Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Average mass 15 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 18,200,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 3,480,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 30000000-59999999 poor estimated 2012
Population trend Stable suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.6 - - -

Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 3,010,000-5,540,000 pairs, which equates to 6,030,000-11,100,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 30,150,000-55,500,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

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

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan V Extant
Austria V Extant
Bangladesh N Extant
Belgium V Extant
Bhutan N Extant
Bulgaria V Extant
China (mainland) N Extant
Cyprus V Extant
Denmark V Extant
Egypt V Extant
Estonia V Extant
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) V Extant
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France V Extant
Germany V Extant
Greece V Extant
Hong Kong (China) N Extant
Hungary V Extant
Iceland V Extant
India N Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of V Extant Yes
Ireland V Extant
Israel V Extant
Italy V Extant
Japan N Extant
Jordan V Extant
Kazakhstan N Extant
Kuwait N Extant Yes Yes
Laos N Extant
Latvia V Extant
Lebanon V Extant Yes
Malaysia N Extant
Malta V Extant
Mongolia N Extant
Montenegro V Extant
Myanmar N Extant
Nepal N Extant
Netherlands V Extant
North Korea V Extant
Norway N Extant Yes
Oman V Extant Yes
Pakistan N Extant
Philippines N Extant
Poland V Extant
Portugal V Extant
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia V Extant Yes
Serbia V Extant
Slovenia V Extant
South Korea N Extant
Spain V Extant
Sweden N Extant Yes
Switzerland V Extant
Taiwan, China N Extant
Tajikistan V Extant
Thailand N Extant
Turkey V Extant
Ukraine V Extant
United Arab Emirates V Extant Yes
United Kingdom V Extant
USA V Extant
Vietnam N Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Sweden Sjaunja
Finland Rauma and Luvia archipelagos
Finland Pitkäranta
Finland Litokaira
Finland Valtavaara-Pyhävaara
Finland Oulanka-Sukerijärvi
Finland Juortanansalo
Finland Kilsiaapa-Ristivuoma
Finland Kemihaara (Vuotos) mires and forests
Finland Lämsänaapa-Sakkala-aapa
Finland Kevo
Finland Maltio fjelds
Finland Värriö-Tuntsa
Finland Pomokaira-Koitelaiskaira
Finland Saariselkä and Koilliskaira
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju
Finland Käsivarsi fjelds
Norway Øvre Pasvik
Germany Wagbach lowlands
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Yuribey
Russia (Central Asian) Upper and Middle Yuribey
Finland Pallas and Ylläs fjelds
Finland Elimyssalo
Finland Pajupuronsuo-Isosuo-Kivisuo
Finland Olvassuo-Oravisuo-Näätäsuo-Sammakkosuo
Finland Ruunaa
Sweden Lake Laidaure
Sweden Muddus

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Boreal suitable breeding
Forest Boreal suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Grassland Tundra suitable breeding
Grassland Tundra suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Boreal suitable breeding
Shrubland Boreal suitable non-breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
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 - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Emberiza pusilla. Downloaded from on 03/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/12/2022.