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HOUSE MARTIN
Delichon urbicum
House Martin © Derek Belsey
 

• Population
  changes

• Productivity
  trends

• Additional
  information

Conservation listings
Europe: SPEC category 3 (declining)
UK: amber (25–50% population decline)
Long-term trend
UK: probable decline
UK population size
273,000–535,000 pairs in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
The House Martin's loosely colonial habits and strong association with human settlements mean that it is extraordinarily difficult to monitor. Anecdotal evidence of decline is often unreliable, because demise of a colony may be balanced by single nests or small groups becoming established elsewhere. For these reasons, study areas should be large, covered thoroughly, and ideally randomly selected. The available long-term data suggest a rapid decline, although BBS shows overall increase since 1994. The species has been moved from the green to the amber list, because of moderate decline in the CBC trend for 1974–99, and is newly listed as of European concern following declines elsewhere in Europe (BirdLife International 2004). The mean change across all European countries during the 1990s was a significant decline (Sanderson et al. 2006). Annual survival rates from RAS sites in the UK for 1994–2004 were correlated positively with maximum monthly rainfall in West Africa; some decline in survival rate is apparent over this period but does not correspond to the population decline (Robinson et al. 2008).
 

Population changes

CBC all habitats graph
 
Table of population changes for House Martin

Source Period
(yrs)
Years Plots
(n)
Change
(%)
Lower
limit
Upper
limit
Alert Comment
CBC/BBS England 39 1967-2006 218 -56 -86 42   Small CBC sample
  25 1981-2006 329 -60 -88 105   Small CBC sample
  10 1996-2006 701 5 -4 14    
  5 2001-2006 757 3 -4 10    
BBS UK 11 1995-2006 858 12 4 24    
  10 1996-2006 882 9 2 19    
  5 2001-2006 966 -3 -9 3    
BBS England 11 1995-2006 676 4 -4 15    
  10 1996-2006 692 5 -2 15    
  5 2001-2006 757 3 -4 11    
BBS Scotland 11 1995-2006 53 84 21 136    
  10 1996-2006 54 45 -9 73    
  5 2001-2006 60 -21 -42 -2    
BBS Wales 11 1995-2006 86 25 -12 63    
  10 1996-2006 89 14 -15 48    
  5 2001-2006 95 -9 -28 13    
BBS N.Ireland 11 1995-2006 36 59 1 146    
  10 1996-2006 39 41 -2 82    
  5 2001-2006 47 -4 -23 16    

BBS acknowledgement
 
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
BBS Scotland graph
BBS Wales graph
 

Productivity trends

Productivity information is not currently available for this species
 

Additional information

BTO blue divider
 

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This report should be cited as:
Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Leech, D.I., Joys, A.C., Noble, D.G.,
Barimore, C., Grantham, M.J., Risely, K. & Robinson, R.A. (2009).
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2008.
BTO Research Report No. 516. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Pages maintained by Iain Downie, Mandy T Andrews and Laura Smith: Last updated 18.02.2009