Island Canary Serinus canaria


Justification of Red List category
Although this species may have a small range, it is not believed to 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
The breeding population, which is confined to Europe, is estimated to number 1,500,000-2,520,000 pairs, which equates to 3,000,000-5,050,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.


The species inhabits a wide variety of lowland and submontane forests of pine (Pinus), laurel (Lauraceae), the edges of cultivation and wooded valleys (barrancos) with almonds (Prunus), tamarisk (Tamarix) thickets, myrtle (Myrica) hedges, tree-heaths (Erica) and especially areas of broom (Cytisus) It is also found in parks and gardens and on Desertas (Madeira) it breeds in open semi-arid areas with little or no vegetation cover. Breeding occurs from January to July and it is monogamous. The nest is a deep compact cup made of twigs, plant fibres and down, grass, moss and lichens, small leaves, animal hair (mainly sheep wool) and feathers, sited above ground in a fork at the end of a thin branch or in the crown of a small tree. Clutches are three to four eggs. It feeds mainly on seeds, particularly of herbs and grasses, as well as buds and fruit and a small number of insects. The species is resident, undertaking short-distance dispersive movements (Clement 2016).


There are not thought to be any current significant threats to this species.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
In order to supplement the population there 12–15 individuals were released onto Fuerteventura in 1980. The species is widely kept in captivity in most areas of the world (Clement 2016).

Conservation Actions Proposed
No conservation measures are currently needed for this species.


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Serinus canaria. 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.