Archived 2015 topics: Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis): uplist from Least Concern to Near Threatened?

Red-necked Stint (BirdLife factsheet) breeds in central and eastern Siberia, wintering in South East Asia and Australasia.

The global population is estimated at 315,000 individuals, of which c.270,000 reach Australia in the non-breeding season.

It is currently listed as Least Concern, because when last assessed it was not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria.

BirdLife Australia Threatened Species Committee, which applies the IUCN Categories and Criteria at the national level, recently recommended its uplisting from Least Concern to Near Threatened (approaching threshold for Vulnerable under A2bc+3bc+4bc) in Australia (Garnett 2015), and the recommendation was subsequently accepted by the BirdLife Australia Research and Conservation Committee. The proposal was based on a detailed analysis of all monitoring data collected on shorebirds around Australia and New Zealand in the last 30 years (Studds et al. in prep) – see extract here:

Annual rate of decline Generation time Loss over three generations Action Plan status 2010 Recommended status 2015
-0.016 7.5 -29.1 Least Concern Near Threatened

For shorebirds of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway there is considerable concern that loss of intertidal stopover habitat in the Yellow Sea region of East Asia is driving population declines (Amano et al. 2010; Yang et al. 2011). Up to 65 percent of intertidal habitat in the Yellow Sea has been lost over the past 50 years, and habitat is currently disappearing at a rate of >1 percent annually owing to reclamation for agriculture, aquaculture, and other development (Murray et al. 2014). Current rates of Yellow Sea habitat loss seem likely to continue or accelerate owing to projected human population growth, much of it concentrated along the margins of the Yellow Sea.

Since the species is restricted to this flyway, and loss of habitat at critical stopover sites in the Yellow Sea is suspected to be the key threat to the species, trends in the Australasian population in the non-breeding season are thought to be representative of the overall global trend, thus it is proposed that the species also be listed as Near Threatened globally.

However, the possibility that there has been a shift in the wintering range rather than a genuine decline should also be considered.

Comments on this proposal, including trends from elsewhere in the range, threats to the species and the likely representativeness of the Australasian data, are welcomed.


Amano, T., T. Szekely, K. Koyama, H. Amano, and W. J. Sutherland. 2010. A framework for monitoring the status of populations: An example from wader populations in the East Asian-Australasian flyway. Biological Conservation 143:2238-2247.

Garnett, S. T. 2015. BirdLife Australia Threatened Species Committee report to RACC. 23rd January 2015. Unpublished report.

Murray, N. J., R. S. Clemens, S. R. Phinn, H. P. Possingham, and R. A. Fuller. 2014. Tracking the rapid loss of tidal wetlands in the Yellow Sea. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12:267-272

Studds, C. E. et al. in prep. Dependence on the Yellow Sea predicts population collapse in a migratory flyway.

Yang, H. Y., B. Chen, M. Barter, T. Piersma, C. F. Zhou, F. S. Li, and Z. W. Zhang. 2011. Impacts of tidal land reclamation in Bohai Bay, China: ongoing losses of critical Yellow Sea waterbird staging and wintering sites. Bird Conservation International 21: 241-259

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3 Responses to Archived 2015 topics: Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis): uplist from Least Concern to Near Threatened?

  1. Andy Symes (BirdLife) says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2015 Red List would be to list:
    Red-necked Stint as Near Threatened under criterion A2+3+4.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 August, after which the recommended categorisation will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife website in late October and on the IUCN website in November, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  2. Red-necked Stint is a rare winter visitor to the East coast of India. Its occurrence in sparse numbers was proved through captured data as it is difficult to differentiate the abundant winter visitor to India the Little Stint in the field.
    This can be uplisted based on the recommendations suggested by the wader biologists of EAAF.
    I take this opportunity to consider the other rare Stint Long-toed Stint which was not seen in several places where it occurred regularly in small numbers.

  3. Andy Symes (BirdLife) says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there have been no changes to our preliminary proposal for the 2015 Red List status of this species.

    The final categorisation will be published on the BirdLife website in late October and on the IUCN website in November, following further checking of information relevant to the assessment by BirdLife and IUCN.

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