Species Profile

Lesser Yellowlegs

Scientific Name: Tringa flavipes
Taxonomy Group: Birds
COSEWIC Range: Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2020
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: A2bcd+4bcd
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This medium-sized shorebird has 80% of its breeding range in Canada’s boreal region, migrates through the United States and Caribbean, and winters mostly in South America. It has experienced substantial long- and short-term declines, most recently estimated at 25% over three generations (12 years) based on the Breeding Bird Survey, and greater than 50% over 10 years based on International Shorebird Surveys. Declines are expected to continue. Key concerns include the loss of wetland and intertidal habitat used on migration and in winter, and hunting for sport and subsistence, which has been reduced in some areas but likely remains the most significant threat. Additionally, emerging threats from climate change include increased risk of drought in breeding areas, coastal flooding, and greater severity of hurricanes during fall migration.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in November 2020.
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd):

No schedule - No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.



PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

2 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) in Canada (2021-10-12)

    Lesser Yellowlegs is a small, slender shorebird with greyish plumage, a long neck, a straight black bill that is roughly the same length as its head, and long, bright-yellow legs. This migrant travels up to 30,000 km in a round trip between its breeding and wintering grounds. Approximately 80% of Lesser Yellowlegs breed in Canada. Note: This COSEWIC assessment was received by the Minister on October 12, 2021.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report 2020 to 2021 (2021-10-12)

    Over the past year COSEWIC assessed a total of 66 wildlife species, of which 4 were assigned a status of Not at Risk. Of these 66, COSEWIC re-examined the status of 41 wildlife species; of these, 80% were reassessed at the same or lower level of risk. To date and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 826 wildlife species in various risk categories including 369 Endangered, 196 Threatened, 239 Special Concern, and 22 Extirpated (i.e. no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 19 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, 62 wildlife species have been designated as Data Deficient, and 202 have been assessed as Not at Risk.
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