Bristle-thighed curlew are monogamous birds, forming long-term bonds, and are not only faithful to a partner, but also to breeding sites, returning to the same place year after year. Therefore, the expanding development of gold mines and mining roads on the Seward Peninsula in Alaska is an increasing threat that could have a significant impact on the curlew, due to its reliance on the small area for breeding.
However, the small population of bristle-thighed curlew is declining primarily due to the impacts of introduced predators on their wintering grounds. The flightless period during the moult evolved during a time when there were no mammalian predators on the South Pacific islands where they spend the winter. Today, with the establishment of humans on these islands, and the subsequent introduction of mammals, moulting leaves the curlew in an extremely vulnerable position. Introduced cats, dogs and possibly pigs, prey heavily on the flightless curlews, causing a significant decline in numbers. The Bristle-thighed curlew are currently classified as a Vulnerable species.