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Numenius borealis J. R. Forster, 1772:411,431

Eskimo curlew (see Greenway, 1967:264 for a list of regional names)

 

 

Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Phaeopus borealis Forster, 1772:411,431; Scolopax borealis Forster, 1772:411,431

 

Conservation Status

Extinct

Last record: 1939 (wintering grounds); 4 September 1963 (Barbados) (Robbins, 2018:84); 1987? (Suckling et al. 2004)

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)

 

Distribution

Americas (migratory)

 

Biology & Ecology

 

 

Hypodigm

The last known specimen:

The last confirmed record of the species is of an individual shot on Barbados, on 4 September 1963, now accessioned as ANSP 169796 (Robbins, 2018:84).

 

There are 52 specimens in the MCZ's ornithology collection, Harvard University:

Ornithology 100627 (male)

Ornithology 100628 (female)

Ornithology 148175 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 15387 (female)

Ornithology 171759 (male)

Ornithology 182290 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 182291 (female)

Ornithology 182292 (male)

Ornithology 188626 (male)

Ornithology 204960 (male)

Ornithology 206715 (male)

Ornithology 206716 (female)

Ornithology 219172 (male)

Ornithology 219174 (male)

Ornithology 231148 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 231149 (female)

Ornithology 247825 (male)

Ornithology 247826 (male)

Ornithology 247827 (female)

Ornithology 254817 (female)

Ornithology 271621 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 301738 (male)

Ornithology 301739 (male)

Ornithology 301740 (male)

Ornithology 301741 (female)

Ornithology 301742 (female)

Ornithology 301743 (male)

Ornithology 30508 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 30509 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 30510 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 311929 (female)

Ornithology 31206 (female)

Ornithology 31207 (female)

Ornithology 313495 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 315235 (female)

Ornithology 315591 (male)

Ornithology 318909 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 318910 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 318911 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 328583 (male)

Ornithology 328584 (male)

Ornithology 342028 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 342348 (male)

Ornithology 42493 (female)

Ornithology 58360 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 63236 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 71586 (female)

Ornithology 71587 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 73329 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 7475 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 84053 (sex unspecified)

Ornithology 84443 (sex unspecified)

 

For details of all records search "Numenius borealis" at: http://mczbase.mcz.harvard.edu/SpecimenSearch.cfm

 

Media

All four known historical photos of living Eskimo curlews, all taken in April 1962 on Galveston Island, Texas, were published in (Melling, 2010), including a previously unpublished colour photograph. Melling (2010) also includes a fifth possible photo, also taken on Galveston Island in April 1962, but with a seemingly deeper bill, that may or may not be an Eskimo curlew.

 

References

Original scientific description:

Forster, J. R. (1772). An account of the birds sent from Hudson's Bay; with observations relative to their natural history; and latin descriptions of some of the most uncommon. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 62: 383-433.

 

Other references:

Aldrich, J. (1978). Eskimo Curlew. U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, unpublished  report. 11 pp.

Anonymous. (1964). List of rare birds, including those thought to be so but of which detailed information is still lacking. IUCN Bulletin 10(Special Supplement): 4 pp.

Anonymous. (1994). What can you say about Curlews? Animals & Men 2: 25.

Banks, Richard C. (1977). The decline and fall of the Eskimo Curlew, or why did the curlew go extaille? American Birds 31(2): 127-134.

Barbour, R. (1906). Numenius borealis at sea at 49o N. x 27o W. Auk 23: 459.

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BirdLife International. (2011). Species factsheet: Numenius borealis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/07/2011.

BirdLife International. 2021. Numenius borealis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T22693170A178901365. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T22693170A178901365.en. Accessed on 06 July 2022.

BirdLife International. 2015. Numenius borealis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22693170A79178546. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T22693170A79178546.en. Downloaded on 15 October 2016.

Blanco, D., Banchs, R. and Canevari, P. (1993). Critical sites for the Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis), and other Nearctic grassland shorebirds in Argentina and Uruguay. Unpublished United States Fish and Wildlife Service Report. Wetlands for the Americas, Manomet, MA and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Blankinship, David R. and King, Kirke A. (1984). A probable sighting of 23 Eskimo Curlews in Texas. North American Birds 38(6): 1066-1067.

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Bond, M. W. (1965). Did a Barbados hunter shoot the last Eskimo Curlew? Audubon Magazine 67: 314-316.

Braislin, William C. (1907). A Correction: Concerning the Occurrence of Numenius Borealis on Long Island. Auk 24(3): 341.

P.A. Buckley, Edward B. Massiah Maurice B. Hutt, Francine G. Buckley and Hazel F. Hutt. (?). The Birds of Barbados. BOU Checklist Series No. 24. Publisher?

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Butchart, Stuart H. M., Stattersfield, A. J. and Brooks, T. M. (2006). Going or gone: defining ‘Possibly Extinct’ species to give a truer picture of recent extinctions. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 126A: 7-24.

Canevari, P. and D.E. Blanco. (1994). Literature search for the Eskimo Curlew. Unpublished report prepared for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Conservation International. 65 pp.

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Elphick, Chris S., Roberts, David L. and Reed, J. Michael. (2010). Estimated dates of recent extinctions for North American and Hawaiian birds. Biological Conservation 143: 617-624.

Emanuel, Victor L. (1961). Another Probable Record of An Eskimo Curlew on Galveston Island, Texas. Auk 78(2): 259-260.

Emanuel, Victor  L. (1962). Texans rediscover the nearly extinct Eskimo Curlew. Audubon  64: 162-164. [-165?]

Environment Canada. (2007). Recovery Strategy for the Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. v + 10 pp.

Farrand, John Jnr. (1977). What to look for: Eskimo and Little Curlews compared. AB 31: 137.

Forbush, E. H. 1912. A history of the game birds, valdfowl and shore birds of Massachusetts and adjacent States. Mass. State Board of Agrm, Boston. 622 pp.

Fuller, Errol. (2013). Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Ghiraldi, Luca and Aimassi, Giorgio. (2019). Extinct and endangered (‘E&E’) birds in the ornithological collection of the Museum of Zoology of Torino University, Italy. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 139(1): 28-45.

Gibbs, K. E., Mackey, R. L. and Currie, D. J. (2009). Human land use, agriculture, pesticides and losses of imperiled species. Diversity and Distributions 15(2): 242-253. 

Gill, R. E., Canevari, P. and Iversen, E. H. (1998). Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis). In: Poole, A. and Gill, F. (ed.), The birds of North America, No. 347, pp. 1-28. The Academy of Natural Sciences and The American Ornithologists' Union, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

Gollop, J. B. (1988). The Eskimo Curlew, pp. 383–594. In: Chandler, W. J. (ed.). Audubon wildlife report 1988/1989. New York: Academic Press. 

Gollop, B. (1997). Comments on Eskimo Curlew sightings. Blue Jay 55: 75–78.

Gollop, J.B. and C.E.P. Shier. (1978). Status report on Eskimo Curlew Numenius borealis in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and Canadian Nature Federation, Ottawa, Ontario. 53 pp.

Gollop, J.B., T.W. Barry, and E.H. Iversen. (1986). Eskimo Curlew a vanishing species? Special Publication No. 17. Saskatchewan Natural History Society, Regina, Saskatchewan. 160 pp. Available from www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/curlew/

Gouraud, Christophe. (2014). Extinct and endangered species and subspecies of birds in the Baillon Collection, La Châtre, France. Journal of the National Museum (Prague), Natural History Series 183(3): 29-38.

Gratto-Trevor, C. (1999). Status report of the Eskimo Curlew Numenius borealis in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

Graves, Gary R. (2010). Late 19th Century Abundance Trends of the Eskimo Curlew on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Waterbirds 33(2): 236-241.

Greenway, J. C., Jr. 1958. Extinct and vanishing birds of the world. Spec. Publ. no. 13, Amer. Comm Internat. Wild Life Protection, New York. 518 pp.

Greenway James C. (1967). Extinct and Vanishing Birds of the World. American Committee for International Wild Life Protection, Special Publication no 13, 2nd edn. Dover Publications, New York.

Hagar, Joseph A. and Anderson, Kathleen S. (1977). Sight record of Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis) on west coast of James Bay, Canada. North American Birds 31(2): 135-136.

Holterhoff, Godfrey. (1884). Eskimo Curlew At San Diego, Cal. Auk 1(4): 393.

Howes, C. A. (1969). A survey of extinct and nearly extinct birds in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists Club 89(4): 89-92.

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Johnsgard, Paul A. (2013). The Birds of Nebraska (revised edition). Lincoln, Nebraska: Zea Books.

Johnsgard, Paul A. (2018). The Birds of Nebraska (revised edition). Lincoln, Nebraska: Zea Books.

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Lawson, J. (1966). A new voyage to Carolina. Ann Arbor, Univ. Microfilms, Inc. Reprint of 1709 edition

Mackay, George H. (1892). Habits of the Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis) in New England. Auk 9(1): 16-21.

Mackay, George H. (1893). The Migration of Numenius Borealis in Massachusetts in 1892. Auk 10(1): 79.

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Melling, Tim. (2010). The Eskimo Curlew in Britain. British Birds 103(2): 80-92.

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Young, D. E. (1953). Ecological considerations in the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon  (Ectopistes migratorius), Heath Hen (Tympanuchus cupido cupido) and the Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis). Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 527 pp.

http://extinctanimals.proboards.com/thread/7792/numenius-borealis-eskimo-curlew

https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/apr/11/extinct-since-1960s-eskimo-curlews-used-to-fly/

 

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