Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis


Taxonomic note

Alauda arvensis (AERC TAC [2003]; AOU [1998 and supplements]; Christidis and Boles [2008]; Cramp et al. [1977-1994]; Dowsett and Forbes-Watson [1993]; Sibley and Monroe [1990, 1993]; Turbott [1990]) and A. japonica (Sibley and Monroe [1990, 1993]) have been lumped into A. arvensis following del Hoyo and Collar (2016).

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 103,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 42,900,000 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Number of mature individuals 290000000-529999999 poor estimated 2012
Population trend decreasing estimated -
Generation length (years) 4.3 - - -

Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 44,300,000-78,800,000 pairs, which equates to 88,700,000-158,000,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.30% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 295,600,000-526,600,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. National population estimates include: c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in China; < c.50 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in Taiwan; c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Korea; c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification: The population is estimated to be in decline following marked regional declines in recent decades linked to agricultural intensification (del Hoyo et al. 2004). In Europe, trends between 1980 and 2013 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline (p<0.01) (EBCC 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan extant native yes
Albania extant native yes
Algeria extant native
Andorra extant native yes
Armenia extant native yes
Australia extant introduced yes
Austria extant native yes
Azerbaijan extant native yes
Bahrain extant native yes
Belarus extant native yes
Belgium extant native yes
Bermuda (to UK) extant vagrant
Bosnia and Herzegovina extant native yes
Bulgaria extant native yes yes
Canada extant introduced yes
Chad extant vagrant
China (mainland) extant native yes
Croatia extant native yes
Cyprus extant native yes
Czechia extant native yes
Denmark extant native yes yes
Egypt extant native
Estonia extant native yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) extant native yes
Finland extant native yes yes
France extant native yes yes
Georgia extant native yes
Germany extant native yes yes
Gibraltar (to UK) extant native yes
Greece extant native yes yes
Hong Kong (China) extant vagrant
Hungary extant native yes
India extant native
Iran, Islamic Republic of extant native yes
Iraq extant native yes
Ireland extant native yes
Israel extant native
Italy extant native yes yes
Japan extant native yes
Jordan extant native yes
Kazakhstan extant native yes
Kuwait extant native yes
Kyrgyzstan extant native yes
Latvia extant native yes
Lebanon extant native yes yes
Libya extant native
Liechtenstein extant native yes
Lithuania extant native yes
Luxembourg extant native yes
Malta extant native yes
Mauritania extant vagrant
Moldova extant native yes yes
Mongolia extant native yes
Montenegro extant native yes
Morocco extant native
Netherlands extant native yes
New Zealand extant introduced yes
North Korea extant native yes
North Macedonia extant native yes
Norway extant native yes
Oman extant native yes yes
Pakistan extant native
Palestine extant native
Poland extant native yes
Portugal extant native yes
Qatar extant native yes
Romania extant native yes
Russia extant native yes
Russia (Asian) extant native yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant native yes
Russia (European) extant native yes
San Marino extant native
Saudi Arabia extant native yes
Serbia extant native yes
Slovakia extant native yes
Slovenia extant native yes
South Korea extant native yes
Spain extant native yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) extant vagrant
Sweden extant native yes
Switzerland extant native yes
Syria extant native yes yes
Tajikistan extant native
Tunisia extant native
Türkiye extant native yes
Turkmenistan extant native yes
Ukraine extant native yes
United Arab Emirates extant native yes
United Kingdom extant native yes
USA extant introduced yes
Uzbekistan extant native yes
Western Sahara extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Russia (European) Orenburgski Nature Reserve
Czechia Krivoklatsko (Krivoklatsko region)
Russia (European) Flood-plain of Algashka river (Kirsko-Algashinskaya)
Bulgaria Zlatiata

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Sand Dunes suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Sand Dunes suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) major breeding
Marine Intertidal Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses) major non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 3500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Alauda arvensis. Downloaded from on 01/10/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/10/2023.