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Eremophila alpestris

warning Vulnerable
VU (D1)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot

The Horned Lark is classified as Vulnerable (VU) because of the extremely small size of its breeding population in Israel (less than 250), combined with a regional adjustment for the fact that the population breeding on Mt. Hermon is marginal and at the edge of the global range of the species. In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Near Threatened (NT). The change in its threat category does not reflect an actual change in its population and range, but rather differences in the assessment methods.
VU Current Regional Assessment | NT Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Rocky Terrain
Presence In Israel Summer Breeder
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Short Range / Partial
Zoography Zones Alpine
Landscape Formations Mountainous
Vegetation Formations Steppe, Herbaceous
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Ground
Diet Types Invertebrate, Herbivore
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Habitat Fragmentation

A medium-sized lark that breeds in arid, barren mountainous landscapes. Identified by its distinctive head pattern that includes a black mask and bib and two “horns” protruding from the sides of its head. The remaining body parts are cryptically colored brown-grey that conceal the bird in its rocky environment.

The Horned Lark breeds only on Mt. Hermon at altitudes of 1,900 meters and above. The population on the Israeli part of Mt. Hermon is estimated at about 50 pairs (Israeli & Perlman 2013).

The Horned Lark population is threatened by development on the upper Mt. Hermon that includes roads, ski run and other installations.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.

Development works on Mt. Hermon should be kept to minimum in order to reduce their impact on natural habitats.

  • ישראלי, נ. ופרלמן, י. 2013. סיכום סקר עופות מקננים בחרמון. דו"ח מרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
  • שוחט, א., פרלמן, י., שני, א., עובדיה, ע., ישראלי, נ., פרלמן, ג. ואלון, ד. 2009. טיבוע ציפורים ארוך טווח בחרמון: תמורות בהרכב החברה ובדינאמיקה של אוכלוסיות.
Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

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.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

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