Turdus torquatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Turdidae

Scientific Name: Turdus torquatus Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Ring Ouzel
French Merle à plastron
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 hence it is not believed 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:
Albania; Algeria; Andorra; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Lebanon; Libya; Liechtenstein; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Montenegro; Morocco; Norway; Oman; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (European Russia); Saudi Arabia; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom
Regionally extinct:
Bahrain; Faroe Islands; Iceland; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kuwait; Mauritania; Sudan; Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:10700000
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):300
Upper elevation limit (metres):3000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Europe (which covers c.95% of the breeding range), the breeding population is estimated to be 299,000-598,000 pairs, which equates to 597,000-1,200,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend Justification:  The European population trend between 1998 and 2013 was estimated to be stable (EBCC 2015).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:600000-1199999Continuing 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 is found in mountain steppe with conifers, including wet spruce (Picea) and spruce-fir woodland (P. abies-Abies alba). In central Europe it also uses conifer-beech (Fagus), extending into bushy scrub with Rhododendron hirsutum and Pinus mugo in alpine regions, dry rugged upland slopes, heath and heather moorland with bracken, stones and grass patches, subalpine meadows with scattered shrubs and trees and low shrubbery above the tree-line on rocky slopes. In Britain it favours heather-grass mosaics and Nardus-Molinia grassland and most nesting territories contain small crags, gullies, scree and/or boulders, as well as sloping or flat areas with short vegetation and scattered trees or bushes. Breeding occurs from mid-April to mid-July in Britain and the Alps and in Scandinavia from early May to the end of June in the south and late May to early August in the north (Collar et al. 2015). In Britain the nest is generally built on or close to the ground, however in Poland it is found mostly in trees close to the trunk (Snow and Perrins 1998). The nest is a bulky cup of dry grass, stems, moss and leaves mixed with mud and lined with dry grass. Clutches can be from three to six eggs but most commonly four or five. It feeds on invertebrates, seeds and fruits, with invertebrates making up most of the diet in spring and early summer. The species is migratory; British and northern European breeders are thought to winter mainly in southern Spain and north-west Africa. Central European birds from the alpestris race winter in southern parts of the breeding range and in the Mediterranean and north-west Africa. Eastern alpestris birds move south-east to the Balkan peninsula, and is present in Cyprus between October and March with peak numbers in November which suggests onward migration may take place. Race amicorum leaves the breeding grounds in late September and October, and winter records are relatively sparse (Collar et al. 2015).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):6.1
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Causes of declines are not clearly understood in this species. It is thought to be suffering from increased human disturbance and the development of many upland areas for outdoor leisure pursuits as well as from competition with species such as T. merula, T. viscivoru and T. pilaris. In southern Spain and north-west Africa, the widespread loss of juniper forest may be partly responsible for the decline in British breeding populations, where it may also be suffering from  large-scale afforestation in the uplands (Collar et al. 2015) and increased grazing intensity (Burfield 2002). Hunting of north-west European migrants passing through southern Europe may also be significant (Collar et al. 2015). The species may also be threatened by climate change (Beale et al. 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II.  In the UK, the Ring Ouzel Study Group was set up due to the lack of knowledge and a concern for the species and it continues to influence research and conservation actions, co-ordinate and facilitate monitoring and promote the conservation of this species. 

Conservation Actions Proposed

An improved understanding of the climatic mechanisms affecting populations of this species would assist the development of management regimes that can mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Conservation measures could also be better informed through an  improved understanding of basic ecology during the post-breeding period. Action to minimise the threats posed by increased firewood collection and grazing in Morocco would benefit populations throughout Europe (Beale et al. 2006).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Turdus torquatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22708768A87855383. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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