Black-throated Accentor Prunella atrogularis


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 may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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.

Population justification
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 1,500-2,100 pairs, which equates to 3,000-4,200 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms <5% of the global range, so extrapolating to the global population size would be inappropriate. The population is therefore placed in the band 10,000-99,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The tiny European population is estimated to be fluctuating (BirdLife International 2015).


During the breeding season this species favours low, thick, thorny scrub and avoids open habitats. It is found in clumps of stunted spruce (Picea) in subalpine zone in Urals (Hatchwell and de Juana 2016) as well as in mountain larch (Larix) forests and willow Salix bushes (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). Race huttoni is found in coniferous and deciduous forests and in scrub, often with juniper (Juniperus). It breeds from May to August and is thought to be monogamous. The nest is a bulky cup of moss, twigs, grasses and stems, lined with fine grass and hairs and placed in a tree or a shrub, most often in spruce or juniper. Clutches are three to five eggs. It feeds mainly on insects and other small arthropods, worms and snails. The species is migratory (Hatchwell and de Juana 2016).


Within Europe, the species’s habitat is not threatened and the species is not currently threatened (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. In Russia, its forests are protected by law. The Yugyd Va National Park and the Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve lie within this species’s range (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Conservation Actions Proposed

Further research on its breeding and wintering ecology are needed in order to clarify the species’s population status, to assess threats and to identify further necessary conservation measures. More information is needed on the huttoni race (Hatchwell and de Juana 2016). Future exploitation in the Urals should be monitored (Tucker and Heath 1994).


Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Prunella atrogularis. Downloaded from on 23/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/02/2024.