Tachymarptis melba 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Caprimulgiformes Apodidae

Scientific Name: Tachymarptis melba (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Alpine Swift
French Martinet alpin
Apus melba AERC TAC (2003)
Apus melba ssp. melba Cramp and Simmons (1977-1994)
Apus melba ssp. melba Dowsett and Forbes-Watson, (1993)
Apus melba ssp. melba AOU checklist (1998 + supplements)
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): 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; Angola; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Benin; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; France; Georgia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Lesotho; Liberia; Libya; Liechtenstein; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Montenegro; Morocco; Namibia; Nepal; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation (European Russia); Rwanda; Saudi Arabia; Serbia; Slovenia; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Swaziland; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Bangladesh; Belgium; Bhutan; Czech Republic; Denmark; Djibouti; Finland; Gabon; Ghana; Guadeloupe; Guinea; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Myanmar; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Saint Lucia; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Slovakia; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:39200000
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):2800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 151,000-327,000 pairs, which equates to 302,000-653,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c. 30% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 1,000,000-2,100,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. The population is therefore placed in the band 1,000,000-2,499,999 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The European population trend is also estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1000000-2499999Continuing 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 occurs over a wide range of habitats and forages over vast areas. It is found in temperate and Mediterranean zones, typically in mountains but occasionally in lowlands. It breeds from March to June. It typically lays three eggs. It uses ledges or holes in cliff-faces or tall man-made structures with the pairs using the same nest-site in successive years. The nest is saucer-shaped, consisting of downy feathers from many species, and swift primaries, tightly bound with dried plant matter and saliva (Chantler et al. 2014). The species is migratory, with West Palearctic populations probably wintering all across the northern tropics of Africa (Snow and Perrins 1998).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):7.3
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Foraging habitats are lost to human development across its range. In addition, the increasing use of pesticides reduces both the numbers and variety of insects available for it to feed on. (Perrins 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. There are no known current conservation measures for this species within its European range.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Key foraging areas should be identified and protected from development and the use of pesticides should be reduced.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Tachymarptis melba. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22686774A86109107. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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