Anthus pratensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Motacillidae

Scientific Name: Anthus pratensis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Meadow Pipit
French Pipit des prés
Spanish Bisbita pratense
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.
Identification information: 14.5-15 cm. Small streaked pipit, earth-brown/greenish orange-brown with broad brownish-black streaks on top of head, mantle, scapulars and back. Wings darker. Tail dark brown. Underparts white/grey/yellow-buff. Throat side, breast and flanks streaked black-brown. Juvenile more buff-brown with more obvious streaking. Voice Aerial song a series of segments of uniform notes. Call a thin high-pitched squeak often repeated.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Raudonikis, L., Virkkala, R. & Telleria-Jorge, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Wright, L, Pople, R., Burfield, I., Ieronymidou, C., Wheatley, H., Westrip, J.
This species has been uplisted to Near Threatened as its global population has probably declined by more than 25% over the last three generations, and is continuing to decline, thus approaching the threshold for Vulnerable under the population size reduction criterion (A2abc+3bc+4abc).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widespread across Europe. Its range extends from eastern Greenland (Denmark) in the west, across northern Europe to the central and southern high mountains and to the River Ob, east of the Urals, Russia. Small isolated populations are also found in the central Apennines in Italy and in the mountains along the border of Georgia and Armenia (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). Western European populations are largely resident or undertake partial migration (Tyler 2004). Northern and eastern populations winter in western, central and southern Europe into coastal north Africa and the Middle East, moving as far south as south-west Mauritania. Birds breeding in western Siberia migrate to south-west Asia from Iraq and Iran east to Uzbekistan.
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Greenland; Hungary; Iceland; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kuwait; Latvia; Lebanon; Libya; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Mauritania; Moldova; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, European Russia); Saudi Arabia; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan
China; India; Oman
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:16300000
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):3000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 9,670,000-15,000,000 pairs, which equates to approximately 19,300,000-30,000,000 mature individuals and 28,950,000-45,000,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms 75-94% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 20,500,000-40,000,000 mature individuals and 30,800,000-60,000,000 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). Recently published data for the European Red List of Birds shows that the population size in Europe is estimated to be decreasing at a rate approaching 30% in 11.4 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015). No information is available about the trends of the Russian breeding population, which extends just east of the Ural Mountains into West Siberia, but the Russian population comprises only c. 15% of the European population (BirdLife International 2015). The global population is therefore thought to be declining at a moderately rapid rate.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:20500000-40000000Continuing 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 wide range of open habitats, such as tundra, moorland and heathland, bogs, saltmarshes, dunes, coastal meadows, hillsides, forest clearings, fallow land and occasionally in arable land. In the winter it is also found along seashores. It breeds from late March to August. The nest is a neat cup of grass, lined with finer grass and hair and is concealed amongst vegetation on the ground. Clutches range from two to seven eggs and clutch size increases with latitude (Tyler 2004). It feeds mainly on invertebrates but does consume some plant seeds in the autumn and winter (Snow and Perrins 1998).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
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): The main cause of declines is thought to be agricultural intensification (Tyler 2004, L. Raudonikis in litt. 2015). Populations undergo large annual fluctuations dependent on the severity of the weather on migration and in its wintering areas (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). Declines in northern European populations breeding on virgin, open mires and on montane tundra (Virkkala & Rajasärkkä 2011, Lehikoinen et al. 2014) also suggest that climate change may be having a negative effect on this species (R. Virkkala in litt. 2016); while increased drought as a result of climate change may lead to a large loss of potential winter range in areas such as the southern lowlands of the Iberian peninsula and the Maghreb (Tellería et al. 2016).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation and Research Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species.

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
The maintenance and promotion of low-intensity farming methods may benefit this species. Investigate the benefits alternative land management practices may specifically have for this species, in addition to their possible more general benefits for species (e.g. Chiron et al. 2010, Peach et al. 2011). Research is needed to identify threats.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Map Revised. Edited Threats and Conservation Actions Information text, with subsequent additions to the threats list and Actions Needed. Edited the seasonality of occurrence in a habitat type and country (Spain). Also edited the reference list, and added a new common name. Additionally, added a new Contributor and a new Facilitator/Compiler.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Anthus pratensis (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22718556A110870898. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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