This species is listed as Vulnerable because its population is now small and believed to be declining, probably largely as a result of predation and hunting on its wintering grounds, when perhaps more than 50% of adults are flightless during autumn moult.
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.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.
40-44 cm. Medium-sized curlew. Well-marked head pattern. Dark lateral crown and eye-stripes contrast with pale crown centre and supercilium. Upperparts spotted buff, underparts streaked buff. Dark cinnamon underwing, barred brown. Unmarked cinnamon rump and uppertail. Blue-grey legs. Flesh-coloured base to brown, longish and heavy bill. Juvenile virtually unstreaked underparts and large buff spots on wing-coverts and upperparts. Similar spp. Whimbrel N. phaeopus lacks cinnamon rump, has thinner and more pointed bill, less cinnamon underparts. Eskimo Curlew N. borealis is smaller. Long-billed Curlew N. americanus has different bill shape and head pattern. Voice Short chi-u-it, whistling whe-whe-whe-whe, ringing whee-wheeoo.
Brooke, M. De L. 1995. The modern avifauna of the Pitcairn Islands. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 56: 199-212.
Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.
Gill, R. 1998. Trouble in paradise: the Bristle-thighed Curlew. WWF Arctic Bulletin: 12-13.
IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 November 2015).
Marks, J. S. 1993. Molt of Bristle-thighed Curlews in the Northwestern Hawaiin Islands. The Auk 110: 573-587.
Marks, J. S.; Redmond, R. L. 1994. Conservation problems and research needs for Bristle-thighed Curlews Numenius tahitiensis on their wintering grounds. Bird Conservation International 4: 329-341.
Marks, J. S.; Redmond, R. L. 1994. Migration of Bristle-thighed Curlews on Laysan Island: timing, behavior and estimated flight range. Condor 96: 316-330.
Morrison, R. I. G.; Gill, R. E.; Harrington, B. A.; Skagen, S.; Page, G. W.; Gratto-Trevor, C. L.; Haig, S. M. 2001. Estimates of shorebird populations in North America. Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Canada.
SPREP. 1999. Proceedings of the Polynesian Avifauna Conservation Workshop held in Rarotonga, 26-30 April 1999.
Vilina, Y. A.; Larrea, A.; Gibbons, J. E. 1992. First record of Bristle-thighed Curlew Numenius tahitiensis in Easter Island, Chile. Wader Study Group Bulletin 66: 43-44.
Further web sources of information
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Harding, M., Pilgrim, J., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.
Bird, J., Donaldson, P., Gill, R.E., Raust, P. & Vilina, Y.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Numenius tahitiensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/10/2016.
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
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Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Vulnerable|
|Family||Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)|
|Species name author||(Gmelin, 1789)|
|Population size||7000 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||45,300 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|