Justification of Red List Category
This poorly-studied migratory species is not thought to be declining sufficiently rapidly to be listed as Near Threatened, it is therefore classified as Least Concern.
The European population is estimated at 21,400-87,300 pairs (BirdLife International 2015), which equates to 42,700-175,000 mature individuals. The size of the population in Iran is unknown, but Europe is estimated to constitute 50-74% of the global breeding range, so a preliminary estimate of the global population size is 58,000-350,000 mature individuals.
Population declines continued across much of south-east Europe during 1990-2000, including key populations in Turkey and European Russia (BirdLife International 2004). More recent data collated from across the species's European range suggests that the European population declined by 1-19% over the last three generations (11.7 years, based on a generation length estimated by BirdLife to be 3.9 years) (BirdLife International 2015).
This species breeds in south-east Europe - in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, FYR Macedonia, Russia and Turkey - as well as in north-eastern Iran (Cramp and Perrins 1993, Urban et al. 1997). In parts of its range the exact distribution is poorly documented and is deduced from sporadic observations of (possible) breeding pairs in suitable habitat.Little information is available regarding wintering behaviour of the species. It winters in a comparatively small region of East Africa, from Sudan and South Sudan through western Kenya, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to Tanzania. Following a decline during 1970-1990 (Tucker and Heath 1994), the European population - which is now estimated at 21,400-87,300 pairs (BirdLife International 2015) - continued to decline across much of its range during 1990-2000 (including key populations in Turkey and Russia) (BirdLife International 2004) however the population is thought to have declined overall by only 1-19% over the last three generations (BirdLife International 2015).
Within its breeding range, it favours forest belts, mainly on mountain slopes up to about 2,000 m altitude, occupied by mature deciduous trees (notably oak Quercus and hornbeam Carpinus) as well as temperate riverine and swamp forests of Fraxinus oxycarpa; and in plane Platanus orientalis galleries (Handrinos, 1997). Occasionally, the species breeds in old or abandoned orchards, groves and tree plantations, urban parks and large gardens or forested peripheral parts of towns, villages and industrial sites (Iankov, 2007). It breeds in tree hollows created by woodpeckers, but will also use nest boxes. However, nest boxes cannot compensate for the loss of suitable habitats and especially as terminal stages of the logging rotation is reached.
The species suffers from habitat destruction in some areas, which is likely to be responsible for recent declines. Lowland oak (Quercus spp.) forests in Bulgaria (its favoured habitat in this country) have been overexploited for timber, and riparian forests have been cleared for riverbed corrections. In eastern Turkey, its riparian forest habitat is threatened by ongoing dam projects, and the rapid loss of other Quercus forests may also be having a negative impact (S. Isfendiyaroglu in litt. 2005).
Conservation and Research Actions Underway
EU Birds Directive Annex I. CMS Appendix II. Bern Convention Resolution 6. A species action plan for this species in the European Union was published in 2009 (Georgiev and Iankov 2009). BirdLife International project mapping of Biologically Important Forests in Bulgaria and Romania. Similar project implemented in Greece in 2008.
Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Develop a monitoring programme to assess population size and trends. Assess threats to the species and develop appropriate responses. Ensure forest management practices within the distribution area of the species take into account the habitat requirements of the species. Ensure Natura 2000 sites and protected areas that include the species are protected from damage and have management plans under implementation.
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Derhé, M., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Pople, R. & Ashpole, J
Balkiz, O. & Isfendiyaroglu, S.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Ficedula semitorquata. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/01/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/01/2020.