Pallid Swift Apus pallidus


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 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 European population is estimated at 63,200-106,000 pairs, which equates to 126,000-213,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.15% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 840,000-1,420,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. The population is therefore placed in the band 800,000-1,499,999 mature individuals.

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


The species is typically associated with coastal sites, especially islets but is found in continental zone in central Sahara. It is typically found around cliff-faces and gorges, though in many parts of range also in urban areas, where it commonly breeds. It forages over many habitats. It nests in a variety of sites such as caves, cliff faces, niches, eaves, under tiles, holes in palms, and on Gibraltar forcibly vacated fresh nests of House Martins (Delichon urbica). The round nest is made of straw and feathers agglutinated and adhered to substrate with saliva. It feeds on insects and spiders. The species is a medium-distance migrant, wintering in west and central Africa. However southernmost and some Middle Eastern breeding birds are resident (Chantler et al. 2014).


There are currently no known threats to this species.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within Europe.

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


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Apus pallidus. Downloaded from on 09/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 09/08/2022.