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BTO Blueline
Dendrocopos major
Great Spotted Woodpecker © Colin Varndell

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: no SPEC category (favourable conservation status in Europe, not concentrated in Europe)
UK: green (species level); amber (race anglicus, >20% of European breeders)
Long-term trend
UK, England: rapid increase
UK population size
37,000–44,400 pairs in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
This species increased rapidly in the 1970s and began a further increase in the early 1990s. Dutch Elm Disease, which greatly increased the amount of standing dead timber and its associated insects, has been linked to the increase that occurred during the 1970s (Marchant et al. 1990). The ecological factors underlying the current increase are not yet known, but the species may be benefiting from the maturation of new forests and from the increasing provision of winter food in gardens. The decline in Starling numbers in recent decades has led to increased breeding success of this woodpecker and may have allowed it to expand its breeding distribution into more open, less wooded habitats (Smith 2005, 2006). Nesting phenology in Hertfordshire woodlands has advanced over the last two decades in response to warmer spring weather (Smith 2006). Numbers have shown widespread moderate increase across Europe since 1980 (PECBMS 2010).
CBC/BBS UK graph

1967-2008: 386% (confidence interval 251% to 700%)

Population changes in detail
Demographic trends
Additional information

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This report should be cited as: Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Leech, D.I., Renwick, A.R., Joys, A.C., Noble, D.G., Barimore, C., Conway, G.J., Downie, I.S., Risely, K. & Robinson, R.A. (2010). 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 10.09.2010