Grey-necked Bunting Emberiza buchanani


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 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.

Population justification
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 6,200-18,600 pairs, which equates to 12,400-37,200 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). However Europe forms <5% of the global range.

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


This species uses dry, rocky mountainsides, ravines and upland plateaux, with grassy clumps and weedy vegetation. It tends to avoid trees but tolerates broken bushy cover. It forages on seeds and shoots of dry-country plants. During the breeding season the chicks are fed small invertebrates, in particular weevils, other beetles, bugs, ants, grasshoppers and snails (Madge 2016).The species's breeding season starts in April. The nest is built by the female and is well hidden under vegetation or a sheltering boulder, on the ground. Usually three to six eggs are laid between April and late May. The species is migratory with the majority of birds wintering in India (Madge 2016).


Overgrazing of sparse vegetation by domestic animals may lead to habitat degradation (Madge 2016).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within its European range.

Conservation Actions Proposed
No conservation measures are currently needed for this species within its European range.


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Emberiza buchanani. Downloaded from on 02/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 02/12/2022.