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REED BUNTING
Emberiza schoeniclus
Reed Bunting © Tommy Holden
Conservation listings

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

Long-term trend
UK, England: moderate decline
Status summary
Red-listing for this species is based on a 62% decline on CBC plots between 1974 and 1999. Both CBC/BBS and WBS indices declined rapidly during the 1970s, but Reed Bunting abundance has since remained remarkably stable. The early increase in the CBC index has been associated with a gradual spread into drier habitats and it is likely that the subsequent decline was related to agricultural intensification. CES data indicate that the decline has continued and that it is associated with falling productivity. Detailed demographic analyses suggest that the decline was driven by decreasing survival rates and that a subsequent population recovery may have been prevented by increased nest losses (Peach et al. 1999). This is supported by a moderate decline in CES productivity and an increase in failure rates at the egg stage.
CBC/BBS UK graph
Table of population changes for Reed Bunting
Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC/BBS UK 33 1967-2000 151 -39 -52 -20 >25  
  25 1975-2000 169 -59 -67 -52 >50  
  10 1990-2000 267 -20 -29 -11    
  5 1995-2000 395 -6 -12 -1    
CBC/BBS England 33 1967-2000 123 -43 -56 -25 >25  
  25 1975-2000 136 -62 -70 -55 >50  
  10 1990-2000 210 -25 -34 -14    
  5 1995-2000 306 -12 -17 -5    
WBS waterways 25 1975-2000 53 -68 -77 -55 >50  
  10 1990-2000 60 -12 -29 9    
  5 1995-2000 62 -8 -19 6    
CES adults 17 1984-2001 59 -50 . . [>25*]  
  10 1991-2001 70 -34 . . [>25]  
  5 1996-2001 74 -18 . .    
CES juveniles 17 1984-2001 41 -69 . . [>50*]  
  10 1991-2001 48 -52 . . [>50*]  
  5 1996-2001 49 -32 . . [>25*]  
BBS UK 8 1994-2002 329 3 -8 15    
BBS England 8 1994-2002 249 -13 -24 -2    
BBS Scotland 8 1994-2002 39 28 -11 83    
BBS acknowledgement
CBC/BBS England graph
WBS UK graph
CES Adult abundance graph
CES juvenile abundance graph
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
BBS Scotland graph
Table of productivity information for Reed Bunting
Variable Period
(yrs)
Years Mean
annual
sample
Trend Predicted
in first year
Predicted
in last year
Change Comment
Clutch size 33 1968-2001 47 None        
Brood size 33 1968-2001 64 Linear increase 4.04 chicks 4.22 chicks 0.18 chicks  
Daily failure rate (eggs) 33 1968-2001 55 Linear increase 0.0068 nests/day 0.0286 nests/day 0.0218 nests/day  
Daily failure rate (chicks) 33 1968-2001 54 None        
Laying date 33 1968-2001 53 None        
Percentage juveniles (CES) 17 1984-2001 62 Smoothed trend 147 productivity index 101 productivity index -32%[>25]  
Percentage juveniles (CES) 10 1991-2001 73 Smoothed trend 149 productivity index 101 productivity index -33%[>25*]  
Percentage juveniles (CES) 5 1996-2001 78 Smoothed trend 118 productivity index 101 productivity index -16%  
Clutch size graph
Brood size graph

Egg nest failure graph

Chick nest failure graph

Laying date graph

CES productivity graph
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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