Saxicola torquatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Muscicapidae

Scientific Name: Saxicola torquatus (Linnaeus, 1766)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Common Stonechat, Eurasian Stonechat, Stonechat
French Traquet pâtre
Saxicola torquata Cramp and Simmons (1977-1994)
Saxicola torquata BirdLife International (2004)
Saxicola torquata Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Saxicola torquata Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993)
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): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Symes, A., Ashpole, 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]

Range Description:

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Andorra; Angola; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Belarus; Belgium; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Bulgaria; Burundi; Cambodia; Cameroon; Chad; China; Comoros; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Djibouti; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Finland; France; Gabon; Georgia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Guinea; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Lebanon; Lesotho; Libya; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Malawi; Malaysia; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Mayotte; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nepal; Netherlands; Niger; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Rwanda; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia; Sierra Leone; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Africa; South Sudan; Spain (Canary Is.); Sudan; Swaziland; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan; Viet Nam; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Iceland; Indonesia; Latvia; Liberia; Somalia; Sweden; United States
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:82800000
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):3200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 5,790,000-9,310,000 pairs, which equates to 11,600,000-18,600,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 58,000,000-93,000,000 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 trend between 1989 and 2013 was stable (EBCC 2015).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:55000000-94999999Continuing 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 a variety of essentially open, usually rather barren landscapes. In Europe, it occupies open scrubby country where bushes and shrubs of different height, and/or low man-made structures such as stone walls, fence lines, telephone wires and field posts, sit within or adjacent to flat or rolling terrain with uneven herb-rich substrate. It also inhabits alpine moorland, heathland, grassy hillsides, dry plains, bush-studded pastures, woodland edge, sandy forest clearings, field margins and fallows, wide shrubby riverbeds, open garrigue with Cistus, unkempt marshy areas, swamp fringes, roadsides and railway margins and vineyards.

The breeding season is from March to mid-August in north-west Europe and from the end of April to late July in eastern Europe across Asia to Japan, but from mid-May in northern Russia, April-August in the Himalayas, February-June in Morocco, March in Senegal, April in Sierra Leone, January in Nigeria and March in Cameroon, December-March in Bioko, August-September in southern Democratic Republic of Congo, April-May in Sudan and Ethiopia, February-March in Uganda, January-June (mainly March-May) in Kenya, September-February in northern Tanzania and August-November in southern Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia, July-December (mainly August-November) in Zimbabwe, August-December in South Africa and September-December in Lesotho. The nest is a loose deep cup of rootlets, grass, leaves and plant stems, lined with finer rootlets and sometimes hair, wool and feathers. It is set on the ground or in a low bank, well hidden at base of tuft of herbage or in the bottom of or under a small bush. Clutches are usually four to six eggs. The diet is primarily invertebrates, mainly small or medium-sized insects and their larvae but it occasionally takes small vertebrates, seeds and fruit (Collar 2015). The species varies from migratory to resident in different parts of its range, being sensitive to cold weather (Snow and Perrins 1998).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):3.3
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Declines in Europe since the 1950s have been driven by a loss of breeding habitats due to agricultural intensification (Collar 2015), including the creation of large open fields, destruction of bushes and hedges, transformation of pastures to arable fields, the afforestation of fallow and moorland and the destruction of structurally diverse vegetation by uncontrolled fire and human disturbance (Tucker and Heath 1994). It has also suffered from the withdrawal of grazing from littoral heaths in Europe (Collar 2015). Severe winters have also caused populations to fluctuate (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. Bern Convention Appendix II. In Switzerland, the species has benefited from the creation of strips of wild flowers for Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix).

Conservation Actions Proposed
In Europe this species requires wide-scale conservation measures to preserve habitat through promotion of non-intensive farming practices. These include retaining scattered trees, bushes and hedges in fields, prohibition of afforestation schemes on moorland and heath, and retention of strips of old grass (mown every 3–4 years only) in intensively managed areas (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Saxicola torquatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22710184A87909121. . Downloaded on 20 September 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