Merops apiaster 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Coraciiformes Meropidae

Scientific Name: Merops apiaster
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English European Bee-eater, Bee-eater
French Guêpier d'Europe
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-07-24
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Symes, A.
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). The population trend appears to be stable, and therefore is not thought 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:
2012 Least Concern (LC)
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola (Angola); Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Belarus; Belgium; Benin; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; China; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Finland; France; Gabon; Gambia; Georgia; Germany; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lebanon; Lesotho; Liberia; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Moldova; Montenegro; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Netherlands; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation; Rwanda; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia (Serbia); Sierra Leone; Slovakia; Slovenia; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Swaziland; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan; Western Sahara; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Cape Verde; Estonia; Iceland; Ireland; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Madagascar; Maldives; Niger; Norway; Seychelles
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 2600000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme 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): 2400
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 480,000-1,000,000 breeding pairs, equating to 1440,000-3,000,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 25-49% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 2,940,000-12,000,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  Declines may be occurring in parts of the range owing to loss of suitable prey due to widespread application of pesticides, loss of nesting sites through canalisation of rivers, increasing agricultural efficiency and establishment of monocultures, development of wilderness areas and shooting for sport, for food and because it is considered a crop pest (del Hoyo et al. 2001). However, in Europe the overall trend from 1980-2011 was stable, based on provisional data for 27 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Citation: BirdLife International. 2014. Merops apiaster. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T22683756A62554194. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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