The British Trust for Ornithology
Scolopax rusticola
Woodcock © G H Higginbotham
Conservation Listings

Table 4/Amber (25-49% population decline)
Biodiversity Steering Group Conservation Concern List

Long term trend
UK: Probable rapid decline
Status Summary
The Woodcock has declined significantly on CBC plots. Although the CBC does not cover all of the species' range well, range contractions that probably have the same cause as the decline in abundance have occurred concurrently (Gibbons et al. 1993). The drying out of natural woodlands and the maturation of plantations are possible causes of the Woodcock's decline.
Table of population changes for Woodcock
Source Period
Years Plots
Alert Comment
CBC all habitats 31 1968-1999 20 -74 -88 -49 >50 Unrepresentative? small sample
  25 1974-1999 20 -76 -88 -51 >50 Unrepresentative? small sample
  10 1989-1999 13 -40 -62 -11 >25 Unrepresentative? small sample
  5 1994-1999 13 -24 -44 -3   Unrepresentative? small sample
Productivity information is not currently available for this species

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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. (

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This page last updated: 21 April, 2008

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