© Tony Battiste
Two subspecies of Ruddy Turnstone breed in Canada: one breeds in the High Arctic and winters in Europe (Arenaria interpres interpres), while the other breeds in the central Arctic and winters along both coasts of the United States south to southern South America (A. i. morinella). Surveys suggest that both subspecies have decreased in abundance relative to about 1970, and both face a variety of threats during migration and in winter. However, because of regional variation in survey results, there is some uncertainty about the overall status of Canada's populations of Ruddy Turnstones. The morinella subspecies is a candidate wildlife species for assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
The Ruddy Turnstone is affected by loss and disturbance of coastal wintering habitats in Europe and elsewhere (e.g., Evans et al. 1991). Agricultural effluents are a risk in several key areas including coastal Brazil (Nettleship 2000). Reduced availability of prey due to baitworm harvest in the Bay of Fundy, horseshoe crab harvest in Delaware Bay, and other regional disturbances affect turnstones and other shorebirds at key migratory staging sites (e.g., Botton et al. 1994, Nettleship 2000).
Information on this and other species has been compiled by ecoregion through the Bird Conservation planning process. For more details, click Bird Conservation Plans.