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Barn Swallow in decline

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

SPEA - Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds, presented earlier this month, O estado das Aves 2022, a publication whose objective is to bring to the public the results of monitoring programs and bird censuses taking place in Portugal.

Similar to the results of studies conducted in the rest of Europe, insectivorous and migratory birds associated with agricultural habitats are also in decline in our country.

Among them, we highlight the novelties related to the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). This swallow, well known to the Portuguese, although well distributed throughout the territory, is presented in the publication as being in moderate decline.

A scenario that is in line with what has been observed at European level, in which there have been significant population declines of Barn Swallows, namely in the United Kingdom and Spain. The situation in these two countries is so dramatic that in the last revision of the conservation statutes this species went from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable”.

We therefore look forward to the revision of the conservation statutes in Portugal and whether the new red book brings special protection to any of our species of swallows, martins or swifts.


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