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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Dendrocopos minor
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker © Derek Belsey
Conservation listings

Europe: no SPEC category, secure
UK: Red (>50% population decline)

Long-term trend
UK: rapid decline
Status summary
The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker has declined significantly and very rapidly since around 1980, following a shallower increase, and has also contracted in range (Gibbons et al. 1993). It now qualifies for Red listing, but has become so rare in recent years that BBS has been unable to collect enough data for annual monitoring. Reductions in the area of mature broadleaved woodland, losses of non-woodland trees such as elms, increases in woodland isolation and reductions in the volume 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
Productivity information is not currently available for this species
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This report should be cited as:
Crick, H.Q.P., Marchant, J.H., Noble, D.G., Baillie, S.R., Balmer, D.E., Beaven, L.P., Coombes, R.H.,
Downie, I.S., Freeman, S.N., Joys, A.C., Leech, D.I., Raven, M.J., Robinson, R.A. and Thewlis, R.M. (2004)
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2003.
BTO Research Report No. 353. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends2003)

Pages maintained by Susan Waghorn and Iain Downie: Last updated 16 February, 2009