Limosa fedoa - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Marbled Godwit
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Limosa fedoa (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 176686)
French Common Names: barge marbrée
Spanish Common Names: Picopando Canelo, Zarapito Moteado
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101687
Element Code: ABNNF08040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Shorebirds
Image 21624

© Dennis Donohue

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Charadriiformes Scolopacidae Limosa
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Limosa fedoa
Taxonomic Comments: Alaska breeding population recently was described as a new subspecies (beringiae; Gibson and Kessel 1989).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 25Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species is currently ranked a G5 by NatureServe and this convention is used here.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B (13Feb2012)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S3N), Alaska (SNRB), Arizona (S3M), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNRN), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), Florida (SNRN), Georgia (S3), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Iowa (SXB), Kansas (S3N), Louisiana (S4N), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (S1N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (S3B), Mississippi (S2N), Missouri (SNA), Montana (S4B), Navajo Nation (S4M), Nebraska (SNRN), Nevada (S3M), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (S4N), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (S2N), North Dakota (SU), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (S2N), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (S2N), South Carolina (SNRN), South Dakota (S5B), Texas (S4), Utah (SNA), Virginia (SNRN), Washington (S3N), Wisconsin (S2S3N), Wyoming (S4N)
Canada Alberta (S5), British Columbia (S4M), Manitoba (S4B), Nunavut (SU), Ontario (S3B), Quebec (S3), Saskatchewan (S5B,S5M)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: largest breeding population: southern Prairie Provinces of Canada south to central Montana, central North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota and northwestern Minnesota (AOU 1983); smaller isolated populations at James Bay, Canada, and vicinity of Ugashik Bay, Alaska, on northern coast of Alaskan Peninsula (Gibson and Kessel 1989). NON-BREEDING: southern U.S. (central California, western Nevada, Gulf coast, coastal South Carolina south to Florida) south to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and northern Chile (AOU 1983). Accidental in Hawaii. Nonbreeders occur in summer in winter range. MIGRATION: primarily through interior North America and along California coast, regularly north to British Columbia and southern Alaska, and, primarily in fall, along Atlantic coast from southeastern Canada to Greater Antilles (AOU 1983). Previously (mid-1800s) an abundant migrant along Atlantic coast from New England south; now rare. Common on west coast.

Area of Occupancy: >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Birdlife International (2014) estimates a distributioin area of 716,000 square kilometers.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: With an estimated population of 170,000 (Morrison, et. al. 2006), there should be 100 or more EOs.

Population Size: 100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Morrison et al. (2006) estimated the total population as 170,00 (range 140,000-200,000).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: an estimate given population number.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Apparently extirpated from much of former habitat in U.S. by excessive market hunting. Currently, it is threatened by its requiring large territories in a vanishing prarie land scape (National Audubon Society, 2014). Exotic species, fire suppression, draining of seasonal wetlands, highway expansion, and converson of shortgrass prairie to cropland is degrading this species' breeding habitat.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Morrison (1993/1994) categorized the population trend in Canada as "stable?/decreasing?". The latest Breeding Bird Survey (Sauer, et. al. 2014) shows a 0.49% increasing trend from 2002 through 2012.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Birdlife International (2014) lists the species trend as decreasing and National Audubon Society (2014) says there are moderate population declines. The Breeding Bird Survey (Sauer, 2014) estimates a 0.23% annual decline over the 1996-2012 time period.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Grasslands are one of the most imperiled ecosystem worldwide and this species is dependent on this habitat. (Gratto-Trevor, 2000). The species has shown itself to be somewhat adaptable though.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Grassland and wetland complexes that are used by this species are fairly specialized habitats (Gratto-Trevor, 2000).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: The number of breeding paris and population trends in each province and state needs to be determined, including the factors affecting those trends (Gratto-Trevor, 2000).

Protection Needs: Protect wetlands from drainage and protect upland habitat from tillage (Ryan et al. 1984, Johnson 1996, Johnson et al. 1998). Protect staging and wintering areas from development, degradation, and disturbance (Gratto-Trevor, 2000).

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: largest breeding population: southern Prairie Provinces of Canada south to central Montana, central North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota and northwestern Minnesota (AOU 1983); smaller isolated populations at James Bay, Canada, and vicinity of Ugashik Bay, Alaska, on northern coast of Alaskan Peninsula (Gibson and Kessel 1989). NON-BREEDING: southern U.S. (central California, western Nevada, Gulf coast, coastal South Carolina south to Florida) south to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and northern Chile (AOU 1983). Accidental in Hawaii. Nonbreeders occur in summer in winter range. MIGRATION: primarily through interior North America and along California coast, regularly north to British Columbia and southern Alaska, and, primarily in fall, along Atlantic coast from southeastern Canada to Greater Antilles (AOU 1983). Previously (mid-1800s) an abundant migrant along Atlantic coast from New England south; now rare. Common on west coast.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, IAextirpated, ID, IL, KS, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY
Canada AB, BC, MB, NU, ON, QC, SK

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AK Lake and Peninsula (02164), Yakutat (02282)
ID Ada (16001), Bingham (16011), Blaine (16013), Camas (16025), Jefferson (16051), Kootenai (16055), Nez Perce (16069), Valley (16085)
MN Becker (27005), Beltrami (27007), Big Stone (27011), Brown (27015), Chippewa (27023), Clay (27027), Clearwater (27029), Cottonwood (27033), Douglas (27041), Grant (27051), Kandiyohi (27067), Kittson (27069), Lac Qui Parle (27073), Mahnomen (27087), Marshall (27089), Mcleod (27085)*, Norman (27107), Otter Tail (27111), Pennington (27113), Polk (27119), Pope (27121), Red Lake (27125), Roseau (27135), Stearns (27145), Swift (27151), Todd (27153), Traverse (27155), Wilkin (27167), Yellow Medicine (27173)
ND McLean (38055), Sargent (38081)*
NE Cherry (31031)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
07 Platte-Spunk (07010201)+, Sauk (07010202)+, Crow (07010204)+, South Fork Crow (07010205)+*, Upper Minnesota (07020001)+, Pomme De Terre (07020002)+, Lac Qui Parle (07020003)+, Chippewa (07020005)+, Middle Minnesota (07020007)+, Des Moines Headwaters (07100001)+
09 Bois De Sioux (09020101)+, Mustinka (09020102)+, Otter Tail (09020103)+, Upper Red (09020104)+, Buffalo (09020106)+, Eastern Wild Rice (09020108)+, Sandhill-Wilson (09020301)+, Red Lake (09020303)+, Thief (09020304)+, Clearwater (09020305)+, Grand Marais-Red (09020306)+, Snake (09020309)+, Lower Red (09020311)+, Two Rivers (09020312)+, Roseau (09020314)+
10 Painted Woods-Square Butte (10130101)+, Middle Niobrara (10150004)+, Upper James (10160003)+*
17 Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Camas (17040220)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, South Fork Payette (17050120)+, Clearwater (17060306)+
19 Yakutat Bay (19010401)+, Port Heiden (19030201)+, Ugashik Bay (19030202)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A large shorebird (godwit).
Reproduction Comments: Breeding begins mid- to late May (Harrison 1978). Usually 4 eggs are incubated by both sexes. Length of incubation is not known. Nestlings are precocial. Often nests in semicolonial groups (Hayman et al. 1986).
Ecology Comments: Nonbreeding: forages singly or in small loose groups, roosts in larger groups (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Breeding territories large, often including both feeding and nesting areas; in North Dakota, mean size 90 hectares (Ryan et al. 1984). Nests occasionally as close as 60 meters (Nowicki 1973, Gratto-Trevor 2000). Distances between nests of same birds in different years range from 73-1060 meters (Gratto-Trevor 2000).

Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Alaska breeding population apparently winters on Pacific coast from Washington to northern California; spring migration in Alaska late April-May (Gibson and Kessel 1989). Migrates through Costa Rica August-September and late March-April (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Estuarine Habitat(s): Herbaceous wetland, Tidal flat/shore
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Sand/dune
Habitat Comments: Marshes and flooded plains; in migration and when not breeding also on mudflats and beaches (AOU 1983) and open shallow water along shorelines. Post-breeders often in flooded livestock feedlots and alkali wetlands in North Dakota. Sleeps or rests on dikes in salt ponds, mangroves (Costa Rica, Stiles and Skutch 1989). Nests on ground in grassy prairies, pastures, and hayfields, near lakes and ponds; coastal marshland at James Bay. Often nests in semi-permanent wetlands, may select ephemeral alkali and temporary ponds when available.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Probes in mud and tidal flats for mollusks, crustaceans, and worms; eats grasshoppers and other insects on prairies and meadows; also eats tubers and seeds of pondweeds, sedges, and muskgrass (Terres 1980).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 46 centimeters
Weight: 371 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Keys to management include providing short, sparse to moderately vegetated landscapes that include native grasslands and wetland complexes. Wetland complexes contain a diversity of wetland classes, including ephemeral, temporary, seasonal, semipermanent, and permanent wetlands, as well as intermittent streams. Godwits use wetlands of various salinities (Johnson et al. 1998).
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Maintain a diverse complex of wetlands (Ryan et al. 1984, Colwell and Oring 1988). Wetlands of widely varying types and salinities are used, but may need to utilize larger, more permanent wetlands during droughts or late in summer (Ryan et al. 1984). Provide native grassland habitat for upland nesting and foraging (Ryan et al. 1984, Kantrud and Higgins 1992, Eldridge in prep).

Territories are large, and include both feeding and nesting areas. Protected areas must be large enough to provide both upland habitat and a diverse range of wetland types (Stewart 1975, Colwell and Oring 1988, Kantrud and Higgins 1992). May be area sensitive, rarely occurring on blocks of contiguous grassland less than 100 ha in the northern Great Plains (D.H. Johnson, unpubl. data). Mean territory size was 90 ha in North Dakota (Ryan et al. 1984).

Management Requirements: Grazing, mowing, and prescribed burning can be used to provide areas of shorter, sparser vegetation (Ryan et al. 1984, Berkey et al. 1993, Eldridge in prep).

BURNING: Fall burning or mowing of upland sites and wetland edges can produce suitable cover for the following spring (Ryan et al. 1984). Moderate to dense regrowth in burned areas may be too dense for nesting, but can provide the denser, taller cover used by broods (Ryan et al. 1984).

HAYING: Haylands are readily used by breeding birds (Ryan et al. 1984, Kantrud and Higgins 1992). Ryan et al. (1984) suggested that fall haying or burning could provide nesting habitat the following spring, and the denser, taller regrowth could provide suitable habitat for broods. Densities were highest during the first 2 years after a burn in North Dakota grasslands (Johnson 1997).

GRAZING: Can be used in both upland and wetland habitats to maintain the short, moderately dense vegetation preferred (Ryan et al. 1984). Grazed or recently grazed uplands are often more attractive to breeding birds than are other land-use types (Ryan et al. 1984, Kantrud and Higgins 1992, Sedivec 1994). Godwits prefer previously grazed areas that are idle during the current breeding season (Kantrud and Higgins 1992). If grazing used, choose rotational over season-long grazing (Sedivec 1994). When implementing a rotational grazing system, avoid grazing until late May or early June; when using season-long grazing, delay grazing until mid-June (Sedivec 1994). Berkey et al. (1993) suggest that short-term grazing (2-4 weeks in May) may be beneficial in North Dakota.

Biological Research Needs: There are many knowledge gaps, particularly on breeding and survival of individuals. There is a lack of knowledge on migration routes and staging areas (Gratto-Trevor, 2000).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Shorebirds

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Feeding Area, Breeding Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Mapping Guidance: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas as well as foraging areas of nesting adults and broods. Because separations are based on nesting areas, the foraging areas of different occurrences may overlap if nesting birds are traveling to distant places to feed.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance pertains specifically to nesting areas, not to locations of dispersed foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap of more than 5 km are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas.

The separation distance is an arbitrary value; it is impractical to attempt to delineate shorebird occurrences on the basis of dispersal patterns or metapopulation dynamics. Foraging ranges of some nesting shorebird species (see following) may suggest use of a larger separation distance, but this likely would result in occurrences that are too large and less effective for conservation planning.

Separation distance based on larger 'typical' breeding home ranges with diameters of 1.5 to 3 kilometers. Semipalmated Plovers have breeding home ranges up to 3 square kilometers, i.e. a diameter of just under 2 kilometers (Nol and Blanken 1999). Red-necked Phalaropes have a core home range of 1-3 hectares, but occasionally travel 1.5 kilometers to feed (Rubega et al. 2000). Stilt Sandpipers can forage up to 8 kilometers from nest (Jehl 1973). Mountain Plovers have an average home range of 56.6 hectares (Knopf 1996) but broods typically move 1-2 kilometers shortly after hatching (Knopf and Rupert 1996).

Territories: Common Snipe, 6.4-28.6 hectares (Mueller 1999); Long-billed Dowitcher, 100-300 meter diameter (Johnsgard 1981); golden-plovers, average 10-59 hectares (Johnson and Connors 1996); Long-billed Curlew, 6-20 hectares (Johnsgard 1981).

Nesting densities: Black-bellied Plover, 0.3-2.3 pairs per square kilometer (44 ha per pair at latter density; Hussell and Page 1976, Parmelee et al. 1967); Marbled Godwit, maximum density 1 pair/32 hectares (Stewart and Kantrud 1972).

Foraging distances: Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, up to 13 kilometers from nest (Elphick and Tibbits 1998, Tibbits and Moskoff 1999).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1.5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a smaller 'typical' home ranges (see Separation Justification).
Date: 25Mar2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Roost, Foraging concentration area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat (minimum can be reduced in the case of rarer species). Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging or roosting birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 15Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Roost, Winter Feeding Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging or roosting birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 25Mar2004
Author: S. Cannings
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 11Aug2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jue, Dean K.
Management Information Edition Date: 01Feb1998
Management Information Edition Author: JOHNSON, D.H., L.D. IGL, J.A. DECHANT, M.L. SONDREAL, C.M. GOLDADE, M.P.
Management Information Acknowledgments: Parts of this abstract were originally researched and written by staff of the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research center and published as Johnson et al. (1998). Additional support for the preparation of this abstract was provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Initiative, through challenge grant number 97-270 to The Nature Conservancy, Wings of the Americas program. Matching funds for this grant were donated by Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 21Apr2004
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G., MINOR REVISIONS BY S. CANNINGS

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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