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 increasing, 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.
The European population is estimated at 561,000-1,040,000 pairs, which equates to 1,120,000-2,070,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.80% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 1,400,000-2,600,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
In Europe the overall trend from 1980-2013 shows a moderate increase (EBCC 2015).
The species is found in generally fairly open country (Baptista et al. 1997). It uses woodland-edge habitat, parks and farmland with mature trees or other habitats offering suitable nest-hole sites (Tucker and Heath 1994). It mostly feeds on the ground taking seeds, grain, green leaves, buds, flowers and some invertebrates (Baptista et al. 1997). It is wholly migratory in northern Europe and mainly resident in southern Europe (Tucker and Heath 1994, Baptista et al. 1997). Populations are progressively less migratory further south in the range (Baptista et al. 1997).
In parts of its range, the species underwent severe declines after the 1950s with the introduction of new herbicides, although populations have recovered to a limited extent (Baptista et al. 1997).
Conservation Actions Underway
EU Birds Directive Annex II. There are no known conservation measures for this species.
Conservation Actions Proposed
No conservation measures are currently needed for this species.
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A., Ashpole, J
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Columba oenas. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/02/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/02/2023.