Sylvia melanothorax 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Sylviidae

Scientific Name: Sylvia melanothorax Tristram, 1872
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Cyprus Warbler
French Fauvette du Chypre
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.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J.
Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid 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:
Cyprus; Israel; Jordan; Lebanon; Spain; Sudan
Egypt; Turkey
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:14400
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
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The breeding population, which is confined to Europe, is estimated to number 70,000-140,000 pairs, which equates to 140,000-280,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline in areas recently colonised by S. melanocephala (del Hoyo et al. 2006, BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:140000-279999Continuing 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 breeds in a rather wide range of scrub and maquis, favouring medium-height maquis, such as that formed by CistusPistacia lentiscus, juniper (Juniperus) and cypress (Cupressus). It is also found in more sparse and lower scrubby vegetation, as well as openings in woodland, bushy areas with sparse tree cover, and open pine (Pinus) woodland with considerable amount of undergrowth. It will use rocky hillsides and agricultural areas, so long as there is enough bush cover present. In its non-breeding range it is also found in less vegetated areas in lowlands and coastal regions, it frequents dry and semi-arid areas with low scrubby vegetation, Ochradenus baccatus and Anabasis scrub, and wadis with scattered acacia trees (Acacia) and sparse scrub. Breeding occurs from late March to June. The nest is a strong cup of grass and stems bound with cobwebs, lined with finer grass, cobwebs and hair and often with juniper bark in the outer wall. Normally it is placed c. 30–120 cm above the ground, inside a low bush. Clutches are typically four to five eggs. It is thought to feed mainly on invertebrates but the diet is poorly known and it may take berries outside the breeding season. The species is a partial migrant, with most birds migrating to north-east Africa and the remainder making short-distance or altitudinal movements to the lowlands and coastal areas of Cyprus (Aymí et al. 2014).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):4
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened by the abandonment of traditional grazing practices, the intensification of agriculture, homogenization of farmland and coastal and urban development (Ieronymidou et al. 2012). In addition the over use of pesticides could be a potential threat. It is also subject to pressure from liming, netting and shooting (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. Bern Convention Appendix II. EU Birds Directive Annex I. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitoring of this species should be carried out along with more detailed ecological studies (Pomeroy and Walsh 2002). Farmland management needs careful targeting and the development of appropriate prescriptions, including incentives to preserve scrub vegetation and boundary features and to support extensive grazing (Ieronymidou et al. 2012). Legislation on hunting of the species should be enforced properly. The development of tourism should be strictly monitored and environmental impact assessments carried out for any new tourist or industrial projects (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Map revised. Edited the seasonality of occurrence for Israel. Ticked that it only breeds in one country.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Sylvia melanothorax (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22716963A111242444. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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