taavavuoma site factsheet
Tunisia Kneiss site factsheet
Ukraine Syvash Bay site factsheet
United Arab Emirates Khor al Beideh site factsheet
United Arab Emirates Khor Dubai site factsheet
United Kingdom Chichester and Langstone Harbours site factsheet
United Kingdom Eden Estuary, Tentsmuir Point and Abertay Sands site factsheet
United Kingdom Exe Estuary site factsheet
United Kingdom Firth of Forth site factsheet
United Kingdom Firth of tay site factsheet
United Kingdom Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary site factsheet
United Kingdom Gibraltar Point site factsheet
United Kingdom Hamford Water site factsheet
United Kingdom Humber Estuary site factsheet
United Kingdom Lindisfarne site factsheet
United Kingdom Lough Foyle and River Foyle site factsheet
United Kingdom Mid-Essex Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Moray Basin, Firths and Bays site factsheet
United Kingdom Moray Basin, Firths and Bays site factsheet
United Kingdom Morecambe Bay site factsheet
United Kingdom North Norfolk Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Ribble and Alt Estuaries site factsheet
United Kingdom Strangford Lough and islands site factsheet
United Kingdom The Swale site factsheet
United Kingdom The Wash site factsheet
United Kingdom The Wash site factsheet
United Kingdom Uists Machairs, Lochs and Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Upper Solway Flats and Marshes site factsheet
United Kingdom West Coast of Benbecula site factsheet
USA Egegik Bay site factsheet
USA Nelson Lagoon-Mud Bay site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Tundra Wetlands (incl. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 440 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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Limosa lapponica. Downloaded from on 13/10/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 13/10/2015.

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.

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) 1,470,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment