Emberiza aureola 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Emberizidae

Scientific Name: Emberiza aureola Pallas, 1773
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-breasted Bunting
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: Critically Endangered A2abcd+3bcd+4abcd; C1 (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-03-31
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Burfield, I., Ieronymidou, C., Pople, R., Wheatley, H. & Wright, L
European regional assessment: Critically Endangered (CR)
EU27 regional assessment: Critically Endangered (CR)

This bunting has undergone extremely rapid population declines in Europe that are estimated to exceed 80% within three generations. It is therefore classified as Critically Endangered. Within the EU27 it is now on the verge of extinction and it is also classified as Critically Endangered (A2abcd+3bcd+4abcd; C1).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species breeds across the northern Palaearctic and in Europe is found from Finland, Belarus and Ukraine in the west, through Russia (Byers et al. 1995) to the Ural Mountains in the east (Copete 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Finland; Russian Federation (European Russia)
Belarus; Belgium; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; France; Germany; Greece; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Malta; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Spain; Sweden; Turkey; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):UnknownEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:2470000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:Unknown
Range Map:22720966-1

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 60-300 pairs, which equates to 120-600 mature individuals. The population in the EU27 is estimated at 0-1 pairs, which equates to 0-2 mature individuals. For details of national estimates, see the Supplementary Material.

Trend Justification:  In Europe and the EU27 the population size is estimated to be decreasing by 80% or more in 10.8 years (three generations) and by 25% or more in 3.6 years (one generation). For details of national estimates, see attached PDF.
For further information about this species, see 22720966_emberiza_aureola.pdf.
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Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:120-600,270Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:Unknown
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:UnknownAll individuals in one subpopulation:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Within Europe this species breeds in a wide range of moist or wet, fragmented habitats including river valleys, wet scrub-meadows and bogs. It also inhabits cultivated areas, light conifer plantations and dry meadows. Preferentially it occupies open wet meadows where willow, alder or birch are mixed with sedge, grass, marsh cinquefoil or similar vegetation. In the winter it is found in flocks on cultivated or poor-quality arable land and grassland (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). The nest is built by the female alone and is placed either on the ground in a depression under tussocks or roots or slightly above ground in well covered vegetation. It is constructed of dry grass and stalks lined with soft grass, rootlets and sometimes hair. Clutch size can vary between three and seven but most commonly four to five. During breeding it feeds principally on invertebrates and seeds at other times of the year. Plant material is taken all year round. The species is migratory and has a very short breeding period arriving at its breeding grounds late June and leaving at the end of July. It winters in south-east Asia (Copete 2011).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):3.6
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Since many populations on pristine breeding grounds have dropped rapidly, the decline is likely to be driven by excessive trapping at migration and, in particular, wintering sites (S. Chan in litt. 2003, P. Round in litt. 2003, M. Williams in litt. 2007, S. Chan in litt. 2007). Declines caused by pressures on the wintering grounds are compounded by a reduction in habitat quality on the breeding grounds in parts of its range, particularly drying of meadows caused by changes in the flow pattern of rivers, a result of dam construction upstream (O. Goroshko in litt. 2003, J. Kamp in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix I. It is counted occasionally as part of on-going IBA monitoring in a few sites.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Implement a programme of co-ordinated range-wide monitoring at breeding, passage and non-breeding sites, in order to quantify the rate of decline. Through awareness campaigns, reduce the demand for the species as a food item, mascot and merit-bird. Research its precise habitat requirements on the wintering grounds. Protect sites which still hold large numbers on the wintering grounds.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Emberiza aureola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22720966A60294370. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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