Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus


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 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
Partners in Flight estimate the global population to number two million mature individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2017). In Europe, recent estimates include 1,000-40,000 mature individuals in Norway, 6,000 mature individuals in Finland, 200-2,000 mature individuals in Sweden and 20,000-200,000 mature individuals in European Russia (Tyler 2018).

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


Red-throated Pipit breeds in the arctic tundra. It favours willow (Salix) mires with small creeks, sedge (Carex) marshes and peat mounds, both above the treeline and within mountain birch (Betula) forest (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). Egg-laying occurs from early to mid-June or July in the north of the range and from the end of May in the south (Tyler 2018). The nest is built by the female, although the initial hollow is made by the male and both sexes bring material. The nest consists of a cup of grass leaves and stems, some moss and dead leaves at the base, lined with finer grass, hair and feathers, and is sited on the ground on a hummock or bank. Sometimes it is placed at the end of a short tunnel. Clutch size varies between two and seven eggs, but usually five or six. The species forages on the ground. It mainly feeds on insects, but also on other invertebrates and some vegetable matter (Tyler 2018). The species is migratory. European populations mostly winter in sub-Saharan Africa, but scattered wintering sites exist in south-east Italy, Turkey and North Africa (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). Eastern populations migrate mainly to south-east Asia, south-east China and Taiwan (China) (Tyler 2018).


The species's distribution in Finland contracted markedly between 1974-1978 and 1986-1989 and disappeared from Finnish Lapland, but the reasons for this decline are unknown (Tyler 2018). The species may be vulnerable to future climate change (Virkkala et al. 2008).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

Bern Convention Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Study the species's ecology, reproductive biology and food sources, with particular focus on the causes of decline and on the conservation of the species. Identify and protect key areas within its range.


Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Hermes, C., Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S.

Panjabi, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Anthus cervinus. Downloaded from on 11/08/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 11/08/2020.