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Eurasian Dotterel Eudromias morinellus
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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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very 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#.
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.

Charadrius morinellus AOU checklist (1998 + supplements), Charadrius morinellus AERC TAC (2003), Charadrius morinellus Cramp and Simmons (1977-1994), Charadrius morinellus Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993)

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number c.50,000-220,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at < c.50 individuals on migration in China and c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Behaviour This species is fully migratory and travels non-stop on a broad front across Europe, staging first at a number of traditional sites (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It departs from its breeding grounds from August to September, the return migration in the spring beginning in late-February or March (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species breeds from May to August (Hayman et al. 1986) in solitary well-dispersed pairs (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) although where suitable habitat is restricted it may also breed in loose groups of 2-5 pairs and adults may roost communally at night (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species migrates in small parties (Hayman et al. 1986) commonly of 3-6 individuals (occasionally up to 20-80 individuals [del Hoyo et al. 1996]) and it remains gregarious throughout the winter (Hayman et al. 1986). Habitat Breeding The species breeds on flat open uplands, on mountain ridges and plateaus with sparse vegetation, and on coastal and inland Arctic tundra of moss, short grass or lichen and bare patches of rock (Hayman et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Non-breeding On passage the species stages in exposed areas with short vegetation, such as heathlands and fallow or ploughed fields, and during the winter its habitats include stony and shrubby steppe, semi-desert, ploughed farmland and the margins of cultivation (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists of insects (e.g. beetles, adult and larval Diptera, larval Lepidoptera, grasshoppers, crickets, earwigs and ants), spiders, snails and earthworms, as well as plant matter such as leaves, seeds, berries and flowers (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. of Empetrum spp. [Johnsgard 1981]). Breeding site The nest is a shallow scrape on bare ground or in short vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species is a solitary nester but where suitable habitat is restricted it may also breed in loose groups of 2-5 pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Nests are normally placed between 200 m and several kilometres apart (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

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

del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and 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.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Johnsgard, P. A. 1981. The plovers, sandpipers and snipes of the world. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, U.S.A. and 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
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Malpas, L.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Eudromias morinellus. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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 - Eurasian dotterel (Eudromias morinellus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Charadriidae (Plovers)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 276,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment