Population information

Order name Charadriiformes
Family name Recurvirostridae
Scientific name Recurvirostra avosetta Common name Pied Avocet
Population name Western Europe & North-west Africa (bre)
Breeding range NW Europe, W Mediterranean, NW Africa Non-breeding range Atlantic coast S to Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia
Red List Category Least Concern
Ramsar regions Africa Europe

Conservation Framework

Conservation framework Notes

Population size

Publication Start year End year Minimum Maximum Estimate quality Notes References Actions
WPE 1 0 0 67,000 67,000 [R599]
WPE 2 0 0 67,000 67,000 [R599]
WPE 3 1990 2000 73,000 73,000 [R611]
WPE 4 1990 2000 73,000 73,000 [R611]
WPE 5 1990 2000 73,000 73,000 Expert opinion [R611]
CSR 5 1990 2000 73,000 73,000 Expert opinion [R611]
CSR 4 1990 2000 73,000 73,000 Expert opinion [R611]
CSR 6 2005 2012 88,000 98,500 Census based [S8369] [R1451] [R1362] [R1365] [R1359]
CSR 7 2005 2012 89,000 99,000 Census based [S9007] [R1549]

Population trends

Publication Start year End year Trend Trend quality Notes References Actions
WPE 1 1975 1985 STA [R599]
WPE 2 1975 1985 STA [R599]
WPE 3 1984 1997 STA [R611]
WPE 4 1984 1997 STA [R611]
WPE 5 1997 2007 STA? No idea [T4362] [R888]
CSR 5 1997 2007 STA? Reasonable [T1099] [R888]
CSR 4 1989 2002 STA Reasonable [T1098] [R904]
CSR 6 2003 2014 INC Reasonable [T6369] [R1362] [R1381] [R1359]
CSR 7 2006 2015 INC? Reasonable [T7097] [R1552] [R1549] [R1548]

Population 1% level

Publication Yearset 1 percent Note
WPE 1 1994 700
WPE 2 1997 700
WPE 3 2002 730
WPE 4 2006 730
WPE 5 2012 730
CSR 5 0 -1
CSR 4 0 -1
CSR 6 0 -1
CSR 7 2018 940


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • R904 - Wetlands International. November 2007. Unpublished population trend analysis based on the IWC database of January counts in Europe using TRIM software.
  • R1451 - Stroud, D. A. (2004). Status of migratory wader populations in Africa and Western Eurasia in the 1990s. International Wader Study Group.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • R1549 - BirdLife International 2015. European Red List of Birds. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. http://datazone.birdlife.org/info/euroredlist
  • 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
  • R1548 - Wetlands International (2017) Flyway trend analyses based on data from the African-Eurasian Waterbird Census from the period of 1967-2015. Ede, The Netherlands: Wetlands International. URL: http://iwc.wetlands.org/index.php/aewatrends


  • T4362 - Wetlands International 2012. Trend 1983-2007: +0,5% p.a. ? Uncertain.
  • T1099 - 898. Trend 1983-2007: +0,5% p.a. – Uncertain.
  • T1098 - 914. Increasing in NW Europe, stable in W Mediterranean.
  • S8369 - The current population estimate of 73,000 birds is based on midwinter counts in the 1990s (Stroud et al., 2004). The breeding numbers in BE, DE, DK, EE, ES, FR, LT, NL, PL, PT, SE and UK is 35,195-39,404 pairs, assuming that 60% of the population in ES and 80% of the population in FR belongs to this population (European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, in prep.). Based on the average January counts for 2010-2012, some 27,000 birds winter in NW Europe, an additional 17,000 on the Iberian Peninsula, 16,755 in Morocco (2013) and 3,376-8,215 in West Africa. This yields a total of 65,000-69,000 individuals during the mid-winter counts. With some allowance for under-recording in Guinea and other countries of West Africa, the original estimate can be considered still reliable for the wintering numbers although it is not consistent with the breeding numbers, even when only a factor of 2.5 is used to convert the number of pairs to individuals that would yield 88,000-98,500 individuals for the European breeders alone. However, most countries considered their estimates highly reliable as indicated by the narrow margin between the minimum and maximum. Van Roomen et al. (2014) managed to account for almost 79,000 individuals using the results of extensive counts in West Africa in 2014 and mobilizing data from other sources and this is even closer to the estimate calculated from breeding numbers.
  • T6369 - The long-term trend based on IWC data shows a large increase (Nagy et al., 2014, van Roomen et al., 2014), while the long-term overall trend estimated based on breeding data for BE, DE, DK, EE, ES, FR, LT, NL, PL, PT, SE and UK indicates a stable trend (1980-2012: -0.29% - +0.29% p.a., European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, in prep.). The short-term trend derived from the IWC data, i.e. stable/fluctuating (Nagy et al. 2014) or large increase (van Roomen et al., 2014) is also more optimistic than the overall one derived from the national trends for breeding birds that suggests a large decline (2000-2012: 1.09-1.69% p.a. decline). However, contrary to the wintering counts, the trends based on breeding numbers do not account for the birds that breed in West Africa therefore the large increase proposed by van Roomen et al (2014) was adopted here.
  • S9007 - The breeding numbers in BE, DE, DK, EE, ES, FR, LT, NL, PL, PT, SE and UK is 35,480-39,654 pairs, assuming that 60% of the population in ES and 80% of the population in FR belongs to this population. Using a conversion factor of 2.5.
  • T7097 - Based on winter counts (van Rooment et al. 2015, Wetlands International, 2017). BirdLife International (2015) has assessed the short-term trend of the breeding population in Europe as decreasing with negative population trends in DE, DK, LT, NL and NO. All sources agree that the population has increased in the long-term.

Copyright Wetlands International 2012

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