Redwing Turdus iliacus breeds from Iceland east through N & E Europe and across much of Siberia, and winters in W & S Europe, N Africa, around the Black and Caspian Sea basins and in adjacent SW Asia (Collar & de Juana 2013). It is currently listed as Least Concern, because when last assessed it was not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria.
Globally, it has an extremely large range in both the breeding season (>12 million km2) and in winter (>4 million km2), and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criteria (B and D2). Its population size is also extremely large, with 26–40 million mature individuals breeding in Europe alone (BirdLife International 2015), and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criteria (C and D1). Therefore, the only potentially relevant criterion is A, which relates to reductions in population size. Until recently, the population was thought to be declining slowly, but not sufficiently rapidly to approach the threshold for listing as Vulnerable under criterion A (at least a 30% decline over ten years or three generations, whichever is longer).
New 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 25–30% over the last three generations (15.6 years, based on a generation length estimated by BirdLife to be 5.2 years). This corresponds well with the declining trend reported by PECBMS (the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme). Consequently, the species is now classified as Near Threatened at European level (BirdLife International 2015).
However, only around 40% of the species’ global breeding range occurs in Europe, so globally its status depends on trends in Asian Russia, especially in Siberia. The breeding population in European Russia has declined by >20% since 2000 and by >30% since 1980 (BirdLife International 2015), so at least some decline east of the Urals also seems likely. If the species is now declining overall at a similar rate to what has been observed in Europe, then it may qualify for uplisting to Near Threatened under criterion A.
Comments on this proposal are welcome, along with any data on the recent population trend in Asian Russia, and any information about the threats currently affecting this species across its range.
BirdLife International (2015) European Red List of Birds. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/info/euroredlist
Collar, N. & de Juana, E. (2013). Redwing (Turdus iliacus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2013). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. www.hbw.com