Pyrrhocorax graculus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Corvidae

Scientific Name: Pyrrhocorax graculus (Linnaeus, 1766)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-billed Chough, Alpine Chough
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 stable, 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 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; Andorra; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Liechtenstein; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Montenegro; Morocco; Nepal; Pakistan; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Serbia; Slovenia; Spain; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
Belgium; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Gibraltar; Hungary; Poland; Portugal; Slovakia
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:21300000
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:NoLower elevation limit (metres):1260
Upper elevation limit (metres):5000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 108,000-253,000 pairs, which equates to 215,000-507,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 1,075,000-2,535,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The European population size is estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1000000-2599999Continuing 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:The species inhabits high-altitude mountain pastures with rocky ravines and cliff faces; above the tree-line in summer and descending into upper valleys in winter. Often found around alpine villages and ski resorts in Europe and breeds chiefly between 1,260 m and 2,880 (Madge and Burn 1993). In North Africa it nests at 2,880-3,900 m and farther east it is found between 3,500-5,000 m and as high as 8,235 m (Madge 2009). Egg-laying occurs mainly in early May to mid-June in Europe and Morocco, in June and July in Lebanon and Kyrgystan and April-June in the north Indian subcontinent (Madge 2009). It often forms a lifelong monogamous pair-bond and partners will remain together throughout year. The nest is built by both sexes and is a bulky structure of sticks, roots and similar, lined with grasses, feathers and moss, typically on a ledge or shelf near the roof of a cave or rock chimney, rock crevice or cliff face. Larger caves with small entrances are favoured. Occasionally uses roof spaces of old buildings, mine-shafts and similar structures. Its diet consists primarily of invertebrates in spring and summer, with a more varied diet in autumn and winter. It will also take small amphibians and reptiles, nestling small birds, eggs and small rodents. In autumn and winter extensive range of seeds, berries and fruits are added to the diet. Also consumes a wide range of discarded human food. The species is largely sedentary, performing daily altitudinal movements (Madge 2009).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):10.3
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are currently no known significant threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. There are no known current conservation measures for this species within Europe.

Conservation Actions Proposed
No conservation measures are currently required for this species within Europe.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Pyrrhocorax graculus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22705921A87386602. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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