The British Trust for Ornithology
Dendrocopos minor
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker © Derek Belsey
Conservation Listings

Biodiversity Steering Group Conservation Concern List

Long term trend
UK: Rapid 25-year decline
Status Summary
The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker has declined rapidly and significantly since around 1980, following a more shallow increase. Although monitoring through the CBC is limited by census plot sample size, a range contraction (Gibbons et al. 1993) suggests that the UK-wide pattern is similar. Reductions in the area of mature broadleaved woodland, losses of non-woodland trees such as elms, increases in woodland isolation and reductions in the occurrence of dead wood in woodland are candidate causes for the decline (Vanhinsbergh et al. 2001).
Table of population changes for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Source Period
Years Plots
Alert Comment
CBC all habitats 31 1968-1999 17 -60 -81 40   Small sample
  25 1974-1999 18 -73 -86 -31 >50 Small sample
  10 1989-1999 11 -51 -75 -22 >50 Small sample
  5 1994-1999 9 -33 -56 0   Small sample
The Breeding Bird Survey is jointly funded by BTO, JNCC and RSPB
Productivity information is not currently available for this species

Wider Countryside Home | BTO Home | JNCC Home

This report should be cited as:
Baillie, S.R., Crick, H.Q.P., Balmer, D.E., Beaven, L.P., Downie, I.S., Freeman, S.N., Leech, D.I., Marchant, J.H.,
Noble, D.G., Raven, M.J., Simpkin, A.P., Thewlis, R.M. and Wernham, C.V.
(2002) Breeding Birds in the Wider
Countryside: their conservation status 2001. BTO Research Report No. 278. BTO, Thetford. (

Terms and Conditions of use
Privacy Statement

© British Trust for Ornithology
BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2PU, UK. Registered Charity Number 216652
Tel: +44 (0)1842 750050 Fax: +44 (0)1842 750030 Email:

This page last updated: 21 April, 2008

Page created by Susan Waghorn