Archived 2021 topic: Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis): Revise global status?

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5 Responses to Archived 2021 topic: Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis): Revise global status?

  1. Comments about Armenia

    In Armenia the last census (2019) followed by extrapolation of the calculated density on the breeding sites of the species allows to estimate the species’ population to 860-1610 breeding pairs. Population trend during last 17 years is uncertain, mainly due to lack of data. The inconsistency with the previous data from Armenia (15,000 to 35,000 pairs, which was submitted by ASPB to ERLoB 2015) is referred to lack of species identification skills by that organization.

    It nevertheless, appears that the species’ distribution range in Armenia was decreased since 1995, as the analysis of the museum specimens and the data from Adamian & Klem (1999) suggest wider distribution range than is observed in Armenia at current.

    Major threats for the species in the country:
    – uncontrolled mowing practices in the mountain meadows, which are mainly inhabited by the species.
    – increase of mid-summer temperature and decrease of annual precipitations in the country.
    The described climate change in the mountain meadow habitats can be exacerbated by the mowing practices, getting a synergetic (in a bad meaning) effect on the habitat and the species.

    Aghababyan K., Foopen R., Bauer H-G., Voricek P., Keller V., Herrando S., Klem D. Jr., Khanamirian G. (in prep.) The Atlas of the Breeding Birds in Armenia. Series of Biodiversity Monitoring Toolkit. BirdLinks Armenia NGO.
    Adamian, M. & D. Klem. 1999. Handbook of the Birds of Armenia. American University of Armenia, California.

    The mentioned data and analyses are the property of BirdLinks Armenia NGO.


    The Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) reaches the southern limits of its range in Ukraine thus an overall population of the species estimated at 12,000-19,000 pairs for the 2021 European Red List of Birds is fairly small as compared to the populations of the UK, the Nordic countries and Russia. The trend is apparently decreasing but as the Ukrainian population comprises only a minor fraction of the total European, it’s probably insignificant for influencing the all-European trend estimate. The numbers of the Meadow Pipit decreased sharply in the North-Eastern Ukraine especially from 2005-2007 onwards and the species almost disappeared as a breeding species in the Kharkiv region where it bred in considerable numbers in flood-plain grassy marshes and meadows in 1990s and early 2000s. But the region is clearly at the periphery of the range and such fluctuations of the numbers and the limits of the range are known from the past. The cause of the decline in recent years is the widespread drought and desiccation of flood-plain habitats that decimated also the populations of the other meadow bird species e.g. Lapwing, Redshank, Snipe and Citrine Wagtail. The decrease of the
    grazing pressure and overgrowing of the meadows by tall grass and shrubby vegetation also contributed to the decline. The ongoing drought should negatively impact Meadow Pipits of northern populations which migrate through Ukraine en masse.

  3. J.C. Coulson says:

    One of the most difficult species to census. It often breeds in areas where census work
    does not exist in a reliable form. I do not believe that most census data are reliable and many area are just not visited.

  4. Marc Herremans says:

    The huge loss of the effectively occupied range (mainly in the south of its range) has not changed since the previous assessment. There is therefore no “improvement” of its status, other than that the declining trend is now considered to have slowed.

  5. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Following careful review and consideration of the existing available information, as well as the contributions to the consultation above, we have now reached a decision on the status of this species for both the 2021 global Red List update and the 2021 European Red List. Our conclusion is that this species should be classified as Least Concern, representing a reclassification from its current status of Near Threatened, owing to its slower rate of population decline. We acknowledge its ongoing decline and range contraction in various countries, which will be mentioned accordingly.

    Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion above and helped to inform this outcome. The 2021 European Red List will be published this autumn, and the 2021 global Red List update including this assessment will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December.

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