Meadow-breeding waders in European Russia: main habitat types, numbers, population trends and key affecting factors


43 – 52

1 April 20

Alexander Mischenko


Alexander Mischenko
A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Leninskiy prospect, 33, Moscow 119071, Russia


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This review is based on the analysis of all published sources and unpublished materials containing information on numbers, trends over different time periods, main habitat types, threats and conservation problems for nine wader species inhabiting different types of meadows in European Russia: Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, Common Redshank Tringa totanus, Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago, Great Snipe G. media, Ruff Philomachus pugnax and Dunlin Calidris alpina. Meadows are the main breeding habitat for Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper and Great Snipe, whereas several species also make significant use of other habitats in Russia: arable lands (Northern Lapwing), various types of mires (Eurasian Curlew and Common Snipe), and tundra habitats (Ruff). Dunlin is considered here at the level of subspecies Calidris alpina schinzii, which breeds in meadow habitats. A strong decline of farming activities, up to full abandonment of large areas, and a decreasing intensity of spring floods due to climate change are the key factors affecting meadow-breeding waders. All nine wader species showed long-term declines in numbers (1970–2018), and the only species without a negative short-term trend (2003–2018) was Great Snipe. Dunlin and meadow populations of Ruff have demonstrated the strongest negative population trends due to interaction of farming depression and climate-related changes, and are in need of urgent conservation measures. Development of special agri-environmental schemes and implementation of habitat management are necessary for meadow waders in Russia.