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BTO Blueline
Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little Grebe © Derek Belsey

Conservation listings

Europe: no SPEC category, secure
UK: Green

Long-term trend
UK: uncertain
Status summary
Both BBS and WBS have small samples for this species. Because of the shortage of data, and the conflict between WBS and BBS assessments, the rapid decline indicated by WBS has not triggered a conservation listing. The decline shown by the WBS may reveal problems among birds on linear waterways during the early 1980s and late 1990s, while increases shown by the CBC and by BBS may suggest that wider populations (including small still waters) are healthy. In an analysis of nest record cards, Moss & Moss (1993) found that nests on ponds and lakes were significantly more successful than those on rivers and streams and that nests on rivers, subject to fluctuating water levels, experienced significantly higher failure rates through flooding than those on canals, where water levels are artificially maintained.
Waterways UK graph
Table of population changes for Little Grebe
Source Period
Years Plots
Alert Comment
WBS waterways 25 1975-2000 17 -60 -81 -16 >50 Small sample
  10 1990-2000 16 -35 -54 -17 >25 Small sample
  5 1995-2000 15 -34 -49 -21 >25 Small sample
BBS UK 8 1994-2002 47 47 5 106    
BBS England 8 1994-2002 39 83 26 165    
BBS acknowledgement
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
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