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European Roller Coracias garrulus

Justification
This species has apparently undergone moderately rapid declines across its global range and it is consequently considered Near Threatened. Declines have been most pronounced in northern populations, and if similar declines are observed elsewhere in the species's range it may warrant uplisting to Vulnerable.

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#.
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.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Distribution and population
Coracias garrulus occurs as two subspecies: the nominate breeds from Morocco, south-west and south-central Europe and Asia Minor east through north-west Iran to south-west Siberia (Russia); and semenowi, which breeds in Iraq and Iran (except north-west) east to Kashmir and north to Turkmenistan, south Kazakhstan and north-west China (west Sinkiang). The species overwinters in two distinct regions of Africa, from Senegal east to Cameroon and from Ethiopia west to Congo and south to South Africa (del Hoyo et al. 2001). It has a large global population, including an estimated 100,000-220,000 individuals in Europe (50-74% of the global breeding range) (BirdLife International 2004). However, following a moderate decline during 1970-1990 (Tucker and Heath 1994), the species has continued to decline by up to 25% across Europe during 1990-2000 (including in key populations in Turkey and European Russia) (BirdLife International 2004). Overall European declines exceeded 30% in three generations (15 years). Populations in northern Europe have undergone severe declines (Estonia: 50-100 pairs in 1998 to no known breeding pairs in 2004 [A. Kalamees in litt. 2005], Latvia: several thousand to under 30 pairs in 2004 [E. Raèinskis in litt. 2005], Lithuania: 1,000-2,000 pairs in 1970s to 20 pairs in 2004 [L. Raudonikis in litt. 2005]), and in Russia it has now disappeared from the northern part of its range (A. Mischenko in litt. 2005). However, there is no evidence of any declines in Central Asia. Should these populations be shown to be declining, the species may warrant uplisting further to Vulnerable.

Population justification
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 53000-110000 breeding pairs, equating to 159000-330000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 50-74% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population si

Trend justification
Northern European populations of the species have shown the most dramatic declines in recent years, and in Russia it has now disappeared from the northern part of its range. Some southern European populations have also declined: in the past century, the species has gone extinct in Germany, Denmark, Sweden (Snow & Perrins, 1998) and Finland (Avilés et al. 1999), possibly due to habitat loss as a result of agricultural intensification (Snow & Perrins 1998). Populations in the Middle East and Central Asia have not apparently exhibited declines, and hence global declines are suspected to fall within the band 20-30% over the past ten years.

Ecology
The European Roller breeds throughout temperate, steppe and Mediterranean zones characterized by reliable warm summer weather. It prefers lowland open countryside with patches of oak Quercus forest, mature pine Pinus woodland with heathery clearings, orchards, mixed farmland, river valleys, and plains with scattered thorny or leafy trees. It winters primarily in dry wooded savanna and bushy plains (del Hoyo et al. 2001). In Europe, the species mainly breeds in abandoned Green Woodpecker Picus viridis cavities in white poplar Populus alba, especially in riparian forests, less often in Salix spp., or infrequently in natural cavities of planes Platanus orientalis, walls or sand-banks (Tron et al. 2006, Poole et al. in prep). They mostly forage in agricultural habitats, especially meadows (May and August) and in cereals in June-July. Fallow land is always favoured. Vineyards can be attractive if the soil keeps some vegetation cover (Tron et al. 2006, Poole et al. in prep). Hedgerows (as well as fences and powerlines) are essential perches while looking for prey (Tron et al. 2006, Poole et al. in prep).


Threats
Threats include persecution on migration in some Mediterranean countries and hundreds, perhaps thousands, are shot for food in Oman every spring (del Hoyo et al. 2001), and Gujarat, India. The loss of suitable breeding habitat due to changing agricultural practices, conversion to monoculture, loss of nest sites, and use of pesticides (reducing food availability) are considered to be the main threats to the species in Europe (Kovacs et al. 2008; E. Raèinskis in litt. 2005). It is sensitive to loss of hedgerows and riparian forest in Europe which provide essential habitats for perching and nesting.




Conservation Actions Underway
EU Birds Directive Annex I. Bern Convention Appendix II. Bonn Convention Appendix II. International Species Action Plan in place (Kovacs et al. 2008). A number of national monitoring schemes within its range and has been the focus of targeted study. Species action plans have been developed in Hungary, Latvia, and Andalusia (Spain); similar documents are being drafted in Slovakia and Catalonia (Spain). Working groups present in Austria, Belarus, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia and Slovakia.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue monitoring population trends. Determine Turkish, Middle Eastern and Central Asian trends and review its conservation status based on the findings. Tackle specific threats such as hunting. Address threats in Europe relating to the Common Agricultural Policy and integrate appropriate measures into agri-environment schemes.


Related state of the world's birds case studies

References
Avilés J.M., Sanchez J.M., Sanchez A., Parejo D. 1999. Breeding biology of the Roller Coracias garrulus in farming areas of the southwest Iberian Peninsula. Bird Study 46: 217-223.

BirdLife International. 2004. Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 2001. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 6: Mousebirds to Hornbills. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Fry, C. H.; Fry, K. 1999. Kingfishers, bee-eaters, and rollers. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Kovacs A., Barov B., Orhun C., Gallo-Orsi U. 2008. International Species Action Plan for the European Roller Coracias garrulus garrulus. BirdLife International For the European Commission.

Lemphers, N.C., Tron, F.T. and Evans, D.M. 2007. Comparison of census methodologies for the European roller (Coracias garrulus) in the Vallée des Baux de Provence, France. A Rocha France, Aries-Espénon, France.

Snow, D. W.; Perrins, C. M. 1998. The birds of the Western Palearctic: concise editions. Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.

Tron, F. 2006. The European Roller as a flagship species for a local stakeholders-based approach of Mediterranean farmland conservation. . Abstract for the 1st European Congress of Conservation Biology ‘Diversity for Europe’.

Tucker, G. M.; Heath, M. F. 1994. Birds in Europe: their conservation status. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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)

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Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M., Bird, J.

Contributors
Petkov, N., Kalamees, A., Racinskis, E., Raudonikis, L., Mischenko, A., Tron, F., Tiwari, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Coracias garrulus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/12/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/12/2014.

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 - European roller (Coracias garrulus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Coraciidae (Rollers)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 11,400,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species