Monticola saxatilis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Muscicapidae

Scientific Name: Monticola saxatilis (Linnaeus, 1766)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush, European Rock Thrush, Rock Thrush, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush
French Merle de roche
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: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Dowsett, R.J.
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 decreasing, however it is not thought to be decreasing sufficiently to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very 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; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; China; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; France; Gambia; Georgia; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Nigeria; Oman; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia; Sierra Leone; Slovakia; Slovenia; Somalia; South Sudan; Spain; Sudan; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Western Sahara; Yemen
Regionally extinct:
Belgium; Benin; Côte d'Ivoire; Denmark; Finland; Ireland; Japan; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Myanmar; Netherlands; Niger; Norway; Rwanda; Seychelles; Sweden; Togo; United Kingdom; Zambia
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:14000000
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):1250
Upper elevation limit (metres):4000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 88,900-283,000 pairs, which equates to 178,000-566,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 890,000-2,830,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  The European population is estimated to be decreasing by less than 25% in 11.4 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:800000-2899999Continuing 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 breeds on wild rocky mountainsides and high hills with scattered shrubs and sporadic grass cover, rocky heaths, extensive limestone screes, lava flows, eroded canyons, crags, open riverbeds, scrubby river gorges, boulder-strewn alpine meadows, upland farmland with stone walls and buildings, rocky ravines and valleys with stunted trees. In Europe it breeds from May to June, it breeds April-June in north-west Africa, end April-mid-July in Israel, May-June in Afghanistan and Pakistan, May-early August in Mongolia and May-July in China. It is territorial and the male performs display-flights over its territory. The nest is a neat flat cup of coarse grass, rootlets and moss, lined with moss and fine rootlets. Normally it is placed under a rock overhang or in a horizontal rock crevice, wall or ruin, sometimes under a boulder on steep hillside and occasionally in a tree hole. Nest sites are often used successively, including from year to year. Clutches are typically four to six eggs. It feeds principally on insects but also fruit and berries (Collar and Bonan 2015). Typically it forages by surveying from a perch then flying to the ground to take prey (Tucker and Heath 1994). The species is a nocturnal trans-Saharan migrant (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). European birds begin to leave their breeding grounds from August to September. Aside from a small number wintering in the southern Arabian Peninsula the entire species overwinters in Africa (Collar and Bonan 2015).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):3.8
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Declines in Europe may be owing to habitat loss in both summer and winter quarters through afforestation and tourism development, as well as succession following pastoral abandonment in Europe. The proportion of upland pasture (i.e. overgrazed, barren hill country) in Franconia fell from 20% in 1850 to 1% in 1995 (Collar and Bonan 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within its European range.

Conservation Actions Proposed
The protection of its mountainous breeding grounds should be ensured by preventing afforestation, regulating tourism and preserving pastoral practices. Monitoring programmes and research into the species's ecology will help develop future conservation measures.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Added a country of occurrence and a Contributor.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Monticola saxatilis (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22708257A111788908. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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