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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Carduelis carduelis
Goldfinch © Tommy Holden

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: no SPEC category (favourable conservation status in Europe, not concentrated in Europe)
UK: green (species level); amber (race britannica, >20% of European breeders)
Long-term trend
England: shallow increase
UK population size
313,000 territories in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
Goldfinch abundance fell sharply from the mid 1970s until the mid 1980s, but the decline was both preceded and followed by significant population increases. The recent upturn has lifted the species from the amber list of conservation concern into the green category, and has been accompanied by an increase in its use of gardens for winter feeding. These population changes can be explained almost entirely by changes in annual survival rates, which may have resulted from a reduction in the availability of weed seeds, due to agricultural intensification, and subsequent increased use of other food sources such as garden bird tables. Alternatively, the effects of environmental change or increased hunting pressure in France and Iberia, where the migrant majority of the population wintered, may have temporarily reduced survival rates (Siriwardena et al. 1999). There has been some long-term reduction in productivity as measured by CES, but no change in the number of fledglings per breeding attempt. A strong increase has been recorded in the Republic of Ireland since 1998 (Crowe et al. 2010).
CBC/BBS England graph

1967-2008: 39% (confidence interval 9% to 85%)

Population changes in detail

 Demographic trends

Fledglings per breeding attempt graph
Laying date graph
More on demographic trends
Additional information

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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., Downie, I.S., Grantham, M.J., Risely, K. & Robinson, R.A. (2011). Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2010. BTO Research Report No. 565. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Pages maintained by Iain Downie, Mandy T Andrews and Laura Smith: Last updated 14.10.2010