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Monticola saxatilis

warning Vulnerable
VU (D1)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot
Update Time: Jan. 1, 2011, 7:39 a.m.

The Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush is classified as Vulnerable (VU) because of the small size of its breeding population, which is estimated at less than 50 adult birds, combined with the regional adjustment for the Mt. Hermon breeding population being a marginal population at the edge of its global range. In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Near Threatened (NT). The change in its status does not reflect an actual change in the species population, but rather differences between assessment methods in the two editions.
VU Current Regional Assessment | NT Previous Regional Assessment | LC Global Assessment

Habitats Rocky Terrain, Alpine Scrubland
Presence In Israel Migrant, Summer
Breeding In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Long Range
Zoographical Zones Alpine
Landscape Types Mountainous, Rugged Terrain
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Ground, Cliffs
Diet Types Invertebrate
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Habitat loss and fragmentation

The Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush is a colorful passerine the size of a blackbird that inhabits rocky mountainous areas. The brightly colored male has a rusty orange belly, a bluish head, throat and nape and dark grey wings. The female and juveniles are browner, occasionally with a pattern of crescent-shaped patches. Its body is rounded and stocky and with a relatively long and strong bill. The tail is short, square and rusty red in all plumages.

Migrates in small numbers throughout Israel, mainly in spring. It breeds only on Mt. Hermon, with the exception of one nest found in the Upper Galilee in the 1990s. The breeding survey conducted on Mt. Hermon in summer 2013 estimated the breeding population there at approximately 10 pairs (Israeli & Perlman 2013).

Favors mountain slopes and rocky landscapes, usually at altitudes over 1,500 meters.

The population is threatened by development on Mt. Hermon, including roadworks, development of ski runs and other installations.

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

  • 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.
Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot

Current Occupancy Map

Current occupancy map by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
0 0 0 0 0

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel from the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and breeding density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values in the current decade as determined from experts' opinion and observations from databases.

Relative Abundance 2010-2020 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
8 12 12 21 19

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Density values based primarily on the book The Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Relative Abundance 1980-1990 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
5 14 14 17 22

Occupancy 1990-2020

The map shows differences in the species breeding distribution between the 1980's breeding map and the current weighted breeding evaluation. Negative value - species previously bred in the grid and is not presently breeding; positive value - species has not previously bred in the grid and is currently breeding.

Occupancy 1990-2020
Data Missing No Change Occupancy Increase Occupancy Decrease
6 35 1 9

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020

The map shows the changes in the relative abundance of a species in each of the distribution grids between the breeding map of the 1980s and the weighted current breeding evaluation. Negative values - decline in abundance; positive values - increase in abundance; zero - no change in abundance.

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020
80 to 100 50 20 to 30 No Change 30- to 20- 50- 100- to 80- Data Missing
0 4 2 22 12 14 11 16

Red number
IUCN category
Threat Definition according to the red book
() districts
% of protected sites

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