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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to 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.
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 430,000-761,000 pairs, which equates to 859,000-1,520,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 4,295,000-7,600,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
This population is estimated to be in decline following decreases in the southern edge of its range (Madge and Burn 1993). The European population is estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015).
This species occupies boreal forest (taiga zone). It favours dense closed-canopy, mature forest of spruce (Picea), pines (Pinus) and larches (Larix), with stands of birches (Betula) and is found in lowlands and foothills (Madge 2009). It is a solitary nester and in Scandinavia, eggs are laid in late March and April (Madge and Burn 1993). The nest is a rather loose structure of twigs, with well-lined cup of lichens, feathers and reindeer (Rangifer) hairs, placed at base of branch close to the trunk of a tree. Clutches are three or four eggs. It is omnivorous, consuming berries, seeds, various insects and their larvae and a wide variety of other invertebrates. It also feeds on carrion, and scavenges on scraps provided by humans, takes eggs and nestlings of small birds, and small rodents (Madge 2009). The species is sedentary over most of its range however birds in the east of the range may move southwards in winter (Madge 2009).
In parts of the European range it is declining due to increased exploitation of its habitat through felling, road-building, settlements and agriculture (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). Forest fragmentation opens up dense forest and allowing such predators such as Corvus corax easier access to nests of this and other bird species (Madge 2009). Other corvids, including other members of this species, are also known to predate nests and the species may suffer from competition from Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) (Madge and Burn 1993).
Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within Europe.
Conservation Actions Proposed
As the species needs mature forest and due to the long recovery time needed for clear-felled areas to regenerate sufficiently, long-term planning of forest exploitation is required in order to maintain refugia of mature forest. The creation of new forest edges, such as might occur with the construction of power lines should be minimized (Tucker and Heath 1994).
Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J.
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Perisoreus infaustus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/12/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/12/2019.