Migratory Bird Management
Alaska Region


Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper. USFWS. Click to enlarge

Despite having one of the largest breeding ranges of any North American sandpiper, the current continental population of the Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria) is estimated to be only 25,000 individuals (Morrison et al. 2001). The estimated population size of the Alaska-breeding race, T. s. cinnamomea, is only 4,000 individuals (Brown et al. 2001). If accurate, this population estimate indicates that the Alaskan-breeding race of the Solitary Sandpiper is among the most rare shorebirds in North America. The quality of these estimates, however, is thought to be quite poor. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data from Alaska since 1980 reveal a population decline of 4.1%/year (P = 0.02, N = 20 routes), suggesting that the Alaskan population today is only a third as large as it was a quarter century ago. Although not statistically significant, a comparable rate of decline has been estimated from Canadian BBS data since 1966 (Sauer et al. 2003). The small estimated population size and significant negative trend combine to generate a conservation ranking of "highly imperiled" for cinnamomea.

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Last Updated: September 18, 2008