Apus affinis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Caprimulgiformes Apodidae

Scientific Name: Apus affinis (Gray, 1830)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Little Swift, House Swift
French Martinet des maisons
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J.
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 increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to 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; Algeria; Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Djibouti; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Kenya; Kuwait; Lebanon; Lesotho; Liberia; Libya; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Rwanda; Sao Tomé and Principe; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Swaziland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Timor-Leste; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Australia; Bahrain; Bulgaria; Greece; Ireland; Italy; Maldives; Malta; Portugal; Seychelles; Sweden; United Kingdom
Present - origin uncertain:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:55800000
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):3000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population size has not been quantified. In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 900-2,500 pairs, which equates to 1,800-5,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015), but Europe forms <5% of the global range.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be increasing owing to a range expansion caused primarily by its adaptation to nesting in buildings (del Hoyo et al. 1999). The tiny European population is estimated to be decreasing by at least 10% in 37.5 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:UnknownContinuing 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:This species occurs over a wide range of habitats and latitudes, though less frequently in truly arid regions, and usually close to human habitation. Breeding season varies across the range but in Mauritania it breeds from February to May and August to October, from October to July in Senegambia and year-round in West African rainforest areas (Chantler and Boesman 2016). It typically nests on man-made structures in the angle between the roof and wall; eviction by House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) has been recorded. Cliff sites and abandoned swallow (Hirundo) nests can be employed and forcible eviction noted. The nest is a sturdy, untidy, yet internally neat and smooth, hemispherical 'bag' of vegetable matter, mainly grass, down and small twigs, with feathers, agglutinated with saliva; built in dense, often overlapping clusters with up to three entrances, sometimes communal. It needs a perch to cling to while building. It feeds on invertebrates, foraging as far as 15–20 km from the nest site on occasions. Western Palearctic and southern African populations are partially or fully migratory, however populations from the tropics are resident (Chantler and Boesman 2016).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):12.5
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Dam construction leading to habitat loss may lead to the decrease of populations in Turkey (Kiziroglu 2008) and large declines (50%) (BirdLife International 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
There are currently no conservation measures known to be in place for this species at least within its European range.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Protection of important sites including legislation to protect them from development. Research into the species's ecology and habitat needs. Assess potential threats and develop appropriate responses.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Apus affinis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22686856A89562931. . Downloaded on 22 June 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