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BTO Blueline
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BTO Blueline
Columba palumbus
Woodpigeon © Mike Weston

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: no SPEC category (concentrated in Europe, conservation status favourable)
UK: green
Long-term trend
UK, England: rapid increase
UK population size
2,570,000–3,160,000 territories in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
The CBC/BBS trend for this species is of a steady, steep increase since at least the mid 1970s. The spread of intensive arable cultivation, especially of oilseed rape, which has been shown to promote overwinter survival, may explain the rise in numbers (Gibbons et al. 1993). Since 1994, BBS has recorded significant increase in the UK, and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland separately, but stability in Scotland. O'Connor & Shrubb (1986) found that the breeding season had advanced in response to the switch to autumn sowing, and thus earlier ripening, of cereals, with more pairs nesting in May and June and relatively fewer in July–September. A trend toward earlier nesting could have led CBC, with its fieldwork finishing in early July, to overestimate the rate of increase (Marchant et al. 1990). Numbers have risen rapidly across Europe since 1980 (PECBMS 2010).
CBC/BBS UK graph

1967-2008: 160% (confidence interval 20% to 501%)

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 24.09.2010