The fifth Birds of Conservation Concern in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man and second IUCN Red List assessment of extinction risk for Great Britain


The Common Swift Apus apus is Red-listed in Birds of Conservation Concern 5 owing to severe population declines of 58% (1995 to 2018). Alan Harris

British Birds is proud to be able to published ‘The status of our bird populations: the fifth Birds of Conservation Concern in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man and second IUCN Red List assessment of extinction risk for Great Britain’ in our December 2021 issue.

Birds of Conservation Concern is compiled by a coalition of the UK’s leading bird conservation and monitoring organisations and reviews the status of all regularly occurring birds in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The first published in 1996. The bird species that breed or overwinter in the UK have been assessed against a set of objective criteria and placed on the Green, Amber or Red lists to indicate an increasing level of conservation concern.

This assessment adds to a wealth of evidence that many of our bird populations are in trouble. At 70 species, the Red list is now longer than ever before, and is almost double the length of that in the first review in 1996. New Red-listed species include Common Swift Apus apus, House Martin Delichon urbicum, Ptarmigan Lagopus muta, Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima, Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus and Greenfinch Chloris chloris.

You can read the full paper online here (subscription required), or download an open-access PDF here (1.6 MB).


With the last confirmed breeding in 2009, Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus moves to the list of former breeding species in BoCC5. James Kennerley

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