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BTO Blueline
Delichon urbicum
House Martin © Derek Belsey

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: SPEC category 3 (declining)
UK: amber (25–50% population decline)
Long-term trend
England: probable rapid 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 nesting habits and its 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 was moved from the green to the amber list in 2002, 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).
CBC all habitats graph

1967-2008: -61% (confidence interval -89% to 29%)

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 06.10.2010