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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Passer montanus
Tree Sparrow © Tommy Holden

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: SPEC category 3 (declining)
UK: red (>50% population decline)
UK Biodiversity Action Plan: click here, priority species
Long-term trend
England: rapid decline
UK population size
68,000 territories in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
Tree Sparrow abundance crashed spectacularly in the UK between the late 1970s and the early 1990s. BBS data indicate significant increase since 1994, but it should be remembered that, for every Tree Sparrow today there were perhaps around 30 in the 1970s, and any recovery therefore has a very long way to go. Clear range contractions occurred between the two breeding atlas periods (Gibbons et al. 1993), and have continued subsequently, with many local extinctions occurring during the 1990s. Components of agricultural intensification, such as reductions in winter stubble, are likely to be implicated in the decline. The number of fledglings per breeding attempt has improved substantially as population sizes have decreased, suggesting that decreases in productivity were not responsible for the decline. It is more likely that survival was the critical demographic measure, although ring-recovery analyses have produced equivocal results because of small sample sizes (Siriwardena et al. 1998b, 2000b). Following declines across western and northwestern Europe during the 1990s, the European status of this species is no longer considered 'secure' (BirdLife International 2004). There has been widespread rapid decrease across Europe since 1980 (PECBMS 2010).
CBC/BBS England graph

1967-2008: -97% (confidence interval -99% to -93%)

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 14.10.2010