Justification of Red List Category
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 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 very 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 115,000-225,000 pairs, which equates to 230,000-450,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms 75-94% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 244,000-600,000 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.
This species favours dry barren habitats with some low-lying vegetation, on hillsides, rocky islands as well as on cultivated land, up to 1,300 m Asl, often near the coast (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997, Madge 2016). Nesting is reported from mid-April to mid-June. The nest is made by the female and it is placed on the ground against a rock or amongst the roots of a shrubby plant. The clutch, usually four to six eggs, is incubated mainly by the female. Hatching takes place after 12–14 days. Nestlings are reared by both parents. They leave the nest after 12–14 days. The species is migratory; breeding areas are vacated in July and August. Wintering areas are situated outside Europe, in north-eastern Africa (Madge 2016). The species forages almost entirely on the ground. The diet consists of small seeds, in particular of grasses and small invertebrates are also taken, in particular ants (Madge 2016).
There is no evidence for substantial threats.
Conservation Actions Underway
There are currently no known conservation measures for this species.
Conservation Actions Proposed
No conservation measures are currently needed for this species.
Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S.
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Emberiza caesia. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/03/2023.