The Endemic Bird Areas (EBA) are places with at least two bird species of restricted distribution or endemisms. In order to be considered as such, a species must have a historic range of 50 000 km2 or less.

There are 221 Endemic Bird Areas in our planet. If we exclude the Canary Islands and Madeira, there are only two endemisms sharing territory in Europe, so we can find just a single EBA, which is located in the Caucasus. It extends over the Greater Caucasus (Europe) and the Lesser Caucasus (Asia). The endemic species we can find here are the Caucasian Grouse (Tetrao mlokosiewiczi) and the exclusively European Caucasian Snowcock (Tetraogallus caucasicus). We can also find the Phylloscopus lorenzii, which is not yet recognized as a differentiated species by BirdLife International.

The European Endemic Bird Area (EBA)

The European Endemic Bird Area (EBA)

The 10 exclusively European endemic birds are:

  1. Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti). It is the most endangered bird of prey in the world. We can find it in Spain and, to a much lesser extent, in Portugal.
  2. European Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus). We can find it in Western Europe.
  3. Marmora’s Warbler (Sylvia sarda). Its presence is reduced to the western Mediterranean islands, fundamentally Corsica and Sardinia
  4. Caucasian Snowcock (Tetraogallus caucasicus). It is found in Western Caucasus, between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia.
  5. Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca). It is found in semi-arid zones in the Balkan countries and Italy (Italian Alps, Apennines and Sicily).
  6. Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa). We can find it in France, Spain and Portugal. It has also been introduced by man in the south of England.
  7. Scottish Crossbill (Loxia scotica). This little bird is exclusively found in the forests of Scotland
  8. Parrot Crossbill (Loxia pytyopsittacus). It is found in Scotland, Scandinavia and the east of the Pechora River in Russia.
  9. Corsican Nuthatch (Sitta whiteheadi). It is held in the forests of Corsica.
  10. Alpine Citril Finch (Carduelis citrinella). We can find it in the mountain forests of Northern Spain, Southern France, in the Alps, Corsica and Sardinia.

There are, however, 6 other bird species which could be considered as differentiated species in the future by ornithologists and taxonomists, in which case they would have to comply with the characteristics of endemisms. They are the following:

  • Brant Goose. It breeds in western Siberia and spends the winter in the North Sea.

  • Balearic Warbler. Original from the Balearic Islands.

  • Red Grouse. It lives in Great Britain and Ireland.

  • Carduelis flammea cabaret. It breeds at the south of the Alps.

  • Carduelis flammea islandica. It breeds in Iceland and spends the winter in Scotland.

  • Corsican Finch. It inhabits Corsica and Sardinia.

What do you think about European endemisms? Do you agree or would you add any other? Please leave a comment.

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