Mongolian Short-toed Lark Calandrella dukhunensis Scientific name definitions

Per Alström and Sundev Gombobaatar
Version: 2.0 — Published September 17, 2021

Demography and Populations

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Causes of Mortality

The following is based on (23). There is a strong, negative correlation between weight and mortality of nestlings (r = 0.8). Mortality rate caused by coldness and strong wind and predators (Daurian hedgehog [Mesechinus dauuricus], Dione's ratsnake [Elaphe dione], Haly’s viper [Gloydius halys], and corsac fox [Vulpes corsac]) was lower in older than in younger chicks in Caragana and short vegetated steppes in the Darkhan area, Mongolia in 2005–2007. Cold rain and strong wind for a few successive days early in the breeding season are the major causes of mortality in chicks with wing and tail feathers in the pin stage. Trampling of nests with eggs and young chicks is another cause of mortality: horses, cows, sheep, and goats may accidentally destroy eggs and chicks in the nests (GS).

Population Spatial Metrics

In May to July 2005–2007, the highest density was estimated at 13 individuals per km2 in the Caragana steppe of the Middle Khalkh area of Darkhan Sum, Khentii Province, Mongolia. The lowest density was recorded at five individuals per km2 in sparse-vegetated steppe. (24)

Population Status


Although Mongolian Short-toed Lark has been observed at rather few breeding localities, it is locally very common, and the population seems to be healthy. This is further supported by the rather large number of birds seen on migration and in the winter quarters.

Recommended Citation

Alström, P. and S. Gombobaatar (2021). Mongolian Short-toed Lark (Calandrella dukhunensis), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.sstlar4.02