Archived 2011-2012 topics: Asian Desert Sparrow (Passer zarudnyi): request for information

This discussion was first published on Dec 1 2010 as part of the 2011 Red List update.

Initial deadline for comments: 31 January 2012.

Asian Desert Sparrow Passer zarudnyi has been split from Desert Sparrow P. simplex following Kirwan et al. (2009).

P. zarudnyi is considered rare in its range and there is anecdotal evidence of declines in the population and range, at least since the 1980s (Kirwan et al. 2009). It has a large range, with an Extent of Occurrence estimated at 204,000 km2, which does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (EOO of less than 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, there is no evidence to suggest that the decline is sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (at least a 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (fewer than 10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be at least 10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). It is acknowledged, however, that data are lacking on this species’s distribution and population size, and little is known about potential threats. In addition, data are required on the species’s population trend, which is difficult to judge owing to its apparently nomadic movements and the possibility that the species has always been rare (Kirwan et al. 2009). Further information on the species would be welcomed.

BirdLife range map for Asian Desert Sparrow

Kirwan, G. M., Schweizer, M., Ayé, R. and Grieve, A. (2009) Taxonomy, identification and status of Desert Sparrows. Dutch Birding 31: 139-158.

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2 Responses to Archived 2011-2012 topics: Asian Desert Sparrow (Passer zarudnyi): request for information

  1. Joe Taylor says:

    The following comments were sent by Manuel Schweizer on 27 January 2012:

    I appreciate very much indeed that you have accepted the split of Passer zarudnyi from Passer simplex s.l. as proposed in our recent publication (Kirwan et al. 2009).
    I can add no new information in addition to what is presented in this publication. However, you probably need to consider that the range of Passer zarudnyi may not be continuous as suggested by your map. It may rather be very patchy, which might limit consderably the range size.

  2. Joe Taylor says:

    The following comments were sent by Eldar A. Rustamov on 6 February 2012:

    Manuel was right then he wrote : «However, you probably need to consider that the range of Passer zarudnyi may not be continuous as suggested by your map. It may rather be very patchy, which might limit considerably the range size».

    During last years I had two expeditions to Karakum, found several nests of Desert Sparrow and there were no evidences for raising of the population of this rare species or increasing of it’s area. Unfortunately, I do not prepare the publication for the species as I wished. But I included old and new locations of the species (as Editor) in the map of distribution if the species in 3rd publication of Turkmenistan red Data Book (3 category – Vulnerable) and Field Guide of Birds of Turkmenistan. These books should be printed in this year.

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