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Little Swift Apus affinis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type   Average mass 17.9 g


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 22,200,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals U not applicable Not Applicable 0
Population trend Increasing Suspected -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 12.5 - - -
Population justification: The global population size has not been quantified. In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 900-2,500 breeding pairs, equating to 2,700-7,500 individuals (BirdLife International 2004), but Europe forms <5% of the global range.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be increasing owing to a range expansion caused primarily by its adaptation to nesting in buildings (del Hoyo et al. 1999).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant Yes      
Algeria Native Extant        
Angola Native Extant        
Australia Vagrant Extant        
Azerbaijan Unknown Extant        
Bahrain Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Benin Native Extant        
Botswana Native Extant        
Bulgaria Vagrant Extant        
Burkina Faso Native Extant        
Burundi Native Extant        
Cameroon Native Extant        
Central African Republic Native Extant        
Chad Native Extant        
Congo Native Extant        
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant        
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant        
Djibouti Native Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Ethiopia Native Extant        
Gabon Native Extant        
Gambia Native Extant        
Ghana Native Extant        
Greece Vagrant Extant        
Guinea Native Extant        
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant        
India Native Extant Yes      
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant Yes      
Iraq Native Extant       Yes
Ireland Vagrant Extant        
Israel Native Extant Yes      
Italy Vagrant Extant        
Jordan Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Kenya Native Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant   Yes    
Lebanon Native Extant     Yes  
Lesotho Native Extant        
Liberia Native Extant        
Libya Native Extant        
Madagascar Native Extant        
Malawi Native Extant        
Maldives Vagrant Extant        
Mali Native Extant        
Malta Vagrant Extant        
Mauritania Native Extant        
Morocco Native Extant        
Mozambique Native Extant        
Namibia Native Extant        
Niger Native Extant        
Nigeria Native Extant        
Oman Native Extant     Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant Yes      
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant Yes      
Portugal Vagrant Extant        
Rwanda Native Extant        
São Tomé e Príncipe Native Extant Yes      
Saudi Arabia Native Extant       Yes
Senegal Native Extant        
Seychelles Vagrant Extant        
Sierra Leone Native Extant        
Somalia Native Extant        
South Africa Native Extant        
South Sudan Native Extant       Yes
Spain Native Extant Yes      
Sri Lanka Native Extant Yes      
Sudan Native Extant        
Swaziland Native Extant        
Sweden Vagrant Extant        
Syria Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Tajikistan Native Extant Yes      
Tanzania Native Extant        
Timor-Leste Native Extant       Yes
Togo Native Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant Yes      
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Uganda Native Extant        
United Arab Emirates Native Extant     Yes  
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      
Yemen Native Extant Yes      
Zambia Native Extant        
Zimbabwe Native Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Turkey Dicle Valley site factsheet
Turkey Southern Euphrates Valley and Birecik Plains site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level Suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level Suitable non-breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland Suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland Suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable non-breeding
Savanna Dry Suitable breeding
Savanna Dry Suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation Suitable breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation Suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 3000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Apus affinis. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Apodidae (Swifts)
Species name author (Gray, 1830)
Population size U mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 22,200,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change
- 2015 European Red List assessment