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Socotra Sparrow Passer insularis
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Although this species may have a small range, it is not believed to 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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremeley large so 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)
Kirwan, G. M. 2008. Studies of Socotran birds III. Morphological and mensural evidence for a 'new' species in the Rufous Sparrow Passer motitensis complex endemic to the island of Abd 'Al-Kuri, with the validation of Passer insularis Sclater & Hartlaub, 1881. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 128(2): 83-93.

Taxonomic note
Passer motitensis (Dowsett and Forbes-Watson 1993) has been split into six species: P. motitensis, P. rufocinctus, and P. insularis following Sibley & Monroe (1990, 1993), Urban (2004) and Kirwan (2008), and P. shelleyi, P. cordofanicus and P. hemileucus following Urban (2004) and Kirwan (2008). Examination of the species complex by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group noted appreciable morphological differences between these taxa.

13-14 cm. Male is chestnut with grey upperparts, streaked on back, chestnut supercilium curving down behind ear-coverts, and blackish stripe curving around rear of ear-coverts. Upperwing is blackish to dark brown, feathers edged buffish to warm brown, lesser coverts chestnut, grey tips on median coverts, narrow buff tips on greater coverts, small pale patch at base of primaries. Female is slightly smaller, with pale brown or warm buff colouring replacing chestnut colouring on the male. Similar spp. P. hemileucus has lighter underparts and is slightly smaller. See Kirwan (2008) for full description. Voice. Dry chirping calls, "cheep", "chee-sheep", "chip" and "jup".

Population justification
It is abundant on Socotra, where its population has been estimated at c.250,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 2009).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Related state of the world's birds case studies

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

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Text account compilers
Calvert, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Passer insularis. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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.

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Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Passeridae (Sparrows, snowfinches and allies)
Species name author Sclater & Hartlaub, 1881
Population size 250000 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 3,620 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species