Skip to content

Serinus syriacus

warning Vulnerable
VU (D1)

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

The Syrian Serin is classified as Vulnerable (VU) because its breeding population in Israel is very small (less than 250) and declining. It is also globally Vulnerable (VU). In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Near Threatened (NT). The change in its threat category reflects the deterioration in the population as well as changes in assessment methods and the consideration of marginal populations at the limit of their global range. The species is endemic to our region and considerable parts of the global population breeds on Mt. Hermon and overwinters throughout the Negev.
VU Current Regional Assessment | NT Previous Regional Assessment | VU Global Assessment

Habitats Mountainous Forest
Presence In Israel Summer, Winter Visitor
Breeding In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Short Range / Partial
Zoographical Zones Alpine
Landscape Types Mountainous
Vegetation Types Mediterranean Maquis, Mediterranean Garrigue
Vegetation Densities Medium, High
Nest Locations Tree, Bushes
Diet Types Herbivore
Foraging Grounds Ground, Trees and Shrubs
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Hunting and trapping, Habitat loss and fragmentation

The Syrian Serin is a small finch, endemic to our region. The male has a yellow forehead, belly and back and bluish-grey cheeks and nape. The female is a bit paler and more streaked.

About 100-150 pairs of Syrian Serin breed on Mt. Hermon, at altitudes between 1,200 and 1,800 meters (Israeli & Perlman 2013). In the 1980s, the population was estimated at about 180 pairs (Ezov 1986). In winter, small numbers can be seen in Judea, Samaria, in the Negev, the Arava and the Eilat Mountains.

The Syrian Serin inhabits rocky mountain slopes with sparse deciduous woodland.

The Syrian Serin is endemic to our region. It nests in the in the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains, Mt. Hermon and the Edom Mountains. The populations migrate south in summer, including to the Negev and the Sinai Peninsula.

The Syrian Serin is threatened by development work at the upper Mt. Hermon, including roadbuilding, ski run development and other installations. It is also trapped for the pet trade. In the Moab and Edom mountains in Jordan, it has been affected by overgrazing and a series of drought years (BirdLife 2017).

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

Development work on Mt. Hermon should be reduced and supervised to minimize harm to natural habitats.

Development work on Mt. Hermon should be reduced and supervised to minimize harm to 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, Lior Kislev, 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

Other Species

Serinus serinus
Carduelis cannabina
Carpodacus synoicus
Rhodopechys sanguinea