Anthus spinoletta 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Motacillidae

Scientific Name: Anthus spinoletta (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Water Pipit, Rock Pipit and Water Pipit
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.
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).  The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not 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; Andorra; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Libya; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Nepal; Netherlands; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Saudi Arabia; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan
Belarus; Gibraltar; Latvia
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:17400000
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:NoLower elevation limit (metres):615
Upper elevation limit (metres):3200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 1,620,000-3,160,000 pairs, which equates to 3,230,000-6,320,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).  Europe forms c.25% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 12,920,000-25,280,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.  The European population is estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:10000000-29999999Continuing 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:The species breeds on alpine pastures and high-lying mountain meadows with short grassland and scattered rocks, bushes or trees, usually with some wet areas, often on mountain slopes and also on stony scree with thickets in the far east of the range.  In the winter it is found on coastal saltings, lagoons, marshes, grassy edges of lakes and rivers, sewage farms, watercress farms, rice fields and other irrigated cultivation.  In Europe, egg-laying occurs from the end of April to early July.  The nest is a cup made of grass stems and leaves with some moss incorporated and lined with finer material and some hairs.  It is sited on the ground in the side of a bank or hollow, usually well concealed by vegetation or sometimes at the end of a tunnel.  Normally four to six eggs are laid.  It feeds mainly on invertebrates but also takes some plant material.  The species is chiefly a short-distance or altitudinal migrant with regular migration from the high mountains down to the lowlands in autumn (Tyler 2016).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):3.7
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In some areas, grazing animals have been shown to have a significant negative impact on the nesting success of this species (Pavel 2004).  It is also thought to be threatened by climate change (Ebenhöh 2003, Melendez and Laiolo 2014).  In addition, the spread of ski pistes has also been shown to be detrimental to this species (Caprio et al. 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed
In some areas, low-intensity grazing should be promoted. Important areas should also be protected from disturbance from skiing activities.  More information is needed on the species outside Europe (Tyler 2016).

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Map revised.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Anthus spinoletta (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22718571A111120514. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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