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This species has not been recorded with certainty since 1963 (and none have been confirmed on the wintering grounds since 1939). It was formerly abundant, but declined rapidly over a century ago as a result of hunting and habitat loss. However, it cannot yet be presumed to be Extinct until all potential breeding areas have been surveyed, and the series of occasional unconfirmed reports ceases. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons it is treated as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).
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#.
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#.
29-34 cm. Small cinnamon-coloured curlew. Similar spp. Little Curlew N. minutus is similar, but N. borealis is larger, longer winged (extending beyond tip of tail), shorter legged, cinnamon not buffish below with heavily barred breast and "Y" shaped marks on flanks. Small size (25% smaller than Whimbrel N. phaeopus) eliminates all other species. Voice Flight call reportedly a rippling tr-tr-tr and a soft whistle bee bee.
Blanco, D.; Banchs, R.; Canevari, P. 1993. Critical sites for the Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis), and other Nearctic grassland shorebirds in Argentina and Uruguay.
Environment Canada. 2007. Recovery Strategy for the Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis) in Canada. Environment Canada, Ottawa.
Gill, R. E.; Canevari, P.; Iversen, E. H. 1998. Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis). In: Poole, A.; Gill, F. (ed.), The birds of North America, No. 347, pp. 1-28. The Academy of Natural Sciences and The American Ornithologists' Union, Philadelphia and Washington DC.
Graves, G. R. 2010. Late 19th Century abundance trends of the Eskimo Curlew on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Waterbirds 33(2): 236-241.
IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 November 2015).
Roberts, D. L.; Elphick, C. S.; Reed, J. M. 2010. Identifying anomalous reports of putatively extinct species and why it matters. Conservation Biology 24(1): 189-196.
Further web sources of information
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Clay, R., Isherwood, I., Pilgrim, J., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Wege, D. & Ashpole, J
Clay, R., Crockford, N., Gill, R.E., Gratto-Trevor, C., Hoffman, R., Parr, M. & Reed, E.
IUCN Red List evaluators
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Numenius borealis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2016.
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.
Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Critically Endangered - Possibly Extinct|
|Family||Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)|
|Species name author||(Forster, 1772)|
|Population size||1-49 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||1 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|