Sandpipers are a large family, Scolopacidae, of waders. They include many species called sandpipers, as well as those called by names such as curlew and snipe. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. Sandpipers have long bodies and legs, and narrow wings. Most species have a narrow bill, but otherwise the form and length are quite variable. They are small to medium-sized birds, measuring 12 to 66 cm (4.7–26.0 in) in length. The bills are sensitive, allowing the birds to feel the mud and sand as they probe for food. They generally have dull plumage, with cryptic brown, grey, or streaked patterns, although some display brighter colours during the breeding season. Most species nest in open areas, and defend their territories with aerial displays. The nest itself is a simple scrape in the ground, in which the bird typically lays three or four eggs. The young of most species are precocial.
Spotted Redshank |
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
IUCN Red List Assessment, Calidris subruficollis
On the breeding grounds; habitat is being lost or degraded due to energy production (extraction of oil and gas The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Calidris subruficollis published in 2017. http dx.doi.org 10.2305 IUCN.UK.2017 1.RLTS.T22693447A111804064.en and associated development) and climate change (Lanctot et al.; 2010).
Climate change may also be affecting demographic parameters but the overall effects are unclear.
Alternatively; climate change could lengthen the growing season; providing flexibility for birds to initiate or replace lost clutches (although this may be more common in Calidrids that do not have a lek mating system); as well as promote survival of chicks enhancements that could provide an overall positive or neutral effect (Lanctot et al.; 2010).
Climate change may also affect the species during migration by increasing the severity of storms over the western Atlantic that could directly impact survival rates of juveniles; which predominately use this pathway during southbound migration (Lanctot et al.; 2010).
Finally; climate change may result in sea level rise and greater precipitation; which will inundate the many low lying areas used by the species during the non breeding season.