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STARLING Sturnus vulgaris
 
Conservation Listings Long term trend

Table 4/Amber
(25-49% Population decline)

Biodiversity Steering Group: Unlisted

UK: Rapid decline
 
Status Summary
Breeding Starling abundance has fallen rapidly, particularly since the early 1980s. The BBS suggests that this decline is continuing in England and Wales, but that populations are more stable in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Strong improvements in breeding performance have occurred, indicating that survival may have been more important in driving the decline. In addition to increases in average brood size, declines in nest failure rates have been large: for the egg stage (17 days, comprising 13 days incubation + 4 days laying) failure rate fell from 18% to 7%, and for the chick stage (21 days) they fell from 12% to 6%. Overall, from egg-laying to fledging, the proportion of nests that fail has fallen from 28% to 13%. Loss of the species' preferred feeding habitat, permanent pasture, has been cited as a possible cause of the decline (Gibbons et al. 1993).
 
 
Table of population changes for Starling
Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC all habitats 30 1968-1998 127 -70 -78 -61 >50  
  25 1973-1998 129 -61 -70 -51 >50  
  10 1988-1998 105 -45 -55 -35 >25  
  5 1993-1998 98 -27 -34 -19 >25  
CBC farmland 30 1968-1998 66 -60 -73 -47 >50  
  25 1973-1998 66 -51 -65 -34 >50  
  10 1988-1998 64 -30 -44 -18 >25  
  5 1993-1998 60 -17 -28 -9    
CBC woodland 30 1968-1998 37 -83 -94 -70 >50  
  25 1973-1998 38 -81 -92 -72 >50  
  10 1988-1998 27 -71 -82 -60 >50  
  5 1993-1998 24 -47 -61 -36 >25  
BBS UK 5 1994-1999 1420 -6 -11 0    
BBS England 5 1994-1999 1182 -11 -16 -5    
BBS Scotland 5 1994-1999 117 22 -3 54    
BBS Wales 5 1994-1999 70 -41 -56 -21 (>25)  
BBS N.Ireland 5 1994-1999 43 31 -15 101   Small sample
The Breeding Bird Survey is jointly funded by BTO, JNCC and RSPB
 
 
Table of productivity information for Starling
Variable Period
(yrs)
Years Mean
annual
sample
Trend Predicted
in first year
Predicted
in last year
Change Comment
Clutch size 30 1968-1998 86 Linear increase 4.44 eggs 4.8 eggs 0.36 eggs  
Brood size 30 1968-1998 222 Curvilinear 3.24 chicks 4.13 chicks 0.89 chicks  
Daily failure rate (eggs) 30 1968-1998 131 Linear decline 0.0114 nests/day 0.0041 nests/day -0.0073 nests/day  
Daily failure rate (chicks) 30 1968-1998 156 Linear decline 0.0059 nests/day 0.0028 nests/day -0.0031 nests/day  
Laying date 30 1968-1998 95 None        
 
Insufficient data on CES
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. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

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