Sylvia conspicillata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Sylviidae

Scientific Name: Sylvia conspicillata Temminck, 1820
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Spectacled Warbler
French Fauvette à lunettes
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: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A., Ashpole, J
This species has a very 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 is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds 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:
Algeria; Cape Verde; Cyprus; Egypt; France; Gibraltar; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Lebanon; Libya; Malta; Mauritania; Morocco; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal; Senegal; Spain (Canary Is.); Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey; Western Sahara
Croatia; Ethiopia; Gambia; Germany; Greece; Netherlands; Niger; Saudi Arabia; United Kingdom
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) - km2:11200000
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:In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 166,000-450,000 pairs, which equates to 332,000-901,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.35% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population is 948,000-2,575,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimated is needed.

Trend Justification:  The European population trend is currently unknown (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:945000-2599999Continuing 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 is often found in very low scrubland in mostly dry warm Mediterranean areas. It favours the lowest and sparser scrubby areas characteristic of less developed garrigue, saltflats and semi-desert. It inhabits the first stages of post-wildfire succession, and can recolonize habitat one year after a fire. On Atlantic islands, race orbitalis occupies wider range of habitats, from scrub to cultivated or semi-cultivated areas. It breeds from February to June across most of its range; however race orbitalis breeds in most months except for June and July. The male sometimes builds “cock nests” but both sexes build the breeding nest, which is a deep cup loosely built from grasses, stems and leaves and lined with soft plant down, thin roots and some hair. It is sited in low scrub or bush, usually from ground level to c.60 cm. Clutches are three to five eggs. The diet is mostly small arthropods and insect larvae and eggs but also takes berries and occasionally nectar, mostly outside the breeding season. The species is resident and partially migratory; race orbitalis is mostly sedentary, most south-west European populations are migratory and those from Malta, southern Sicily, Cyprus and parts of Levant and southeast Spain are partially migratory. North African populations are partially migratory or make altitudinal movements (Aymí and Gargallo 2015).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):4
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Local declines are thought to be due to urbanization, the conversion of steppes into irrigated lands, and afforestation. Those populations that are resident are also sensitive to severe cold winter weather (Aymí and Gargallo 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within Europe.

Conservation Actions Proposed
This species would likely benefit from the protection of key areas and restoration of habitat in areas where it is declining.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability:Suitable season:breeding major importance:Yes
8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot
suitability:Suitable season:non-breeding major importance:Yes
12. Marine Intertidal -> 12.5. Marine Intertidal - Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses)
suitability:Suitable season:breeding major importance:No

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No

Bibliography [top]

Aymí, R. and Gargallo, G. 2015. Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

BirdLife International. 2004. Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

BirdLife International. 2015. European Red List of Birds. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Sylvia conspicillata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22716976A87761247. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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