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Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
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This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
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.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number c.1,200,000-3,600,000 individuals (Wetlands International, 2006), while national population estimated include: c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in China; c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Taiwan; c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Korea; c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Japan 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 stable, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Behaviour This species is fully migratory and moves overland on a broad front (Urban et al. 1986) with European populations making well-documented stop-overs in Saharan oases (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Southward movements to the wintering grounds occur between June and early November, with the species being present in the north and equatorial tropics from late-August to early-April, and in southern Africa from October to March (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). The return passage to northern breeding grounds occurs between late-February and mid-May (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), where the species breeds between late April and June (del Hoyo et al. 1996). In mild winters some birds may also remain in the breeding grounds of southern Scandinavia (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species generally occurs in low concentrations during passage and at stop-over sites, although it may occur in small scattered groups of up to 30 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996) in the winter, with aggregations of over 50 being unusual (Snow and Perrins 1998). Habitat Breeding During the breeding season this species inhabits damp areas in swampy, old pine, spruce or alder woodland and montane forest with many fallen and rotten tree stumps, marshy forest floors and heavy carpets of lichens and mosses, generally in the vicinity of rivers, streams, swamps, ponds, lakes (Johnsgard 1981) and bogs (Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season this species shows a preference for a wider variety of inland freshwater habitats such as marshes, lake edges, sewage farms, small dams and ponds, ditches, riverbanks and forest streams, often near villages and cultivation (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) (although less often in the vicinity of woodland) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It is also very rarely found in intertidal areas such as creeks and the channels of saltmarches (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet The species is omnivorous, although its diet is predominantly made up of aquatic and terrestrial insects (Snow and Perrins 1998) (e.g. dragonfly larvae, ants, waterbugs, moth larvae, and the adults and larvae of beetles, Diptera and Trichoptera), annelids, small crustaceans, spiders and fish, as well as plant fragments (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site This species frequently nests high in trees in the abandoned nests of passerine species such as Common Woodpigeon Columba palumbus, thrushes Turdus spp. (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), crows, jays and shrikes (Johnsgard 1981), but may also nest in squirrel dreys (Johnsgard 1981, Snow and Perrins 1998), on natural platforms up to 20 m high (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and occasionally on tree stumps or mounds of accumulated pine needles, among branches and tree roots, or amongst fallen trees on the ground (Johnsgard 1981, Snow and Perrins 1998). Management information Unfertilised grasslands with low cattle densities (0.5 cows per hectare) were found to attract a higher abundance of this species in Hungary (Baldi et al. 2005).

This species is susceptible to avian influenza (strain H5N1) so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006).

Baldi, A.; Batary, B.; Erdos, S. 2005. Effects of grazing intensity on bird assemblages and populations of Hungarian grasslands. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 108: 251-263.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Hayman, P.; Marchant, J.; Prater, A. J. 1986. Shorebirds. Croom Helm, London.

Johnsgard, P. A. 1981. The plovers, sandpipers and snipes of the world. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, U.S.A. and London.

Melville, D. S.; Shortridge, K. F. 2006. Migratory waterbirds and avian influenza in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway with particular reference to the 2003-2004 H5N1 outbreak. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 432-438. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Snow, D. W.; Perrins, C. M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic vol. 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 1986. The birds of Africa vol. II. Academic Press, London.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Tringa ochropus. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from 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

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

ARKive species - Green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) 0

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 Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 14,900,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment