This discussion was first published as part of the 2016 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2017 Red List update this post remained open and the date of posting was updated.
BirdLife species factsheet for Chestnut-collared Longspur
This species breeds in the Great Plains (north and central USA) and the Canadian Prairie Provinces (southern central Canada), and winters in south-central and south-western USA and north-central Mexico (Hill and Gould 1997). It has undergone long-term population declines so that it is now rare or extirpated as a breeding species in a number of States formerly occupied.
The species is currently listed as Near Threatened under A2bc+3bc+4bc because the population is estimated to be declining at a rate approaching 30% in three generations (12 years).
As a result of conversion of native prairie to croplands and urban developments it has disappeared from much of its historical breeding range (e.g. in Kansas, Nebraska and Minnesota). Recent conversion of grasslands to cropland in the Valles Centrales (the largest known wintering population of c.250,000 individuals) of Chihuahua, Mexico, is estimated to have displaced more than 130,000 wintering individuals (Pool et al. 2014).
Its decline measured by the Breeding Bird Survey equates to 3.3% per year over 2003-2015 or a 33% decline over the whole period, which equates to three generations for the species. The BBS suggests a decline of 88.8% since 1966. Annual declines over the past decade (2005-2015) were most rapid in Alberta (7.5%), Manitoba (7.5%), and Wyoming (8.2%) (Sauer et al. 2016).
Owing to these declines the species is proposed to be listed as Vulnerable under A2bc+3c+4bc.
We welcome any comments on this proposed uplisting.
Hill, D. P. and Gould, L. K. (1997) Chestnut-collared Longspur. In: Poole, A. and Gill, F. (ed.), The birds of North America, No. 288, pp. 1-20. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia and the American Ornithologists’ Union, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
Pool, D.B., Panjabi, A.O., Macias-Duarte, A. and Solhjem, D. (2014) Rapid expansion of croplands in Chihuahua, Mexico threatens declining North American grassland bird species. Biological Conservation 170: 274-281.
Sauer, J. R., Hines, J. E., Fallon, J. E., Pardieck, K. L., Ziolkowski, Jr. D. J., and Link, W. A. (2016) The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2015. USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel.