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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Caprimulgus europaeus

Nightjar © Derek Belsey


• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: SPEC category 2, (declining)
UK: red (>50% distribution decline)
UK Biodiversity Action Plan: click here, priority species
Long-term trend
UK: uncertain 
UK population size
3,400 males in 1992 (Morris et al. 1994: BiE04, APEP06); 4,600 males in 2004 (Conway et al. 2007)
Status summary
Following a catastrophic decline in range of more than 50% of 10-km squares between breeding atlases, the 1992 national survey revealed a welcome increase of 50% in population size since 1981, probably due to the increased availability of young forest habitat as plantations were felled and replanted (Morris et al. 1994). A National Nightjar Survey in 2004 revealed that a further 36% increase had taken place in the UK population in 12 years, with a 2.6% increase in the number of 10-km squares occupied (Conway et al. 2007). There was evidence of population declines and range contractions since 1992, however, in North Wales, northwest England, and Scotland. Although annual nest record sample are very small, the increases in nest failure rates and decreases in clutch and brood sizes have resulted in the inclusion of Nightjar on the NRS concern list (Leech & Barimore 2008). A steep linear decrease is evident in the number of fledglings per breeding attempt. A recent study suggests that nest failure is most likely in areas heavily frequented by walkers and dogs (Langston et al. 2007).
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., 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 04.10.2010