email a friend
printable version
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered A2abcd+3bcd+4abcd; C2a(i) 
Endangered A2abcd+3bcd+4abcd; C2a(i); D 
Vulnerable A2abcd+3bcd+4abcd; C2a(i); D1 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2015 Critically Endangered
2013 Critically Endangered
2012 Critically Endangered
2011 Critically Endangered
2010 Critically Endangered
2009 Critically Endangered
2008 Critically Endangered
2004 Endangered
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
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) 61,900 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 240-400 good Estimated 2010
Population trend Decreasing good Estimated -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulation 1-89 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.3 - - -
Population justification: The breeding population in 2009/2010 was estimated at 120-200 pairs, roughly equivalent to 240-400 mature individuals and 360-600 individuals in total, although this is thought to be an optimistic estimate.
Trend justification: The breeding population in 2009/2010 was optimistically estimated at 120-200 pairs (Bird et al. 2010, Zöckler et al. 2010a). An estimate of 120-200 pairs indicates an 88% decline since 2002, equating to an annual rate of decline of 26% (Zöckler et al. 2010a).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Bangladesh Native Extant   Yes    
Canada Vagrant Extant   Yes    
China (mainland) Native Extant     Yes  
Hong Kong (China) Native Extant     Yes  
India Native Extant   Yes    
Japan Native Extant     Yes  
Malaysia Native Extant   Yes    
Myanmar Native Extant   Yes    
North Korea Native Extant     Yes  
Philippines Native Extant   Yes    
Russia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Singapore Native Extant   Yes    
South Korea Native Extant     Yes  
Sri Lanka Native Extant   Yes    
Taiwan (China) Native Extant     Yes  
Thailand Native Extant   Yes    
USA Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Vietnam Native Extant   Yes Yes  

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Bangladesh Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta site factsheet
Bangladesh Patenga Beach site factsheet
Bangladesh Sonadia Island site factsheet
Bangladesh Sunderbans (East, South, West Wildlife Sanctuaries) site factsheet
China (mainland) Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve site factsheet
China (mainland) Dongting Hu wetlands site factsheet
China (mainland) Min Jiang Estuary site factsheet
Hong Kong (China) Inner Deep Bay and Shenzhen River catchment area site factsheet
India Deepor Beel Bird Sanctuary site factsheet
India Nalabana Bird Sanctuary (Chilika Lake) site factsheet
India Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
India Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve (National Park) site factsheet
Malaysia North-central Selangor coast site factsheet
Myanmar Ayeyarwady Delta (including Meinmahla Kyun) site factsheet
Myanmar Central Tanintharyi Coast site factsheet
Myanmar Gulf of Mottama site factsheet
Myanmar Nantha Island site factsheet
North Korea Daedong Bay site factsheet
North Korea Kangryong field site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Amur river mouth site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Aniva bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kievka and Chernaya river basins site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kunashir island site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Kuril islands (between Urup and Paramushir) site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Lower Anadyr lowlands site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Lower Tumen river site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Mechigmen lagoon site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Nevskoye lake site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Nikolaya bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) North-east Sakhalin lagoons site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Ola lagoon site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Schast'ya bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Shantar islands site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Tyk and Viakhtu bays site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Ul'banskiy bay site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Vankarem lowlands and Kolyuchin bay site factsheet
Singapore Ubin-Khatib site factsheet
South Korea Dongjin estuary site factsheet
South Korea Mangyeong estuary site factsheet
South Korea Nakdong-gang estuary site factsheet
South Korea Namyang Bay site factsheet
South Korea Tidal flat area of southern Ganghwa-do island site factsheet
Taiwan (China) Chihben Wetlands site factsheet
Thailand Inner Gulf of Thailand site factsheet
Vietnam Ba Tri site factsheet
Vietnam Nghia Hung site factsheet
Vietnam Thai Thuy site factsheet
Vietnam Xuan Thuy site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats Major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc Major breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Marine & freshwater aquaculture / Scale Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Garbage & solid waste Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Industrial & military effluents / Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Very Rapid Declines High Impact: 8
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
Food - human - - - Subsistence, National

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Calidris pygmaea. 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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size 240-400 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 61,900 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species