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Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered C2a(i,ii); D 
Endangered C2a(i,ii); D 
Vulnerable C2a(i,ii); D1 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2015 Critically Endangered
2012 Critically Endangered
2010 Critically Endangered
2009 Critically Endangered
2008 Critically Endangered
2004 Critically Endangered
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Critically Endangered
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type continent
Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 890 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1-49 medium Estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing poor Suspected -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Largest subpopulation 100 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9.9 - - -
Population justification: The population is assumed to be tiny (fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals) based on the lack of recent records. There are no recent confirmed sightings of this species within Europe, where it formerly regularly wintered. It is therefore classified as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) in Europe (BirdLife International 2015).
Trend justification: There are very few recent (uncontroversial) records of this species and they are becoming more infrequent so a continuing decline is suspected, although the rate is not known.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Albania Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Algeria Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Austria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Azerbaijan Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Bosnia and Herzegovina Vagrant Extant   Yes Yes  
Bulgaria Native Extant     Yes  
Canada Vagrant Extant        
Croatia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Cyprus Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Czech Republic Unknown Extant        
Egypt Vagrant Extant   Yes    
France Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Germany Vagrant Extant        
Greece Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Hungary Native Extant     Yes  
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant     Yes  
Iraq Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Israel Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Italy Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Japan Unknown Extant        
Kazakhstan Native Extant     Yes  
Kuwait Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Libya Unknown Extant   Yes    
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Malta Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Montenegro Native Extant     Yes  
Morocco Native Extant   Yes    
Netherlands Vagrant Extant        
Palestinian Authority Territories Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Poland Vagrant Extant        
Portugal Vagrant Extant        
Romania Native Extant     Yes  
Russia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant     Yes  
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes    
Serbia Native Extant     Yes  
Spain Vagrant Extant        
Sudan Unknown Possibly Extinct   Yes    
Switzerland Vagrant Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant   Yes    
Turkey Native Extant   Yes    
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes  
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
Uzbekistan Native Extant     Yes  
Yemen Native Extant   Yes    

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Albania Patoku lagoon site factsheet
Azerbaijan Yashma Island site factsheet
Bulgaria Atanasovsko Lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Chengene Skele site factsheet
Bulgaria Mandra-Poda complex site factsheet
Greece Agios Mamas marsh site factsheet
Greece Alyki Angelochoriou lagoon (Megalou Emvolou) site factsheet
Greece Amvrakikos gulf site factsheet
Greece Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas rivers' deltas site factsheet
Greece Evros delta site factsheet
Greece Gallikos estuary and Kalochori lagoon site factsheet
Greece Kalamas delta site factsheet
Greece Lagoons of Kerkyra island site factsheet
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou) site factsheet
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary site factsheet
Greece Mount Dikios, Cape Louros, Lake Psalidi, and Alyki site factsheet
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons site factsheet
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons site factsheet
Greece Spercheios valley and delta and Maliakos gulf site factsheet
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to site factsheet
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay site factsheet
Iraq Central Marshes site factsheet
Iraq Haur Al Hammar site factsheet
Iraq Haur Al Shubaicha site factsheet
Iraq Haur Chubaisah area site factsheet
Israel Southern Arava valley and Elat mountains site factsheet
Italy Argentario, Laguna di Orbetello Lagoon e Lago di Burano site factsheet
Italy Diaccia Botrona site factsheet
Italy Gargano Promontory and Capitanata Wetlands site factsheet
Italy Lake Massaciuccoli site factsheet
Italy Migliarino-San Rossore site factsheet
Italy River Sesia heronries site factsheet
Italy Simeto mouth and middle course and Biviere di Lentini site factsheet
Italy Uccellina mountains, Trappola marshes and Ombrone mouth site factsheet
Morocco Merja Zerga site factsheet
Oman Barr al Hikman site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Blagoveschenskaya (Kulunda lake and vicinity) site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Jizan Bay site factsheet
Ukraine Karkinits'ka and Dzharylgats'ka bays site factsheet
Ukraine Yagorlyts'ka and Tendrivs'ka Bays site factsheet
Uzbekistan Sudochye Lake site factsheet
Yemen Al-Mukha - Al-Khawkhah site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land Suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate Suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes Major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) Major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands Major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools Marginal non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Unknown Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - - Subsistence, National
Food - human - - - Subsistence, National

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Numenius tenuirostris. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)
Species name author Vieillot, 1817
Population size 1-49 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 890 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment