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BTO Blueline
MARSH TIT
Parus palustris
Marsh Tit © Tommy Holden
Conservation listings

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

Long-term trend
UK, England: rapid decline
 
Status summary
Marsh Tit abundance has declined rapidly, despite improvements in breeding performance. The species' UK conservation listing has recently been upgraded from Amber to Red. Detailed demographic work suggests that the decline may have been driven by low annual survival and that neither increased nest predation nor interspecific competition is responsible (G.M. Siriwardena, unpubl.). Marsh Tits nest in woods as small as half a hectare (Hinsley et al. 1995), but there is evidence from CBC that declines are steeper on smaller plots (G.M. Siriwardena, unpubl.). Increased woodland isolation, loss of woodland understorey due to grazing, and reductions in the availability of dead wood may all have contributed to the decline (Vanhinsbergh et al. 2001, Perrins 2003).
 
CBC/BBS UK graph
 
Table of population changes for Marsh Tit
Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC/BBS UK 33 1967-2000 79 -63 -74 -54 >50  
  25 1975-2000 87 -40 -54 -23 >25  
  10 1990-2000 128 -12 -29 3    
  5 1995-2000 172 -5 -17 4    
CBC/BBS England 33 1967-2000 74 -63 -73 -48 >50  
  25 1975-2000 80 -40 -55 -22 >25  
  10 1990-2000 118 -13 -26 6    
  5 1995-2000 156 -7 -18 5    
BBS UK 8 1994-2002 122 34 8 68    
BBS England 8 1994-2002 108 24 -1 55    
BBS acknowledgement
 
CBC/BBS England graph
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
 
Table of productivity information for Marsh Tit
Variable Period
(yrs)
Years Mean
annual
sample
Trend Predicted
in first year
Predicted
in last year
Change Comment
Clutch size 33 1968-2001 13 None       Small sample
Brood size 33 1968-2001 22 None       Small sample
Daily failure rate (eggs) 33 1968-2001 19 Linear decline 0.0085 nests/day 0.0013 nests/day -0.0072 nests/day Small sample
Daily failure rate (chicks) 33 1968-2001 19 None       Small sample
Laying date 33 1968-2001 14 Linear decline day 118 day 110 -8 days Small sample
 
Clutch size graph
Brood size graph
Egg nest failure graph
Chick nest failure graph
Laying date graph
Insufficient data on CES
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