Population information

Order name Charadriiformes
Family name Scolopacidae
Scientific name Numenius arquata Common name Eurasian Curlew
Population name arquata, Europe/Europe, North & West Africa
Breeding range W, Central & N Europe E to Urals Non-breeding range W Europe, Mediterranean, NW Africa (few SW Africa), E to Persian Gulf
Red List Category Near Threatened
Ramsar regions Africa Europe

Conservation Framework

Conservation framework Notes
CAF Action Plan

Population size

Publication Start year End year Minimum Maximum Estimate quality Notes References Actions
WPE 1 0 0 348,000 348,000 No quality assessment [R599]
WPE 2 0 0 348,000 348,000 No quality assessment [R599]
WPE 4 2006 2006 700,000 1,000,000 No quality assessment [R624]
WPE 3 1990 2000 420,000 420,000 No quality assessment [R611]
WPE 5 1990 2000 700,000 1,000,000 Expert opinion [R63] [R624]
CSR 4 1990 2000 700,000 1,000,000 Expert opinion [R63] [R624]
CSR 5 1990 2000 700,000 1,000,000 Expert opinion [R63] [R624]
CSR 6 1990 2012 640,000 920,000 Expert opinion [S8311] [R1362] [R63] [R1365]
CSR 7 1990 2012 637,000 876,000 Expert opinion [S9092] [R1549]

Population trends

Publication Start year End year Trend Trend quality Notes References Actions
WPE 1 1975 1985 DEC No quality assessment [R599]
WPE 2 1975 1985 DEC No quality assessment [R599]
WPE 4 1984 1997 DEC No quality assessment [T694] [R611]
WPE 3 1984 1997 STA/INC No quality assessment [R611]
WPE 5 1990 2000 DEC Reasonable [T4856] [R63] [R888] [R892]
CSR 4 1995 2005 DEC Reasonable
CSR 5 1990 2000 DEC Reasonable [T696] [R63] [R888] [R892]
CSR 6 2000 2014 STA/DEC Poor [T6311] [R1381] [R1362] [R1359]
CSR 7 2000 2014 DEC? Reasonable [T7116] [R1549] [R1551] [R1552]

Population 1% level

Publication Yearset 1 percent Note
WPE 1 1994 3500
WPE 2 1997 3500
WPE 4 2006 8500
WPE 3 2002 4200
WPE 5 2012 8400
CSR 4 -1 -1 Not Set
CSR 5 -1 -1 Not Set
CSR 6 -1 -1 Not Set
CSR 7 2018 7600


  • R599 - Smit, C.J. and Piersma, T. 1989. Numbers, midwinter distribution, and migration of wader populations using the East Atlantic Flyway. In: Boyd, H. and Pirot, J.-Y. (eds). Flyways and Reserves Networks. IWRB Special Publication No. 9. 1989. Slimbridge, UK.
  • R624 - Thorup, O. (comp) 2006. Breeding Waders in Europe 2000. International Wader Studies 14. International Wader Study Group, UK.
  • R611 - Stroud, D.A., Davidson, N.C., West, R., Scott, D.A., Haanstra, L., Thorup, O., Ganter, B. and Delany, S. (compilers) on behalf of the International Wader Study Group 2002. Status of migratory wader populations in Africa and Western Eurasia in the 1990s.
  • R63 - BirdLife International (2004)b. Birds in Europe, population estimates, trends and conservation status. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 12).
  • R888 - Wetlands International, 2012. Results of trend analysis undertaken for CSR5 2012, presented in Annex 4. http://www.unep-aewa.org/meetings/en/mop/mop5_docs/pdf/mop5_14_csr5.pdf
  • R892 - RSPB. 2010. The state of the UK?s birds in 2010. http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/sukb2010_tcm9-262382.pdf
  • R1362 - European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (in prep) Population and trend data provided by the EU Member States in the frame of their reporting under Article 12 of the EU Birds Directive. Online fact sheets. European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, Paris. URL: http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_12/Reports_2013/Member_State_Deliveries. Accessed on 31 July 2014.
  • R1365 - Wetlands International, International Waterbird Census, unpublished data, 2014.
  • R1381 - Nagy, S., Flink, S., Langendoen, T. (2014) Waterbird trends 1988-2012: Results of trend analyses of data from the International Waterbird Census in the African-Eurasian Flyway. Wetlands International, Ede.
  • R1359 - van Roomen, M., van Winden, E. & Langendoen, T. 2014. The assessment of trends and population sizes of a selection of waterbird species and populations from the coastal East Atlantic Flyway for Conservation Status Report 6 of The African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement. Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative, Wetlands International & Birdlife International.
  • R1549 - BirdLife International 2015. European Red List of Birds. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. http://datazone.birdlife.org/info/euroredlist
  • R1551 - EBCC, RSPB, BirdLife International & Statistics Netherlands. 2016. Trends of common birds in Europe, 2016 update. URL: http://www.ebcc.info/index.php?ID=612
  • R1552 - van Roomen M., Nagy S., Foppen R., Dodman T., Citegetse G. & Ndiaye A. 2015. Status of coastal waterbird populations in the East Atlantic Flyway. With special attention to flyway populations making use of the Wadden Sea. Programme Rich Wadden Sea, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, Sovon, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands, BirdLife International, Cambridge, United Kingdom &, Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Wilhelmshaven, Germany. URL: http://www.waddensea-secretariat.org/sites/default/files/downloads/status_coastal_birds_eaf_2014_1.pdf


  • T694 - 64: Breeding population decreasing in W Europe. 700: wintering population has decreased since a peak in 1995.
  • T4856 - BirdLife International 2004b: Breeding population decreased in 16 European countries and increased in 5, 1990-2000. Wetlands International 2012: Wintering population trend for 1983-2007: +2.1% p.a. ? Increase. However, trend in African portion of range p
  • T696 - 64. Breeding population decreased in 16 European countries and increased in 5 1990-2000. / 898. Wintering population Trend for 1983-2007: +2.1% p.a. – Increase. However, trend in African portion of range poorly known. / 902. UK breeding population decreased by 42% between 1995 and 2008.
  • S8311 - The current estimate of 700,000-1,000,000 individuals is based on breeding numbers and was adopted in WPE4. Midwinter counts continue to account for some 243,000-372,000 birds, majority of which are counted in Europe (Wetlands International, 2014). National estimates for wintering birds from BE, BG, DE, DK, ES, FR, IE, IT, NL, PT, SI and UK add up to 477,095-616,956 individuals showing already a large proportion added to the numbers reported to the IWC. However, breeding numbers from AT, BE, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, HU, IE, LT, LV, NL, PL, RO, SE, SI, SK, UK add up to 163,980-185,563 pairs (European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, in prep.). Adding to this 49,001-121,311 pairs for RU, BY, CZ, FO, RS, ME and UA (BirdLife International, 2004) yields a total estimate of 212,981-306,874 breeding pairs, i.e. 640,000-920,000 individuals, which is only slightly different from the existing estimate.
  • T6311 - The moderately increasing long-term trend based on the IWC data (Nagy et al., 2014 and van Roomen et al, 2014) agrees with the overall long-term (1980-2012: 1.0020-1.0081) trend based on national trend estimates for wintering birds in BE, BG, DE, DK, ES, FR, IE, IT, NL, PT, SI and the UK (European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, in prep.). However, the results of Nagy et al. (2014) and van Roomen et al. (2014) are marginally more positive than the overall short-term trend calculated based on national estimates (2000-2012: 0.9984-1.0018). This can be caused by the relatively high proportion of imputing to account for the missing counts from ES in 2011 and 2012. On the other hand, the overall trend of the breeding population (without data from RU, and some other countries with small breeding populations) shows decline both in the long- and the short-term, which contradicts increasing trend suggested by wintering numbers. Opposing trends in wintering numbers in Europe and Africa (van Roomen et al., 2014) would support the assumption of range shift, but wintering numbers along the coast of W and NW Africa were always far less than in Europe and immigration from Africa to Europe cannot explain the increase in Europe. Therefore, a STA/DEC assessment is adopted here.
  • S9092 - 212,481-291,870 pairs breeding in Europe.
  • T7116 - Both BirdLife International (2015) and and EBCC et al. (2016) show declining trend in breeding birds both in the long- and the short-term. However, mid-winter counts suggest strong increase in the long-term and stable trend in the short-term (Wetlands International, 2017). In concordance with van Roomen et al. (2015), the estimate based on the breeding season is considered to be more reliable than the trends based on more variable mid-winter counts, therefore the assessment of van Roomen et al. (2015) is accepted. Based on the breeding data, the population is in significant long-term decline.

Copyright Wetlands International 2012

Citation: Wetlands International (). "Waterbird Population Estimates" . Retrieved from wpe.wetlands.org on