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Overview

Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDS: western and north-central Alaska (north to the Seward Peninsula and Brooks Range), central Yukon, British Columbia, and southwestern Alberta south to southern Alaska (including St. Matthew, Nunivak, and the Pribilof and Aleutian islands), and through the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and Rocky Mountains to northeastern Oregon, east-central California (to Tulare County), central Idaho, and northwestern Montana, also in the Commander Islands (AOU 1983). WINTERS: Aleutians, southern mainland Alaska (rarely), British Columbia, southern Alberta, and southwestern Saskatchewan south to eastern California, central Nevada, central Utah, northern New Mexico, and northwestern Nebraska (AOU 1983).

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 16 cm

Weight: 27 grams

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Comments: Barren, rocky or grassy areas and cliffs among glaciers or beyond timberline; in migration and winter also in open situations, fields, cultivated lands, brushy areas, and around human habitation (AOU 1983). Subspecies GRISEONUCHA and UMBRINA breed on sea cliffs and feed on beaches and maritme tundra; other subspecies breed in alpine habitat.

Nests usually in rock crevices or holes in cliffs. Nests in buildings and other structures on Amchitka Island, Alaska (Johnson 1983).

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Migrates elevationally as well as geographically.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Forages on the ground for seeds. In the spring gleans wind-transported insects from the snow. Later in the season may glean insects from vegetation or may chase flying insects and catch them in the air.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: Hundreds.

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Global Abundance

10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Hundreds of 1000s.

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General Ecology

Males typically outnumber females in breeding and wintering populations. During breeding season male defends "territory" around female wherever she moves (Ryser 1985). Forms large flocks (up to 1000+ individuals) when not breeding.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 6.6 years (wild)
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Reproduction

In some areas, clutch size is 4-5, and incubation, by female, lasts 12-14 days; young leave nest at about 20 days. In the Aleutians, eggs are laid in late April-July, clutch size is 3-6, fledging occurs at 15-22 days, and there may be two broods per year (Johnson 1983). Young are tended by both sexes.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Leucosticte tephrocotis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 4 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CCTATACCTAATTTTTGGCGCATGAGCTGGAATAGTAGGTACCGCCCTAAGCCTCCTCATTCGAGCAGAACTAGGACAGCCTGGAGCCCTCCTAGGAGACGACCAAGTCTACAACGTAGTCGTCACAGCCCACGCTTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTCATAGTTATGCCAATCATAATCGGTGGTTTCGGAAACTGACTAGTGCCACTAATAATCGGAGCCCCAGATATAGCATTCCCACGGATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTACTCCCCCCATCTTTCCTGCTACTGCTAGCATCCTCCACGGTTGAAGCAGGAGTGGGTACAGGCTGAACAGTATACCCCCCATTAGCTGGTAACCTAGCGCATGCTGGAGCTTCCGTCGACCTTGCAATCTTCTCCCTGCACTTAGCCGGTATCTCCTCAATCCTAGGAGCAATCAACTTCATCACAACAGCAATCAATATAAAACCCCCAGCCCTATCACAATACCAAACCCCCCTATTCGTCTGATCCGTCCTAATCACCGCAGTCCTACTACTCCTCTCCCTTCCCGTCCTCGCCGCAGGAATCACAATGCTCCTCACAGACCGCAACCTCAACACCACATTCTTCGACCCTGCAGGAGGAGGTGACCCAGTTCTATACCAACACCTCTTCTGATTCTTTGGCCACCNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Leucosticte tephrocotis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

History
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
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