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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Anas platyrhynchos

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: no SPEC category (favourable conservation status in Europe, not concentrated in Europe)
UK: amber (winter decline)
Long-term trend
UK, England: rapid increase
UK population size
50,400–127,100 pairs in 1990 (1988–91 Atlas: APEP06); 63,000–158,900 pairs in 2000 (updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04)
Status summary
The Mallard has increased steadily as a breeding bird in the UK since the 1960s, and especially in England, a trend to which ongoing large-scale releases for shooting may have contributed (Marchant et al. 1990). Mallards originating from domesticated birds and not resembling wild-type birds in either plumage or behaviour are very abundant but perhaps under-represented in survey data, especially since many individuals appear to be semi-captive. A large part of the increase in breeding numbers may be attributable to such birds, rather than to true-bred stock. Winter populations have declined since at least the late 1980s (Calbrade et al. 2010), linked apparently to a decrease in continental immigration (Mitchell et al. 2002). The species has recently been moved from the green to the amber list on the strength of this decline in the UK wintering population. There has been widespread moderate increase across Europe since 1980 (PECBMS 2010).
CBC/BBS UK graph

1967-2008: 166% (confidence interval 108% to 239%)

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