Justification of Red List Category
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.
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 1,020,000-2,050,000 pairs, which equates to 2,040,000-4,100,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 10,200,000-20,500,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
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).
The species uses open habitats, usually stonier and with less grassy terrain than areas preferred by M. calandra (Alström 2004). It uses arid heath bordering cultivated land and shrubland (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). The breeding season occurs from late March or early April until mid-August. The nest is a loose cup of grass and rootlets, with thinner material internally than externally; the outside may be clad in pieces of paper, rags and dung. It is built in a depression on the ground, usually sheltered by a tussock or small bush. Clutches are from three to six eggs. It feeds on insects and seeds with insects as the principal food source during the breeding season. The species is migratory, although it may be resident in parts of the extreme south of its range (Alström 2004).
There are currently no known significant threats to this species although land-use changes could potentially be a threat (Alström 2004).
Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species in Europe.
Conservation Actions Proposed
Although this species is not threatened, it should be monitored for population changes and developing threats.
Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S.
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Melanocorypha bimaculata. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/08/2022.