- Turdus arundinaceus Linnaeus, 1758
Great Reed-warbler, Great Reed Warbler
IUCN: LC; Be (II); Bo (II)
Value of species
Acrocephalus arundinaceus and A. orientalis (del Hoyo and Collar 2016) were previously lumped as A. arundinaceus following AERC TAC (2003), Cramp et al. (1977-1994), Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) and Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence 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.
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 2,600,000-4,680,000 pairs, which equates to 5,190,000-9,360,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).
Trend Justification: The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction (del Hoyo et al. 2006), although in Europe, trends between 1982 and 2013 have been stable (EBCC 2015).
This species breeds mainly in beds of reed (Phragmites), locally in stands of reedmace (Typha), growing in fresh or brackish water and rarely, in willow bushes (Salix). It shows a preference for tall reeds with thick stems, especially next to open water. In western and central Europe, egg-laying occurs from mid-May to July but begins earlier in southern Europe from early May. It lays three to six eggs in a nest, which is a deep, cylindrical cup of coarsely woven grass, reed and other plants stems and leaves, some plant down, spider webs and reed flowers and lined with finer plant material, sometimes also hair and feathers. It is built 10–200 cm above water and attached to several reed stems. The diet is mainly insects but also includes spiders (Araneae), some snails and small vertebrates. Outside the breeding season it also rarely takes fruit and berries. The species is migratory, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa (Dyrcz 2006).
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