LC
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus



Justification

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 fluctuating, 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 extremely 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 8,310,000-15,000,000 pairs, which equates to 16,600,000-30,100,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.40% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 41,500,000-75,250,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. National population estimates include: c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs in China; c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs in Korea; c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be fluctuating owing to the effects of severe winters and recorded range expansions and regional declines in recent decades (Harrap and Quinn 1996). In Europe, trends between 1980 and 2013 show that the population is stable (EBCC 2015).

Ecology

This species prefers deciduous and mixed woodland with a well-developed shrub layer, especially willows (Salix) and favouring edge habitats. It is also found in riverine woodland, scrub heathland with scattered trees, bushes and hedges in farmland and well-wooded suburban parks, cemeteries and gardens. In the Mediterranean it also uses maquis and open pine (Pinus) forest. Otherwise, avoids pure stands of conifers in west of range, but noted in open forests of spruce (Picea), fir (Abies), larch (Larix) and Siberian stone pine (Pinus sibirica) in central Siberia. It breeds from mid-March to June in Europe and Japan and from March onwards in Iran and March to April in north-east China. The nest is a compact, domed, oval ball of moss, cobweb and hair, covered with up to c. 3000 flakes of lichen for camouflage and with an entrance hole at one side near the top. It is lined with small feathers and adults may continue to add feathers during laying period. It is usually found in a low thorny bush, but a few are built up in tree fork or against a trunk, or hanging among terminal twigs of conifer (Harrap 2008). Normally eight to twelve eggs are laid. It feeds mainly on arthropods although plant matter is taken occasionally during autumn and winter. The species is resident in temperate and Mediterranean areas, but irruptive movements occur farther north (Snow and Perrins 1998).

Threats

Declines in Sweden and Finland are likely as a result of modern forestry practices and the replacement of old-growth habitats with commercial monocultures. During the winter flocks require large territories and habitat fragmentation and degradation can thus threaten local populations. It is vulnerable to severe winters, which can cause numbers to decline by up to 80% and it can take years for populations to recover. Reproductive success can be suppressed by predation of nests, most commonly by crows (Corvidae), weasels (Mustela) and snakes (Harrap 2008).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
There are currently no known conservation measures for this species in Europe.

Conservation Actions Proposed
A wide-scale approach to the preservation of suitable habitat for this species is important. Increasing the amount of old deciduous forests close to existing habitats has been shown to be an effective strategy for this species (Lindbladh et al. 2011). In some areas predator control may be appropriate and research should investigate the effectiveness of this in increasing populations.

Acknowledgements

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A. & Ashpole, J


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Aegithalos caudatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/11/2019.