Melanocorypha calandra 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Alaudidae

Scientific Name: Melanocorypha calandra (Linnaeus, 1766)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Calandra Lark
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). 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 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]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; France; Georgia; Greece; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Morocco; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia - Vagrant, European Russia); Serbia; Slovenia; Spain; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; Uzbekistan
Austria; Bahrain; Belgium; Czech Republic; Denmark; Faroe Islands; Finland; Germany; Gibraltar; Hungary; Kuwait; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Saudi Arabia; Sweden; Switzerland; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:16100000
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):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 10,300,000-21,900,000 pairs, which equates to 20,500,000-43,800,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.45% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 45,500,000-97,300,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  The population is estimated to be in decline following a number of recorded regional declines in recent decades (del Hoyo et al. 2004). In Europe, trends between 1996 and 2013 have been declining moderately (EBCC 2015).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:45000000-99999999Continuing 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 occupies open plains, from steppes and pastures to extensive dry cereal cultivations and true steppe with dense grass cover. In the Mediterranean Basin it is mainly found in dry pastures and dry cultivations. In cultivated areas, it prefers fallows, long-fallows and field edges and to a lesser extent sown fields, selecting unirrigated legumes and barley fields. The species is monogamous and lays eggs from early April to July. The nest is made from grass stems and small leaves, lined with softer material and built in a shallow depression on the ground, often under a tussock.  Clutches are usually three to six eggs (de Juana and Suárez 2004). Its diet is seasonal, feeding mostly on insects in the summers and seeds and grass shoots in the winter. Mediterranean populations are resident, forming large flocks in the autumn and winter (Snow and Perrins 1998, de Juana and Suárez 2004). Eastern populations are migratory or partially migratory (de Juana and Suárez 2004).
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): This species suffers declines due to agricultural intensification and the resultant land-use changes, for example the loss of fallows, changes from cereal crops to vineyards or olive groves and new irrigation (de Juana and Suárez 2004). The use of extensive sheep-rearing and afforestation schemes are also threats (de Juana and Suárez 2004). Hunting (Tucker and Heath 1994) and pesticide use (Papp and Fântână 2008) may also have contributed to declines.

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Conservation Actions Proposed
Broad habitat conservation measures are required for this species. Traditional land-use practices should be maintained such as low-intensity cereal cultivation and low-intensity livestock rearing. Research should focus on the biological processes affecting the distribution and abundance of this species (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Melanocorypha calandra. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22717285A87485192. . Downloaded on 15 August 2018.
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