State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Acanthis flavirostris (Linnaeus, 1758)

  • Carduelis flavirostris (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Linaria flavirostris (Linnaeus, 1758)
Vernacular Name Twite
Conservation status IUCN: LC; Be (II)
The species is listed on the national Red Lists of the U.K. and Ireland (Lynas et al. 2007, Eaton et al. 2009).
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). The population trend appears to be decreasing, but it is not thought 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 164,000-756,000 pairs, which equates to 328,000-1,510,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.10% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 3,280,000-15,100,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. Trend Justification: In Europe the population size is estimated to be decreasing by less than 25% in 12.6 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015). This species breeds on lower montane and submontane plateaux, open moorland, barren hillsides, scree slopes, boulder-strewn areas with little or sparse vegetation, steppes, alpine meadows and areas with stunted bushes and often near boggy areas. Race pipilans breeds mostly on grassy hillsides and moorlands with heather (Erica) and bracken (Pteridium) and also in coastal heather in Scotland (including Shetland). Outside of the breeding season it occupies similar open habitat at lower altitudes. The breeding season is from April to August. The nest is a compact, deep cup of plant fibres and roots, mostly heather, bracken, grass, moss, animal hair and feathers. It is generally sited on the ground or very low down within three metres of the ground in dwarf willow (Salix), heather, bilberry (Vaccinium), bracken, rushes or grass tussocks. Clutches are three to six eggs. The diet is made up mostly of seeds and buds and small numbers of invertebrates. The species is resident and migratory (Clement 2016).
Book reference

Taxonomic branch