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European Bee-eater Merops apiaster

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 56.6 g

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 2,600,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 2,600,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.5 - - -
Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 480,000-1,000,000 breeding pairs, equating to 1440,000-3,000,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 25-49% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 2,940,000-12,000,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
Trend justification: This species is suspected to be in decline owing to loss of suitable prey due to widespread application if pesticides, loss of nesting sites through canalisation of rivers, increasing agricultural efficiency and establishment of monocultures, development of wilderness areas and shooting for sport, for food and because it is considered a crop pest (del Hoyo et al. 2001). In Europe, trends since 1996 are uncertain, based on provisional data for 21 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands; P. Vorisek in litt. 2008).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan Native Extant Yes    
Albania Native Extant Yes    
Algeria Native Extant      
Angola Native Extant      
Armenia Native Extant Yes    
Austria Native Extant Yes    
Azerbaijan Native Extant Yes    
Bahrain Native Extant     Yes
Belarus Native Extant Yes    
Belgium Native Extant Yes    
Benin Native Extant      
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes    
Botswana Native Extant      
Bulgaria Native Extant Yes   Yes
Burkina Faso Native Extant      
Burundi Native Extant      
Cameroon Native Extant      
Cape Verde Vagrant Extant      
Central African Republic Native Extant      
Chad Native Extant      
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes    
Congo Native Extant      
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant      
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant      
Croatia Native Extant Yes    
Cyprus Native Extant Yes   Yes
Czech Republic Native Extant Yes    
Denmark Native Extant Yes   Yes
Djibouti Native Extant      
Egypt Native Extant      
Eritrea Native Extant      
Estonia Vagrant Extant      
Ethiopia Native Extant      
Finland Native Extant Yes    
France Native Extant Yes   Yes
Gabon Native Extant      
Gambia Native Extant      
Georgia Native Extant Yes    
Germany Native Extant Yes   Yes
Ghana Native Extant      
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant     Yes
Greece Native Extant Yes   Yes
Guinea Native Extant      
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant      
Hungary Native Extant Yes   Yes
Iceland Vagrant Extant      
India Native Extant Yes    
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant Yes   Yes
Iraq Native Extant Yes   Yes
Ireland Vagrant Extant      
Israel Native Extant Yes    
Italy Native Extant Yes   Yes
Jordan Native Extant Yes   Yes
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes    
Kenya Native Extant      
Kuwait Native Extant     Yes
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes    
Latvia Native Extant Yes    
Lebanon Native Extant Yes   Yes
Lesotho Native Extant      
Liberia Native Extant      
Libya Native Extant      
Liechtenstein Vagrant Extant      
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant      
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant Yes    
Madagascar Vagrant Extant      
Malawi Native Extant      
Maldives Vagrant Extant      
Mali Native Extant      
Mauritania Native Extant      
Moldova Native Extant Yes   Yes
Montenegro Native Extant Yes    
Morocco Native Extant      
Mozambique Native Extant      
Namibia Native Extant      
Netherlands Native Extant Yes    
Niger Vagrant Extant      
Nigeria Native Extant      
Norway Vagrant Extant      
Oman Native Extant Yes   Yes
Pakistan Native Extant Yes    
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant Yes   Yes
Poland Native Extant Yes    
Portugal Native Extant Yes    
Qatar Native Extant     Yes
Romania Native Extant Yes    
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes    
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes
Rwanda Native Extant      
Saudi Arabia Native Extant     Yes
Senegal Native Extant      
Serbia Native Extant Yes    
Seychelles Vagrant Extant      
Sierra Leone Native Extant      
Slovakia Native Extant Yes    
Slovenia Native Extant Yes    
Somalia Native Extant      
South Africa Native Extant      
South Sudan Native Extant     Yes
Spain Native Extant Yes   Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant   Yes  
Sudan Native Extant      
Swaziland Native Extant      
Sweden Native Extant Yes    
Switzerland Native Extant Yes    
Syria Native Extant Yes   Yes
Tajikistan Native Extant Yes    
Tanzania Native Extant      
Togo Native Extant      
Tunisia Native Extant      
Turkey Native Extant Yes    
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes    
Uganda Native Extant      
Ukraine Native Extant Yes   Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant Yes   Yes
United Kingdom Native Extant Yes    
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes    
Western Sahara Native Extant      
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
Armenia Khosrov Reserve site factsheet
Austria Lösslandschaft and Wagram east of Krems site factsheet
Bulgaria Adata-Tundzha site factsheet
Bulgaria Ludogorie site factsheet
Bulgaria Nikopolsko Plateau site factsheet
Bulgaria Stenata site factsheet
Bulgaria Zlatiata site factsheet
France Basse Vallée du Doubs : Dole Sud site factsheet
France Etangs de Canet et de Villeneuve-de-la-Raho et embouchure du Tech site factsheet
France Hautes garrigues du Montpellierais site factsheet
France Ile de la Platière site factsheet
France Plaine des Maures site factsheet
France Vallée du Régino site factsheet
Greece Evros delta site factsheet
Greece Lake Mitrikou (Ismarida) site factsheet
Greece Mounts Kato Olympos and Ossa, and Tembi ravine site factsheet
Greece Nestos gorge site factsheet
Greece Porto Lagos, Lake Vistonis, and coastal lagoons (Lakes of Thrace) site factsheet
Italy Litorale Romano site factsheet
Russia (European) Bryansko-Zhizdrinskoye woodland site factsheet
Serbia Carska bara site factsheet
Serbia Danube loess bluffs site factsheet
Serbia Jegricka site factsheet
Serbia Mala vrbica site factsheet
Serbia Subotica lakes and sandy terrain site factsheet
Spain Bajo Alcanadre-Serreta de Tramaced site factsheet
Spain Cinca river rice fields and steppe area site factsheet
Spain Cogul-Alfés steppes site factsheet
Spain Córdoba countryside site factsheet
Spain Cortados del Jarama site factsheet
Spain Enguera mountain range-La Canal de Navarrés site factsheet
Spain La Safor and North Alicante mountain ranges site factsheet
Spain Lerida steppes site factsheet
Spain Marina mountain ranges site factsheet
Spain Mountains of Barcelona site factsheet
Spain Rivers Cabriel and Júcar canyons site factsheet
Spain Turia canyon and Los Serranos site factsheet
Ukraine Agricultural lands near Bilorets'ke (Chornozemne village) site factsheet
Ukraine Berezans'kyj lyman and Solonets Tuzly pond site factsheet
Ukraine Gajchur river valley site factsheet
Ukraine Izyums'ka Luka forest site factsheet
Ukraine Kakhovs'ke reservoir (Energodar) site factsheet
Ukraine Kakhovs'ke reservoir (Kajiry village) site factsheet
Ukraine Kakhovs'ke reservoir (Vasylivka village) site factsheet
Ukraine Karachunivs'ke reservoir site factsheet
Ukraine Samars'kyj forest site factsheet
Ukraine Tsybul'kivs'ki lakes site factsheet
Ukraine Velyka Osokorovka site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable breeding
Forest Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Savanna Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 2400 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Utilisation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Merops apiaster. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/07/2014.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,600,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Climate change species distributions