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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
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
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 Northwestern Kattegat site factsheet
Denmark Ringkøbing Fjord site factsheet
Denmark Rømø site factsheet
Denmark Skallingen and Langli 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
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
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 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 (2014) Species factsheet: Limosa lapponica. Downloaded from on 11/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 11/07/2014.

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 and allies)
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