The Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica abundance in the Kostomuksha Nature Reserve and Kalevala National Park (NW Russia) during the years 2015–2021
In the late 20th–early 21st centuries, the Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica population declined worldwide, including Karelia, NW Russia, the northern periphery of its breeding range. At the onset of the 21st century the Rustic Bunting disappeared from the southern parts of Karelia and turned from common to rare species in its northern parts. However, surveys carried out in 2015–2021 in the Kostomuksha Nature Reserve and Kalevala National Park – large neighbouring protected areas in NW Karelia – revealed a quite steady, although relatively low, breeding densities of the species (2.9–5.6 ind./km2). Such stable parameters of the abundance make this species common in the area in question. Furthermore, the species occurrence along survey routes seems to be slightly rising over the said time period, giving us hopes for a recovery of Rustic Bunting numbers, at least in protected areas containing extensive pristine boreal forests with habitats favourable for the species.
Keywords: Rustic Bunting, Emberiza rustica, abundance, population dynamics, northern taiga, pristine forests, red-listed species, nature protection