Pale Sparrow Carpospiza brachydactyla


Taxonomic note

Carpospiza brachydactyla (del Hoyo and Collar 2016) was previously placed in the genus Petronia following AERC TAC (2003); Cramp et al. (1977-1994); Dowsett & Forbes-Watson (1993); Sibley & 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#.
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
2018 Least Concern
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 Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 4,380,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 2,750,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2009
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 - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -

Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 6,000-18,300 pairs, which equates to 11,900-36,500 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). However Europe forms a very small part (c.5%) of the global range, so extrapolating to the global population is inappropriate.

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

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bahrain N Extant Yes
Cyprus V Extant
Djibouti N Extant
Egypt N Extant
Eritrea N Extant
Ethiopia N Extant
Georgia N Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes Yes
Israel N Extant Yes
Jordan N Extant Yes Yes
Kuwait N Extant Yes Yes
Lebanon N Extant Yes Yes
Oman N Extant Yes Yes
Pakistan N Extant
Qatar N Extant Yes
Russia V Extant Yes
Russia (European) V Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes Yes
Yemen V Extant Yes Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Azerbaijan Zuvand upland
United Arab Emirates Masafi - Tayibah area
Afghanistan North-western steppe
Syria Mount Hermon
Iraq Augla, Wadi Hauran
Iran, Islamic Republic of Parvar Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Western Zagros north of Nowsud
Iran, Islamic Republic of Oshtrankuh Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arjan Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Khabr-va-Rouchoon Wildlife Refuge
Iran, Islamic Republic of Deh Bakhri area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Kuh-i Bazman
Jordan Dana
Jordan Burqu'
Oman Musandam (mainland)
Saudi Arabia Mahazat as-Sayd
Saudi Arabia Harrat al-Harrah
Saudi Arabia Jabal Aja and Northern Ha'il
Syria Tadmur desert and mountains
Syria Abu Zad
Syria Ras al-Ayn
Syria Wadi al-Qarn - Burqush
Iran, Islamic Republic of Akh Gol
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Uromiyeh
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lashgarak and Latian dam
Iran, Islamic Republic of Kavir region
Iran, Islamic Republic of Golestan
Iran, Islamic Republic of Touran
Iran, Islamic Republic of Shirvan area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Tandoureh
Iran, Islamic Republic of Telesm plain
Iran, Islamic Republic of Ilam area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Kuh-i Dena, and Yasuj and Sisakht area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bamou National Park
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Maharlu
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Bakhtegan, Lake Tashk and Kamjan marshes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hamoun-i Gabi
Iran, Islamic Republic of Kuh-i Taftan
Iran, Islamic Republic of Geno
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hormoz island
Oman Empty Quarter
Oman Khawr Hassan
Saudi Arabia National Wildlife Research Center and environs, Taif
Yemen Al-Murah
Turkmenistan Badhyz
Turkey Southern Euphrates Valley and Birecik Plains
Turkey Karkamış
Lebanon Upper Mountains of Akkar-Donnieh
Lebanon Semi Deserts of Ras Baalbek
Iraq Ahmed Awa
Iraq De Lezha
Iraq Dukan Lake
Iraq Peramagroon Mountain

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Desert Hot suitable breeding
Desert Hot suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) suitable non-breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) suitable breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Carpospiza brachydactyla. Downloaded from on 29/10/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/10/2020.