Wider Countryside Report Header
BTO Blueline
Main WCR menu image Site navigation menu item Results overview menu item Other info menu item BTO website menu item
BTO Blueline
YELLOW WAGTAIL
Motacilla flava
Yellow Wagtail © Tommy Holden
 
Conservation listings

Europe: no SPEC category, secure
UK: Amber (25-50% population decline)

Long-term trend
UK, England: rapid decline
 
Status summary
Britain holds almost the entire population of the distinctive race flavissima, and so population changes in the UK are of special signficance. Yellow Wagtails have been in decline since the early 1980s, according to CBC/BBS and especially WBS, and have now been moved from the Green to the Amber list. Continuation of the decline since 1999 already suggests that Red listing is appropriate. Gibbons et al. (1993) identified a range contraction towards a core area in central England, concurrent with the early years of decline. Farmland drainage, the conversion of pasture to arable land, the change from spring to winter cereals, and the loss of insects associated with cattle have been cited as potential causes (Gibbons et al. 1993, Nelson et al. 2003). Although sample sizes are small, there has been a significant reduction in brood size over the past 30 years.
 
CBC/BBS UK graph
 
Table of population changes for Yellow Wagtail
Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC/BBS UK 33 1967-2000 59 -64 -84 -16 >50  
  25 1975-2000 68 -57 -78 -26 >50  
  10 1990-2000 117 -47 -60 -30 >25  
  5 1995-2000 179 -18 -31 -6    
CBC/BBS England 33 1967-2000 58 -62 -85 -24 >50  
  25 1975-2000 66 -54 -77 -17 >50  
  10 1990-2000 115 -47 -63 -31 >25  
  5 1995-2000 175 -19 -32 -7    
WBS waterways 25 1975-2000 21 -89 -96 -82 >50  
  10 1990-2000 17 -77 -88 -69 >50 Small sample
  5 1995-2000 15 -64 -76 -53 >50 Small sample
BBS UK 8 1994-2002 155 -14 -28 2    
BBS England 8 1994-2002 152 -15 -28 2    
BBS acknowledgement
 
CBC/BBS England graph
WBS UK graph
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
 
Table of productivity information for Yellow Wagtail
Variable Period
(yrs)
Years Mean
annual
sample
Trend Predicted
in first year
Predicted
in last year
Change Comment
Brood size 33 1968-2001 13 Linear decline 4.84 chicks 4.38 chicks -0.46 chicks Small sample
 
Insufficient data on clutch size
available for this species
Brood size graph

 

Insufficient data on nest failure
available for this species

 

 

Insufficient data on nestling failure
available for this species

 

Insufficient data on laying date
available for this species

 

Insufficient data on CES
available for this species

 

BTO blue divider
BirdWeb logo, click to go to BirdWeb

BTO Home | JNCC Home
BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2PU, UK.
 © British Trust for Ornithology (Registered Charity Number 216652).
Terms and Conditions
| Privacy Statement          Email:


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