Passer montanus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Passeridae

Scientific Name: Passer montanus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Tree Sparrow
French Moineau friquet
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.
Contributor(s): Thomas, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., 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 declining but it is not thought to be declining sufficiently 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; Andorra; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Brunei Darussalam; Bulgaria; Cambodia; China; Christmas Island; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hong Kong; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macao; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malaysia; Malta; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Myanmar; Nepal; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Serbia; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Canary Is.); Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Thailand; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan; Viet Nam
Australia; Canada; Guam; Marshall Islands; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Philippines; Timor-Leste; United States
Algeria; Egypt; Gibraltar; Iceland; Israel; Lebanon; Morocco; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates
Present - origin uncertain:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:98300000
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:Rich et al. (2004) estimated the global population to number 20,000,000 individuals. In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 24,000,000-38,200,000 pairs, which equates to 47,900,000-76,400,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.25% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 191,000,000-306,000,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  The population was suspected to be stable overall in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. However in Europe, trends between 1980 and 2013 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline (EBCC 2015). The overall trend is therefore estimated to be decreasing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:190000000-309999999Continuing 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:In the west of its range this species is found mainly in cultivated areas with hedgerow trees, orchards, gardens and farmyards and less commonly in light woodland. In the east it is found increasingly not only in built-up areas, but also in open arid country. In the Far East where P. domesticus is absent it is common in built-up areas and is even found in urban centres. In the north of its range the breeding season begins from April or May and to January in the extreme south of Asia. It breeds in loose colonies. The nest is constructed of dried grass and rootlets, lined with feathers and animal fur and is domed (even when in a hole), with as entrance on the side. It is mostly sited in a hole in a tree, earth bank, cliff or artificial structure, sometimes in the base of a large nest of heron (Ardeidae), crow (Corvidae) or bird of prey. Occasionally it is a free-standing nest in a tree, but then usually hidden in thick conifer or creepers. Clutches are two to seven eggs. The diet is mainly seeds and it prefers smaller seeds of low herbs and grasses, including cultivated cereals but it also takes a significant proportion of animal food (Summers-Smith 2016). In Europe the species is largely sedentary (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). In central Asia, the species makes more pronounced movements. Birds in the extreme north of the range withdraw to the south and those living in the countryside tend to move into built-up areas (Summers-Smith 2016).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5.7
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Declines in this species in Europe may be a result of changes in agricultural practices such as the increased use of pesticides and herbicides and the autumn sowing of cereals which have lead to decreases in food for this species (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
In 1996 the species was placed on the U.K. Red List of Species of National Conservation Concern (Summers-Smith 2016).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Management should create invertebrate-rich habitats, such as small-scale wetlands, and aim to increase heterogeneity in land use type in order to to provide the range of invertebrates at the required abundance for this species (Field et al. 2004).

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Added a country to the list of countries of occurrence, and added a Contributor.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Passer montanus (amended version of assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22718270A119216586. . Downloaded on 24 June 2018.
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