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 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 has not been quantified, but it is not believed to 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.
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as irregular over its Chinese range, although common in some areas (Madge and McGowan 2002). Brazil (2009) has estimated the population in China at c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals. The European population is estimated at 0-10 pairs, which equates to 0-20 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. In Europe the population trend is unknown (BirdLife International 2015).
This species inhabits steppe and semi-desert, with low, sparse vegetation of grasses or shrubs, as well as fallow land and abandoned fields. It is thought to favour clay to sandy or stony soils and it occurs in flat or hilly terrain and mountain valleys. Egg-laying occurs from mid-April to June and it typically lays three eggs, sometimes two. The nest is set on the ground and is sometimes sheltered by a bush or grasses and is often close to other pairs. It feeds on seeds and also some green shoots of many different plants. The species is partially migratory. Irregular irruptions have taken place in western Europe, notably in 1863, 1888 and 1908 as well as in northern China in 1860 and Manchuria in 1912/1913 and 1922/1923 (de Juana and Boesman 2016).
The species's extensive, remote and sparsely populated range may make it less susceptible to threats (de Juana and Boesman 2016).
Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within its European range.
Conservation Actions Proposed
No conservation measures are currently needed for this species within Europe.
Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Ashpole, J, Butchart, S.
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Syrrhaptes paradoxus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/12/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/12/2021.