Iberian Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis


Taxonomic note

Lanius excubitor, L. borealis and L. meridionalis (del Hoyo and Collar 2016) were previously lumped as L. excubitor following AOU (1998 and supplements), Cramp et al. (1977-1994), Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) and Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
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
- - A2abc+3bc+4abc

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2017 Vulnerable A2abc+3bc+4abc
2016 Least Concern
2012 Not Recognised
2008 Not Recognised
2005 Not Recognised
2004 Least Concern
2000 Not Recognised
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency low
Land-mass type Average mass 60 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 763,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 882,000
Severely fragmented? no -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Number of mature individuals 744000-1310000 poor estimated 2012
Population trend decreasing estimated 2010-2022
Decline % (10 years/3 generations future) 30-49 - - -
Decline % (10 years/3 generations past and future) 30-49 - - -
Generation length (years) 4 - - -

Population justification: Population estimates from the European Red List of Birds (BirdLife International 2015) total 372,150-656,150 pairs, or 744,300-1,312,300 mature individuals. rounded here to 744,000-1,310,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: Data from the Spanish national bird monitoring schemes shows a decline of c. 60% in Spain between 1998-2016, however much of that decline took place before 2010, since when the species’ population has fluctuated but remained broadly stable (SEO/BirdLife 2017). Over the last three generations (12 years; 2005-2016), the graph suggests a decline from c.70% of 1998 levels to c.40% of 1998 levels, which equates to a decline of c. 43% over three generations. As Spain holds c. 95% of the global population, the Spanish trend effectively describes the global trend.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Andorra extant native yes
France extant native yes yes
Gibraltar (to UK) extant native
Portugal extant native yes
Spain extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable resident
Forest Temperate suitable resident
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable resident
Shrubland Temperate suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 1200 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Lanius meridionalis. Downloaded from on 23/09/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/09/2023.