|Habitats||Desert Plains, Inland Sand Dunes|
|Presence In Israel||Summer Breeder, Migrant, Resident|
|Nesting In Israel||Breeder|
|Migration Types||Nomad, Resident|
|Zoography Zones||Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian|
|Landscape Formations||Plains & Valleys, Wide Wadis, Sand Dunes|
|Vegetation Formations||Steppe, Herbaceous|
|Body Sizes||Small (up to 500g)|
|Threat Factors||Overgrazing, Human Activity, Invasive Species|
The Lesser Short-toed Lark is a small, delicate lark, with a pale brown plumage, tending to rufous, and a streaked back and breast. It has a short, thick bill. The male has a hoarse, fluent rattling song, with extensive mimicry of other bird songs. Usually performed while flying high in the air.
A relatively rare resident and summer visitor in the Western Negev, particularly in the Halutsa Sands, Agur Sands and Nitsana area. After rain events, it sometimes nests in other areas in the central and southern Negev. Until the 2000s, it was very common in the Western Negev sands, but in recent years, there has been a significant decline in the number of Lesser Short-toed Larks in these areas, to the point of complete absence in some years.
The Lesser Short-toed Lark inhabits broad wadis and sandy and loess flats with sparse low vegetation.
Its threat factors are not sufficiently understood, but observations on Lesser Short-toed Lark habitats in the Western Negev show them to be disturbed by intensive grazing of livestock, accompanied by dogs, direct disturbance by military and off-road vehicle activity, and the impact of agricultural expansion, including invasive and eruptive species.
No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.
- פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
- Perlman, Y., Shochat, E. and Labinger, Z. 2011. Developing Managment plan for important bird areas in southern Israel. second annual report, Nizzana region and Arava Valley.Israeli Ornithological center, SPNI.
- Shirihai, H., 1996. The Birds of Israel. Academic Press, London.
- Symes, A. 2013. Species generation lengths. Unpublished, BirdLife International.
- Species page at Birdlife International
Current Occupancy Map
The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading
Relative Abundance 2010-2020
Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.
Relative Abundance 1980-1990
Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).
Occupancy difference 1990-2020
A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.
Relative abundance difference 1990-2020
A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.