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 9,930,000-20,800,000 pairs, which equates to 19,900,000-41,700,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.50% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 39,800,000-83,400,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
In Europe the overall trend from 1980-2013 was stable (EBCC 2015).
This species inhabits a great variety of open country, preferably with scattered trees. It favours mixed farmland, parks and gardens, churchyards, wooded steppe, quarries and coastal cliffs (Madge and de Juana 2014). Across Europe it is only absent from high mountain plateaux, tundra, extensive wetland or afforested areas and a few small islands (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). The species forms a long term pair bond. Egg-laying occurs from late April in Britain and northern Europe, mid-April in central Europe, and the first half of May in north-west Russia, central Asia and Kashmir. The nest varies in size, but can be massive as a fresh nest is built each year on top of older ones. The foundation is a mass of branches and twigs, interspersed with mud and dung and the inner cup is quite deep and thick and constructed of mosses, rotten wood, feathers and fur and wool, usually in some cavity of some kind. Clutches can be from three to eight eggs but usually four. It feeds mostly on the ground and is omnivorous. During the breeding season it is mainly carnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of invertebrates, eggs and household scraps (Madge and de Juana 2014). The species is sedentary or a short-distance migrant in western and southern Europe. Northern European birds may remain throughout the winter, or move south-west. Central European birds appear to disperse north. Birds from the north of the range move farther, with most wintering in south and north Caspian region. North African populations are resident. (Madge and de Juana 2014).
The species is now extinct in Malta, where it was formerly common, as a result of persecution. Race cirtensis is thought to be extinct in Tunisia and may be heading towards extinction in north-east Algeria, where one colony may have been displaced by dam construction work (Madge and de Juana 2014).
Conservation Actions Underway
EU Birds Directive Annex II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within Europe.
Conservation Actions Proposed
Although this species is not threatened, monitoring and hunting restrictions should be implemented to prevent local extinctions.
Text account compilers
Wheatley, H., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A., Ashpole, J, Butchart, S.
BirdLife International (2018) Species factsheet: Corvus monedula. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/03/2018. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2018) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/03/2018.