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Ochre-rumped Bunting Emberiza yessoensis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is suspected to have a small to moderately small and declining population and as a result it is considered Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Distribution and population
Emberiza yessoensis breeds in Primorye in extreme south-east Russia, Honshu, Kyushu and formerly Hokkaido, Japan, Heilongjiang in north-east China, and in Mongolia, and it is a passage and/or winter visitor to North Korea (where it is also likely to breed), South Korea and the coast of eastern China. It is considered to be uncommon or rare in all parts of its range.

Population justification
The species is thought to have a moderately small population owing to its apparent rarity within its range. National population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs, c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and < 50 wintering individuals in China; < 1,000 wintering individuals in Korea; c.100-10,000 breeding pairs, c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and < 50 wintering individuals in Japan and c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009). Overall, the global population may number c.10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat destruction.

It breeds in reedbeds and edges of marshes along rivers and lakes, but in highlands also in wet meadows and drier grasslands. It winters in coastal marshes. Breeding occurs from May to July. Seeds constitute a major part of its diet but it will take insects and berries in the summer.

It was reportedly more abundant a century ago. While the reason for its apparent decline is not known it is presumably declining still because of the loss and degradation of wetland habitat within its breeding range, and the destruction of coastal marshes in its Asian wintering grounds.

Conservation Actions Underway
None are known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor the population to identify trends and its status. Research the potential threats that may be driving declines and take appropriate measures to reduce these. Protect areas of important habitat.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

Byers, C.; Olsson, U.; Curson, J. 1995. Buntings and sparrows: a guide to the buntings and North American sparrows. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, U.K.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

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
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Calvert, R., Taylor, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Emberiza yessoensis. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

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 Near Threatened
Family Emberizidae (Buntings, American sparrows and allies)
Species name author (Swinhoe, 1863)
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 49,600 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species