Sylvia undata 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Sylviidae

Scientific Name: Sylvia undata
Species Authority: (Boddaert, 1783)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Dartford Warbler
Taxonomic Source(s): AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Encalado, J., Escandell, V., Herrando, S., Iñigo, A. & Wotton, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Derhé, M., Ekstrom, J., Mahood, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species is declining at a moderately rapid rate, qualifying the species as Near Threatened. Declines in the core population in Spain are largely responsible for overall declines. The drivers of this decline are not entirely clear but include habitat degradation and modification. Should the population be found to be declining more rapidly, the species would warrant uplisting to a higher threat category.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Sylvia undata is restricted to southern and western Europe and north-west Africa, where it is patchily distributed but locally common to very common in Spain (including Balearic Islands), Portugal, Andorra, Morocco. Algeria, Tunisia, France (including Corsica), United Kingdom and Italy (including Sardinia) (del Hoyo et al. 2006). The European breeding population, which constitutes more than 95% of the global population, underwent a large decline during 1970-1990 (Tucker and Heath 1994). The stronghold is located in Spain which holds 983,000-1,750,000 pairs (V. Escandell in litt. 2009), but the population here decreased by 4.6 % per year between 1998-2011 (V. Escandell in litt. 2012). France holds the next largest population (150,000-600,000 pairs) but the trend here is unclear. Trends are unknown in Portugal (10,000-100,000 pairs), Italy (10,000-30,000 pairs) and Andorra (c.20-30 pairs) (BirdLife International 2004). In the UK it has recently increased rapidly and extended its range northwards, reaching a total of 3,214 territories in 2006 (Wotton et al. 2009). If trends in Spain are reflected elsewhere in Europe, the European breeding population may have declined nearly 30% over the last 12.3 years (three generations).

Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Andorra; France; Gibraltar; Italy; Malta; Morocco; Portugal; Spain; Tunisia; United Kingdom
Belgium; Croatia; Czech Republic; Germany; Greece; Ireland; Libya; Montenegro; Netherlands; Serbia (Serbia); Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 835000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme 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: In Europe (which covers more than 95% of the breeding range), the breeding population is estimated to be 1.1-2.5 million breeding pairs, based on 983,000-1,750,000 pairs in Spain (V. Escandell in litt. 2009), 150,000-600,000 pairs in France, 10,000-100,000 pairs in Portugal, 10,000-30,000 pairs in Italy, c.20-30 pairs in Andorra (BirdLife International 2004) and 3,214 territories in the United Kingdom (Wotton et al. 2009). This equates to 3.3-7.5 million individuals.

Trend Justification:  Data from the Spanish common bird monitoring scheme (SACRE) suggest that the species may have declined by an average of 4.6% (95% CI: 6.2-3.1) per year during 1998-2011 (V. Escandell in litt. 2012), with declines occurring in all regions (and hence not simply attributable to a northwards shift in the species's range, as predicted under climate change scenarios). If one assumes that other national trends have remained constant since 2000, the European breeding population may have declined by nearly 30% over the last 12 years (three generations). The population trend for the species produced by the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme suggests that it declined by 27% during 1990-2005 (PECBMS in press). In Europe, trends since 1996 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline (p<0.01), based on provisional data for 21 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands; P. Vorisek in litt. 2008).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It favours dense, homogeneous scrub, garrigue and low maquis c.0.5-1.5 m in height and dominated by species such as Ulex, Erica, Rosmarinus, Genista, Cistus and Quercus coccifera (del Hoyo et al. 2006). It is largely sedentary but undertakes some short-distance dispersive movements and some European birds spend the non-breeding season in north-west Africa (del Hoyo et al. 2006). It is primarily a lowland species in the north of its range but occurs to 1,800-2,000 m in the Pyrenees and north-west Africa (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Systems: Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 4.1
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Reasons for the recent Spanish decline are still unclear. It is vulnerable to severe winters, particularly in the northern part of its range (del Hoyo et al. 2006). Cold spells in December 2001 and the winter of 2004-2005 caused high mortality in Spain (J. J. R. Encalado in litt. 2007), while the UK population was reduced to 11 pairs after the severe winter of 1962-1963 (del Hoyo et al. 2006). Increasing densities of cattle on the Spanish dehesa are causing severe habitat degradation through overgrazing (J. J. R. Encalado in litt. 2007), which may be affecting the species. Afforestation has decreased the amount of suitable habitat in parts of France and Iberia (Shirihai et al. 2001). Changes in the pattern and frequency of wildfires may be a threat, although the species often colonises early successional habitat created by such fires (del Hoyo et al. 2006). Postfire forest management can negatively affect the species through the removal of burnt trees as the species has been shown to favour a moderate coverage of logging remnants after fires (Herrando et al. 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Population trends are monitored in parts of the species's range and it occurs in a number of protected areas.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out specific research on drivers of declines, particularly the link with habitats. Research trends elsewhere within its range, particularly France and North Africa. Develop programmes which subsidise farming practices which promote healthy populations of the species.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Sylvia undata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22716984A38061314. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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