Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica


Taxonomic note

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Perrins, C.M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 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
- - A2abcd+3bcd+4abcd

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Vulnerable A2abcd+3bcd+4abcd
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 Low
Land mass type Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 17,400,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 4,870,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 6000000-8999999 poor estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing 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) 30-49 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 30-49 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.6 - - -

Population justification: The European population is estimated at 681,000-831,000 pairs, which equates to 1,360,000-1,660,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 6,800,000-8,300,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification:

Data collated from across Europe for the European Red List of Birds (BirdLife International 2015) indicate that the species has declined significantly in recent years, and that this decline is ongoing. A combination of official data reported by 27 EU Member States to the European Commission under Article 12 of the EU Birds Directive and comparable data from other European countries, provided by BirdLife Partners and other leading national ornithologists, suggests that the European breeding population has declined overall by 30–49% over the last three generations (10.8 years, based on a generation length estimated by BirdLife to be 3.6 years). This corresponds well with the declining trend reported by PECBMS (the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme), and with the decline across Scandinavia reported by Dale & Hansen (2013). Consequently, the species is now classified as Vulnerable at European level (BirdLife International 2015).

However, only around 20% of the species’ global breeding range occurs in Europe, so globally its status depends on trends in Asian Russia, especially in Siberia. The population in European Russia has declined by >30% since 2000 and by >50% since 1980 (BirdLife International 2015), so at least some decline east of the Urals also seems likely. Furthermore, the species has a similar migration route and wintering areas to the globally Endangered and rapidly declining Yellow-breasted Bunting E. aureola, and may also be trapped in China (Kamp et al. 2015). Edenius et al. (2016) subsequently compiled population data across its breeding and wintering ranges. The analysis revealed a 75–87% decline in overall population size over the past 30 years and a 32–91% decline over the past 10 years. The species is therefore suspected to be undergoing an ongoing global decline of at least 30-49% in three generations.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan V Extant
Austria V Extant
Belgium V Extant
Bulgaria V Extant
Canada V Extant
China (mainland) N Extant
Croatia V Extant
Denmark V Extant
Egypt V Extant
Estonia N Extant Yes
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France V Extant
Germany V Extant
Greece V Extant
Hong Kong (China) V Extant
Iceland V Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq V Extant
Israel V Extant
Italy V Extant
Japan N Extant
Jordan V Extant
Kazakhstan N Extant
Kuwait V Extant Yes
Latvia N Extant Yes
Lebanon V Extant Yes
Malta V Extant
Mongolia N Extant
Montenegro V Extant
Nepal V Extant
Netherlands V Extant
North Korea N Extant
Norway N Extant Yes
Oman V Extant Yes
Poland V Extant
Portugal V Extant
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia V Extant Yes
Serbia V Extant
Slovenia V Extant
South Korea N Extant
Spain V Extant
Sweden N Extant Yes
Switzerland V Extant
Syria V Extant Yes
Taiwan, China V Extant
Turkey V Extant
United Arab Emirates V Extant Yes
United Kingdom V Extant
USA V Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Sweden Sjaunja
Sweden Färnebofjärden
Sweden Florarna
Finland Paimionlahti bay
Finland Köyliönjärvi and Pyhäjärvi lakes
Finland Puurijärvi-Isosuo wetlands
Finland Rauma and Luvia archipelagos
Finland Koskeljärvi, Vaaljärvi and Pitkäjärvi lakes
Finland Pori archipelago and wetlands
Finland Hanko western archipelago
Finland Nuuksio
Finland Torronsuo and Lake Talpianjärvi
Finland Koijärvi lake
Finland Kangasala wetlands
Finland Talaskangas
Finland Ruunaa
Finland Pitkäranta
Finland Patvinsuo National Park
Finland Viklinrimpi
Finland Koitajoki area
Finland Värtsilä valley
Finland Kristiinankaupunki southern archipelago
Finland Ahmasjärvi lake
Finland Litokaira
Finland Valtavaara-Pyhävaara
Finland Olvassuo-Oravisuo-Näätäsuo-Sammakkosuo
Finland Haapavesi wetlands
Finland Pajupuronsuo-Isosuo-Kivisuo
Finland Närängänvaara-Virmajoki-Romevaara
Finland Oulanka-Sukerijärvi
Finland Syöte-Salmitunturi
Finland Juortanansalo
Finland Elimyssalo
Finland Tornionjoki Delta
Finland Kilsiaapa-Ristivuoma
Finland Martimoaapa-Lumiaapa-Penikat
Finland Veittiaapa-Ristiaapa
Finland Runkaus-Saariaapa-Tainijärvet
Finland Kemihaara (Vuotos) mires and forests
Finland Lämsänaapa-Sakkala-aapa
Finland Riisitunturi
Finland Luosto
Finland South-eastern Kittilä mires
Finland Maltio fjelds
Finland Värriö-Tuntsa
Finland Pallas and Ylläs fjelds
Finland Pomokaira-Koitelaiskaira
Finland Saariselkä and Koilliskaira
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju
Russia (European) Zaonezh'ye
Russia (European) Yugyd Va
Russia (European) Lapland Biosphere Reserve
Russia (European) Central Forest Biosphere Reserve and adjacent areas
Russia (European) Yamantau mountain
Russia (European) Kumikushski wetland
Russia (European) Adovo-Chugrumski wetland
Russia (European) Iremel'ski mountain
Russia (European) Kivach Nature Reserve
Russia (European) Kenozer'ye
Norway Øvre Pasvik
Russia (European) Druzhinnoe lake and its outskirts
Russia (European) Vicinity of the Vozhe lake and Charonda marshes
Russia (Central Asian) Bobrovsko-Rasskazikhinskaya
Russia (Central Asian) Flood-plain of the Tuy river
Russia (Central Asian) Molebny Kamen' ridge
Russia (Central Asian) Poyasovy Kamen' ridge
Russia (European) Kamsko-Bakaldinskiye marshes
Lebanon Aammiq wetland
Finland Lätäseno and Jietajoki mires
Finland Käsivarsi fjelds
Finland Oulu region wetlands
Russia (Central Asian) Bol'shaya Indra lake
Russia (Central Asian) Vizhay river
Russia (Central Asian) Istochnoye, Sredneye and Schuch'ye lakes
Russia (Central Asian) Dvuob'ye
Russia (Central Asian) East slope of the Northern Ural
Russia (Central Asian) Visimsky zapovednik and vicinity
Russia (Central Asian) East slope of the Northern Ural
Russia (Central Asian) Zapovednik "Denezhkin Kamen'"
Russia (Central Asian) Kurkure mountain
Russia (Central Asian) Shapshal ridge
Russia (Central Asian) Tundyt mountain
Russia (European) Pizhemski reserve
Kazakhstan Ural River Valley

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable passage
Forest Boreal suitable non-breeding
Forest Boreal suitable breeding
Forest Temperate suitable non-breeding
Forest Temperate suitable breeding
Shrubland Boreal suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Boreal suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Emberiza rustica. Downloaded from on 05/08/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 05/08/2020.