Motacilla flava 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Motacillidae

Scientific Name: Motacilla flava
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Yellow Wagtail, Western Yellow Wagtail
French Bergeronnette printanière
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: Motacilla flava (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) was split into M. flava and M. tschutschensis by AOU (2004), but this treatment is not followed by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group owing to the unresolved relationships of several other subspecies in the flava complex, which means that geographical and taxonomic limits cannot yet be put on the two taxa if classified as separate species. This approach is also in line with the recent treatment by Tyler (2004).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S.
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:
2012 Least Concern (LC)
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
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]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola (Angola); Armenia (Armenia); Australia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Benin; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Brunei Darussalam; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cambodia; Cameroon; Canada; Central African Republic; Chad; China; Christmas Island; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Djibouti; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Estonia; Ethiopia; Finland; France; Gabon; Gambia; Georgia; Germany; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Hong Kong; Hungary; India; Indonesia; 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; Latvia; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macao; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malawi; Malaysia; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Moldova; Monaco; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nepal; Netherlands; Niger; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation; Rwanda; San Marino; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia (Serbia); Sierra Leone; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Swaziland; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States (Georgia); Uzbekistan; Viet Nam; Western Sahara; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Cape Verde; Comoros; Faroe Islands; Iceland; Maldives; Seychelles; Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Present - origin uncertain:
Guam; Northern Mariana Islands
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 25300000
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
Upper elevation limit (metres): 4500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 7900000-14000000 breeding pairs, equating to 23700000-42000000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 25-49% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 48400000-168000000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  In Europe, trends since 1980 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:
Number of mature individuals: 50000000-150000000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
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]

Citation: BirdLife International. 2013. Motacilla flava. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T22718385A50427811. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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