The British Trust for Ornithology
LINNET
Carduelis cannabina

Linnet © Tommy Holden

Conservation listings

Table 3/Red (>=50% Population decline)
Biodiversity Steering Group Priority Species List

Long-term trend
UK: Rapid decline
Farmland: Moderate decline

Woodland: Rapid decline
Scrub (CES): Rapid decline
 
Status summary
Linnet abundance has declined rapidly in the UK, particularly between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s. Subsequently, the populations monitored by the CBC have remained stable, but showing little sign of recovery. The wider populations covered by the BBS (especially in England) and the scrub birds specifically covered by the CES have shown declines continuing through the 1990s. Breeding performance fell through increased egg-stage nest failure rates during the principal period of population decline, and this represents the most likely demographic mechanism driving the observed decreases in abundance (Siriwardena et al. 1999, 2000b). Over the last 30 years, failure rates at the egg stage (16 days, comprising 12 days incubation + 4 days laying) have risen from 25% to 35%, and at the chick stage (14 days) from 18% to 27%. Overall, from egg-laying to fledging, nest failures have increased from 39% to 53%. CES results data suggest that low productivity is still a problem for the species, possibly due to reductions in hedgerow qualities leaving nests more exposed and therefore at greater risk of predation.
 
 
Table of population changes for Linnet
Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC all habitats 31 1968-1999 123 -58 -68 -43 >50  
  25 1974-1999 123 -55 -65 -42 >50  
  10 1989-1999 106 9 -10 29    
  5 1994-1999 110 -5 -17 7    
CBC farmland 31 1968-1999 74 -47 -59 -32 >25  
  25 1974-1999 73 -46 -58 -30 >25  
  10 1989-1999 76 23 2 52    
  5 1994-1999 80 2 -11 15    
CBC woodland 31 1968-1999 20 -87 -96 -76 >50 Small sample
  25 1974-1999 21 -79 -91 -63 >50  
  10 1989-1999 18 -28 -55 5   Small sample
  5 1994-1999 17 -25 -52 16   Small sample
CES adults 15 1984-1999 22 -90 . . [>50*]  
  10 1989-1999 26 -80 . . [>50*]  
  5 1994-1999 26 -56 . . [>50*]  
CES juveniles 15 1984-1999 14 -93 . . [>50*] Small sample
  10 1989-1999 17 -83 . . [>50*] Small sample
  5 1994-1999 17 -55 . . [>50] Small sample
BBS UK 6 1994-2000 1008 -6 -13 1    
BBS England 6 1994-2000 829 -19 -25 -12    
BBS Scotland 6 1994-2000 77 11 -16 47    
BBS Wales 6 1994-2000 73 76 33 132    
BBS N.Ireland 6 1994-2000 23 67 -6 196   Small sample
The Breeding Bird Survey is jointly funded by BTO, JNCC and RSPB
 
 
Table of productivity information for Linnet
Variable Period
(yrs)
Years Mean
annual
sample
Trend Predicted
in first year
Predicted
in last year
Change Comment
Clutch size 31 1968-1999 112 None        
Brood size 31 1968-1999 126 Linear increase 4.12 chicks 4.34 chicks 0.22 chicks  
Daily failure rate (eggs) 31 1968-1999 158 Linear increase 0.0179 nests/day 0.0269 nests/day 0.009 nests/day  
Daily failure rate (chicks) 31 1968-1999 111 Linear increase 0.0144 nests/day 0.0227 nests/day 0.0083 nests/day  
Laying date 31 1968-1999 115 None        
Percentage juveniles (CES) 15 1984-1999 24 Smoothed trend 249 productivity index 100 productivity index -60%[>50]  
Percentage juveniles (CES) 10 1989-1999 29 Smoothed trend 179 productivity index 100 productivity index -44%[>25]  
Percentage juveniles (CES) 5 1994-1999 29 Smoothed trend 111 productivity index 100 productivity index -10%  
 




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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. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

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