Oenanthe oenanthe 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Muscicapidae

Scientific Name: Oenanthe oenanthe (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Northern Wheatear
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Taxonomic Notes: Oenanthe oenanthe and O. seebohmi (del Hoyo and Collar 2016) were previously lumped as O. oenanthe following AERC TAC (2003); AOU (1998 and supplements); Cramp et al. (1977-1994); Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993); Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993); Stotz et al. (1996).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Khwaja, N.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Andorra; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Belarus; Belgium; Benin; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Canada; Cape Verde; Central African Republic; Chad; China; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Estonia; Ethiopia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Gambia; Georgia; Germany; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Greenland; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Hungary; Iceland; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malawi; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Moldova; Monaco; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; Niger; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Rwanda; San Marino; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia; Sierra Leone; Slovakia; Slovenia; Somalia; South Sudan; Spain (Canary Is.); Sudan; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States; Uzbekistan; Western Sahara; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Barbados; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Botswana; Comoros; Côte d'Ivoire; Cuba; Curaçao; Gabon; India; Japan; Korea, Republic of; Malaysia; Maldives; Mexico; Nepal; Pakistan; Philippines; Puerto Rico; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Seychelles; Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:24600000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):2800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 5,280,000-15,800,000 pairs, which equates to 10,600,000-31,500,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). There are an estimated 100-10,000 breeding pairs and 50-1,000 individuals on migration in China, and 100-100,000 breeding pairs and 50-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009). It is likely that the global population falls into the band 10,000,000-500,000,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  In Europe, trends between 1980 and 2013 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline (EBCC 2015).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:10000000-500000000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:During the breeding season this species occupies open ground including open stony estuarine plains with sparse clumps of vegetation; sand dunes; shingle stretches; clifftops; coastal islands; heavily grazed heathland and downland; moors; meadows; walled fields; stone-studded bogs; open submontane shrubland; rocky alpine meadows; streamside bluffs, and lowland and montane tundra above the tree-line. Breeding occurs from early May to June in central and southern Europe, early/mid-April to the end of July or early August in north-west Europe, late May and June in Iceland, early or mid-May to early July in Scandinavia, June-July in eastern Siberia, May-August in Mongolia and mid-May-early August in North America. The nest is an unlined cup of leaves, stems, moss, lichen, feathers and hair bedded on a cradle and foundation of dried stems and grasses and set in a well-sheltered rock cavity, narrow crevice, rodent burrow, hole in a wall or under stones. Clutches are four to eight eggs. It feeds on arthropods, particularly insects. The species is a long-distance migrant, with the entire population wintering in Africa, including those birds breeding in North America (Collar and de Juana 2015).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):4.1
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In many western and central European countries it has declined due to habitat change through agricultural intensification and urbanization. In some countries a reduction in sheep-farming has reduced the amount of short-grass habitat much favoured by species. In the past droughts in the Sahel wintering quarters may also have caused declines. In Europe, it used to be trapped for food and is still taken in large numbers in parts of Mediterranean Basin and northern Africa (Collar and de Juana 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. Bern Convention Appendix II. In Russia and most European countries the species is protected and in some parts of it range, such as in the U.K., artificial nesting sites have been created leading to an increase in the number of breeding birds in these areas (Kren and Zoerb 1997).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Research has proposed that landscape management for a mixture of short and tall vegetation would allow the dispersal of arthropods and be beneficial for this species (Oosten et al. 2014). It is also suggested that multi-site studies should be undertaken to determine appropriate conservation actions locally and in the short-term (Oosten et al. 2015).

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Map revised and added Taxonomic Notes and associated references.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Oenanthe oenanthe (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T103773898A111167749. . Downloaded on 18 August 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided