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BTO Blueline
Dendrocopos minor
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker © Derek Belsey

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: no SPEC category (favourable conservation status in Europe, not concentrated in Europe)
UK: red (>50% population decline)
UK Biodiversity Action Plan: priority species
Long-term trend
UK: rapid decline
UK population size
1,400–2,900 pairs in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker has declined significantly and very rapidly since around 1980, following a shallower increase; it had already contracted in range between the two atlas periods (Gibbons et al. 1993), and has subsequently disappeared from many more of its former localities. It has become so rare that BBS observers have been unable to continue the annual monitoring that was possible until 2000 through CBC. The species qualifies easily for red listing. Competition with and predation by Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and reductions in small-diameter dead wood suitable for foraging, are the most likely causes of decline, while the species' large home ranges suggest that landscape-scale changes in woodland (loss of mature broadleaved woodland, losses of non-woodland trees such as elms, and woodland fragmentation) may also be important (Fuller et al. 2005). Continued presence is now strongly associated with heavily wooded landscapes (Charman et al. 2010). Lesser Spotted Woodpecker has been one of the most strongly declining bird species in Europe, with widespread rapid decrease since 1980 (PECBMS 2007, 2010).

1968-1999: -60% (confidence interval -81% to 40%)

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 14.10.2010