Contents of report
Breeding Bird Survey
Common Birds Census
Constant Effort Sites
Nest Record Scheme
Waterways Bird Survey
What the categories mean
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RED GROUSE Lagopus lagopus
Conservation Listings Long term trend

Biodiversity Steering Group: Unlisted

UK: Decline
Status Summary
The BBS shows recent increases in the Red Grouse population, especially in Scotland, but Game Conservancy Trust surveys have revealed long-term declines, apparently driven by moorland loss and degradation and increased predation from corvids and foxes (Hudson 1992). Raptor predation is believed not to affect breeding populations significantly, but can reduce post-breeding abundance (Redpath & Thirgood 1997). Red Grouse abundance varies in cycles, whose period varies regionally, that are linked to the dynamics of infection by a nematode parasite (Dobson & Hudson 1992, Gibbons et al. 1993). All population trends should therefore be interpreted in this context.
Table of population changes for Red Grouse
Source Period
Years Plots
Alert Comment
BBS UK 5 1994-1999 103 31 6 61    
BBS England 5 1994-1999 38 1 -23 34   Small sample
BBS Scotland 5 1994-1999 61 46 10 95    
The Breeding Bird Survey is jointly funded by BTO, JNCC and RSPB
Productivity information is not currently available for this species



The report should be cited as: Baillie, S.R., Crick, H.Q.P., Balmer, D.E., Bashford, R.I., Beaven, L.P., Freeman, S.N., Marchant, J.H., Noble, D.G., Raven, M.J., Siriwardena, G.M., Thewlis, R. and Wernham, C.V. (2001) Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2000. BTO Research Report No. 252. BTO, Thetford. (

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Last updated: 18 April, 2001

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