Red Knot (Calidris canutus) Research—Preliminary Results and Future Opportunities

Open-File Report 2020-1050
By: , and 



The Red Knot, Calidris canutus, is a highly migratory shorebird with a cosmopolitan distribution. Six subspecies have been identified, two of which occur regularly in North America (C.c. rufa and C.c. roselaari). Given their long-distance migrations through many jurisdictions and conservation status, tools are needed to reliably distinguish the subspecies when captured away from their breeding areas and to examine potential population substructure within each taxa. We used a suite of molecular approaches to develop tools to support Red Knot research and management. Although our microsatellite markers were not able to reliably distinguish C.c. rufa and C.c. roselaari, we did find evidence of population substructure within C.c. rufa.

Suggested Citation

Kazyak, D., Aunins, A., and Johnson, R., 2020, Red Knot (Calidris canutus) research—Preliminary results and future opportunities: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1050, 6 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Project Background
  • Methods
  • Preliminary Results
  • Ideas for Additional Red Knot Genetic Research
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Red Knot (Calidris canutus) research—Preliminary results and future opportunities
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2020-1050
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201050
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Leetown Science Center
Description v, 6 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details