The Eskimo Curlew is almost certainly extinct. This shorebird once migrated in huge flocks between its remote breeding grounds on the open taiga (coniferous forest with open spaces, located at the transition between the forest and tundra) of North America to its wintering grounds in Argentina. On its way there and back, it faced a slaughter by hunters who sometimes killed so many that they filled wagons. Destruction of grassland habitat by human activities also played a significant role in the decline of the species.
By the beginning of the 1900s, the Eskimo Curlew was rarely seen. No certain sightings have been recorded since 1963. The species is feared extinct, but as of 2008, it had not been declared extinct because unconfirmed reports of sightings had not yet stopped.
The only known breeding site was in the Northwest Territories. Eskimo Curlews migrated south along the Atlantic Coast to wintering grounds in the grasslands of Argentina. They returned north through the North American prairies.