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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Saxicola torquatus
Stonechat © G H Higginbotham
Conservation listings

Europe: SPEC category 3, (declining)
UK: Amber (European status)

Long-term trend
UK: uncertain, possible decline
Status summary
Breeding atlas data showed a substantial contraction in the Stonechat's range between the early 1970s and late 1980s (Gibbons et al. 1993), but the species was not monitored sufficiently well before the start of the BBS for long-term numerical trends to be investigated. Abundance appears to be linked to severe winter weather, and suitable breeding habitat has become scarce and fragmented in many inland regions (Marchant et al. 1990). Numbers have fluctuated since 1994, but with a substantial net increase. Clutch and brood sizes have improved over the long term.
BBS UK graph
Table of population changes for Stonechat
Source Period
Years Plots
Alert Comment
BBS UK 8 1994-2002 80 153 88 241    
BBS England 8 1994-2002 30 115 35 243    
BBS acknowledgement
BBS England graph
Table of productivity information for Stonechat
Variable Period
Years Mean
Trend Predicted
in first year
in last year
Change Comment
Clutch size 33 1968-2001 23 Linear increase 5.02 eggs 5.28 eggs 0.26 eggs Small sample
Brood size 33 1968-2001 53 Linear increase 4.68 chicks 4.89 chicks 0.21 chicks  
Daily failure rate (eggs) 33 1968-2001 27 None       Small sample
Daily failure rate (chicks) 33 1968-2001 48 None        
Laying date 33 1968-2001 31 None        
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