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White Wagtail Motacilla alba
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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Justification
This species has a very 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.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Taxonomic note
Motacilla alba and M. lugens (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) have been lumped into M. alba following AOU (2005). Motacilla alba (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) was split by Sangster et al. (1998) into M. alba, M. alboides, M. baicalensis, M. leucopsis, M. ocularis, M. personata and M. subpersonata but this treatment is not followed by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group because no vocal, morphological or phylogenetic evidence is provided by Sangster et al. (1998) and Alström et al. (2003) notes that all contiguously distributed subspecies of M. alba interbreed. Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993) and Sangster et al. (1998) also split M. lugens from M. alba but these taxa are also lumped following AOU (2005).

Population justification
Rich et al. (2004) estimated the global population to number 200,000 individuals. In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 13000000-26000000 breeding pairs, equating to 39000000-78000000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 5-24% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 163000000-1560000000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification
In Europe the overall trend from 1980-2011 was stable, based on provisional data for 27 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands).

References
Ahas, R.; Aasa, A. 2006. The effects of climate change on the phenology of selected Estonian plant, bird and fish populations. International Journal of Biometeorology 51: 17-26.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.2). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 13 November 2013).

Jenkins, D.; Watson, A. 2000. Dates of first arrival and song of birds during 1974-1999 in mid-Deeside, Scotland. Bird Study 47: 249-251.

Jenni, L.; Kery, M. 2003. Timing of autumn bird migration under climate change: advances in long-distance migrants, delays in short-distance migrants. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 270(1523): 1467-1471.

Sokolov, L. V.; Gordienko, N. S. 2008. Has recent climate warming affected the dates of bird arrival to the Il'men Reserve in the Southern Urals? Russian Journal of Ecology 39: 56-62.

Tryjanowski, P.; Kuzniak, S.; Sparks, T. H. 2002. Earlier arrival of some farmland migrants in western Poland. Ibis 144: 62-68.

Vahatalo, A. V.; Rainio, K.; Lehikoinen, A.; Lehikoinen, E. 2004. Spring arrival of birds depends on the North Atlantic Oscillation. Journal of Avian Biology 35: 210-216.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A. & Temple, H.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Motacilla alba. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/06/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/06/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - White wagtail (Motacilla alba) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Motacillidae (Wagtails and pipits)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size 50000000-500000000 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 39,500,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment