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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Poecile palustris
Marsh Tit © Tommy Holden

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: SPEC category 3, declining
UK: red (>50% population decline)
UK Biodiversity Action Plan: in preparation
Long-term trend
UK, England: rapid decline
UK population size
52,800 territories in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP2)
Status summary

Marsh Tit abundance has declined almost constantly since BTO monitoring began.. The species' UK conservation listing has recently been upgraded from amber to red. Detailed demographic work suggests that the decline may have been driven by low annual survival and that neither increased predation nor interspecific competition is responsible (Siriwardena 2006). Nest failure rates have fallen during the period of decline. Marsh Tits nest in woods as small as half a hectare (Hinsley et al. 1995), but there is evidence from CBC that declines are steeper on smaller plots (G.M. Siriwardena, unpubl.). Reductions in the structural and floristic diversity of woodland, resulting partly from increased browsing by deer, are likely to have caused the decline (Perrins 2003, Fuller et al. 2005). Following declines elsewhere in western Europe during the 1990s, the European status of this species is no longer considered 'secure' (BirdLife International 2004).


Population changes

CBC/BBS UK graph
BBS acknowledgement
CBC/BBS England graph
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph

Productivity trends

Clutch size graph
Brood size graph
Egg nest failure graph
Chick nest failure graph
Laying date graph



Insufficient data on CES
available for this species


Additional information

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This report should be cited as:
Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Crick, H.Q.P., Noble, D.G., Balmer, D.E., Barimore, C., Coombes, R.H.,
Downie, I.S., Freeman, S.N., Joys, A.C., Leech, D.I., Raven, M.J., Robinson, R.A. & Thewlis, R.M. (2007)
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2007.
BTO Research Report No. 487. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Pages maintained by Susan Waghorn and Iain Downie: Last updated 7 November, 2008