|Scientific Name:||Plectrophenax nivalis (Linnaeus, 1758)|
|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.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|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). 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:|
Native:Austria; Bahamas; Belarus; Belgium; Bermuda; Bulgaria; Canada; China; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Germany; Greenland; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Republic of; Latvia; Lithuania; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Canary Is. - Vagrant); Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Turks and Caicos Islands; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States
Vagrant:Algeria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Greece; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Luxembourg; Malta; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Serbia; Turkey
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||The global population is estimated to number > c.40,000,000 individuals (Rich et al. 2004). The European population is estimated at 1,230,000-2,310,000 pairs, which equates to 2,470,000-4,630,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 12,350,000-23,150,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.|
Trend Justification: This species has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (-63.6% decline over 40 years, equating to a -22.3% decline per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). The European population trend is unknown (BirdLife International 2015).
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|Habitat and Ecology:||The species is found in treeless, uncultivated barren rocky terrain, usually near snow. It also uses sea cliffs and commonly nests near or even in human settlements. Outside the breeding season it occupies open fields, shingle beaches, saltmarshes, sand dunes, and stubble fields. In Greenland pair formation occurs by late May. It breeds from mid-May to July in Iceland, late May in Scotland and pair formation occurs in early June in Canada. It is monogamous and the nest is a thick cup of dry grass and moss, lined with finer grasses, fur and feathers. It is sited in a variety of places, often in a crevice or crag in some rocks, but will also use artificial sites such as buildings and nestboxes. Clutches are two to eight eggs. The diet is primarily seeds but in the breeding season it will take small invertebrates. The species is migratory (Rising 2016).|
|Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:||Unknown|
|Generation Length (years):||3.9|
|Movement patterns:||Full Migrant|
|Major Threat(s):||Declines in Europe of birds wintering in coastal areas of the southern North Sea since c. 1970 are attributed to huge embankment projects and intensified grazing, which have destroyed saltmarshes (the preferred foraging habitat of the species) (Rising 2016). The species is also likely threatened by future climate change (Virkkala et al. 2008).|
Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. Since 1990 grazing around the southern North Sea has been greatly reduced and no further embankment projects are planned, which has allowed this species to begin to recover (Rising 2016).
Conservation Actions Proposed
To minimise the impacts of climate change large areas of continuous habitats should be preserved and protected in a connected reserve network (Virkkala et al. 2008).
BirdLife International. 2015. European Red List of Birds. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.
Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.
Butcher, G. S.; Niven, D. K. 2007. Combining data from the Christmas bird count and the breeding bird survey to determine the continental status and trends of North American birds.
IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 07 December 2016).
Rich, T.D., Beardmore, C.J., Berlanga, H., Blancher, P.J., Bradstreet, M.S.W., Butcher, G.S., Demarest, D.W., Dunn, E.H., Hunter, W.C., Inigo-Elias, E.E., Martell, A.M., Panjabi, A.O., Pashley, D.N., Rosenberg, K.V., Rustay, C.M., Wendt, J.S. and Will, T.C. 2004. Partners in flight: North American landbird conservation plan. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY.
Rising, J. 2016. Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis). 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.
Vähätalo, A. V.; Rainio, K.; Lehikoinen, A.; Lehikoinen, E. 2004. Spring arrival of birds depends on the North Atlantic Oscillation. Journal of Avian Biology 35: 210-216.
Virkkala, R.; Heikkinen, R. K.; Leikola, N.; Luoto, M. 2008. Projected large-scale range reductions of northern-boreal land bird species due to climate change. Biological Conservation 141: 1343-1353.
|Citation:||BirdLife International. 2016. Plectrophenax nivalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22721043A89345729.Downloaded on 18 June 2018.|
|Feedback:||If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided|