The criteria for inclusion on the Red List under the UK Biodiversity Action Plans { which helps to fulfill European commitments } is to have suffered a decline of 50% or more in the last 40 years.

Those appearing on the Red list are automatically designated as Priority Species of Conservation Concern and as such have Species Action Plans {SAP}formulated for them and are eventually put in to action in an attempt to halt the declines and to, where possible to reverse them. Details of the SAPs can be found on the BARS website.

The species are listed for the four  countries of the UK, -England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Where the species on the list do not occur in England this fact will be stated. Where a SAP is currently being implemented this will be displayed at the side of the species name by the {SAP} symbol. These are the original BAP species named in 1998. On the left will be displayed the Latin name followed by the common name that appear on the current Red List. 

ssp indicates a subspecies.


Acrocephalus paludicola, Aquatic Warbler                                                              {SAP}

Acrocephalus palustris, Marsh Warbler                                                                  {SAP}

Alauda arvensis,  Sky lark                                                                                    {SAP}

Anser albrifrons ssp albifrons, European Greater white fronted goose                 

Anser albifons ssp flavirostris --Greenland Greater white fronted goose { does not occur in England}

Anthus trivialis, Tre pipit

Aythya manla, Greater Scaup.

Botaurus stellaris, Great Bittern                                                                             {SAP}

Branta bemicla ssp bemicla-Dark bellied Brent Goose.

Burhinus oedicnemus, Stone Curlew                                                                       {SAP}

Caprimulgus Europaeus,European nightjar                                                              {SAP}

Carduelis cabaret,Lesser Redpoll,                                 

Carduelis cannabina ssp autochthona/cannabina, Common Linnet                            {SAP}

Carduelis flavirostris ssp bensonrum/pilans, Twite

Coccothraustes coccothraustes, Hawfinch

Crex crex, Corn crake                                                                                           {SAP}

Cuculus canorus. Common Cuckoo

Cygnus columbianus  ssp bewickii Tundra Swan

Dendrocopus minor ssp comminutus, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

Emberiza calandra ssp calandra/clancey, Corn Bunting,                                         {SAP}

Emberiza cirlus, Cirl bunting                                                                                 {SAP}

Emberiza citrinella, Yellow Hammer

Emberiza schoeniclus, Reed Bunting                                                                    {SAP}

Gavia arctica, Black throated Diver,

Jynx torquilla, Eurasian Wryneck                                                                         {SAP}



Lagopus lagopus ssp scotica, Red grouse

Lanius collurio, Red Backed Shrike,                                                                       {SAP}

Larus argentatus ssp argenteus, Herring Gull

Limosa limosa ssp limosa,Black Tailed Godwit

Locustella luscinioides, Savi's Warbler

Locustella naevia, Common Grasshopper Warbler.

Loxia scotica Scottish Crossbill, { Does not occur in England}                                 {SAP}

Lullula arborea, Woodlark                                                                                     {SAP}

Melanitta nigra, Common Scoter                                                                           {SAP}

Motacilla flava ssp flavissima

Musicapa striata,Spotted Flycatcher                                                                     {SAP}

Numenius arquata, Eurasian Curlew.

Passer domesticus, House sparrow.

Passer montanus, Eurasian tree sparrow.                                                             {SAP}

Perdix perdix, Grey Partridge.                                                                              {SAP}

Phalaropus lobatus, Red necked Phalarope                                                          {SAP}

Phylloscopus sibilatrix, Wood Warbler.

Poecile montanus ssp kleinschimdti, Willow Tit

Poecile palustris ssp palustris/dresseri, Marsh Tit

Prunella Modularis ssp occidentalis , {Dunnock} Hedge Accentor

Puffinus mauretanicus, Balearic Shearwater

Pyrrhula pyrhulla  ssp pileata, Common Bullfinch                                                    {SAP}

Sterorarius parasiticus, Arctic Skua

Stema dougallii, Roseate tern                                                                               {SAP}

Strptopelia turtur, European Turtle Dove,                                                                {SAP}

Sturnus vulgaris ssp vulgaris, Common Starling

Tetrao tetrix ssp britannicus Black Grouse                                                             {SAP}

Tetrao urogallus Western Capercaillie { Does not occur in England}                          {SAP}

Troglodytes troglodytes ssp fridariensis  Fair Isle Wren {Does not occur in England}

Troglodytes troglodytes ssp hitensis  ST.Kilda Wren  {Does not occur in England}

Turdus philomelos ssp clarkei, Song thrush                                                           {SAP}

Turdus philomelos ssp hebridensis,Hebridean song thrush {Does not occur in England} {SAP}

Turtus torquatus, Ring ouzel

Vanellus vanellus, northern Lapwing.


The current list above may be added too or have species removed . 2016

The Conservation Lists in the UK , The Red, Amber and Green are under review periodically and species may be moved from one list to another depending on their circumstances. The list above will be altered as such developments occur.

Bittern and Wryneck been moved from the Red list to the Amber List. 


Update 2016. Birds added to the  Red List,  Puffins. Velvet scoter, Curlew, Woodcock,  Grey wagtail,  Red necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Ringed plover, Dotteral, Kitiwake, Merlin Mistle thrush, Nightingale, Pied flycatcher, Black redstart, Wninchat, Shag, Wryneck, Red Kite, Nightjar.

Note some of the species may occur on the original list. 

Three species are believed to no longer breed in Britain Temminck's Stint , Serin and Wryneck. The Golden Oriole is thought to be on the brink of extinction as regards its breeding here.

House sparrow added to the Red List

Image courtesy of Rhododendrites CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Revised List 2016 { April }  RED List birds of conservation concern. BoCC-4

Birds of Conservation concern latest revision is as follows.

White fronted goose.    Pochard.  Scaup. Long tailed Duck.  Common Scoter. Velvet Scoter.  Black grouse. Capercaillie. Grey partridge . Balearic  Shearwater. Shag. Red necked Grebe. Slavonian grebe. White tailed eagle. Hen harrier. Corncrake. Lapwing. Ringed plover. Dotteral. Whimbrel Curlew. Black tailed Godwit. Ruff.  Red necked Phalarope. Woodcock.  Arctic Skua. Puffin. Rosette tern. Kittiwake. Herring gull. Turtle dove.  Cuckoo. Lesser spotted woodpecker. Merlin. Golden oriole.  Red backed shrike.  Willow tit. Marsh tit. Skylark. Wood warbler.  Grasshopper warbler.  Savi's warbler.  Starling.  Ring ouzel.  Field fare. .Aquatic warbler.,  Marsh warbler. Song thrush. Mistle thrush.  Redwing.  Spotted flycatcher.  Nightingale.  Pied flycatcher. Black redstart

Whinchat. House sparrow. Tree sparrow.  Yellow wagtail. Grey wagtail.  Tree pipit.   Hawfinch.  Linnet.  Twite.  Lesser redpoll.  Yellowhammer. Cirl Bunting  Corn bunting. 


Quick summary----There are now more species on the Red list than ever before,and three species including the Wryneck has been placed on the list of former breeders in the UK. 12 farmland birds remain on the Red List. The Woodcock, Nightingale and pied flycatcher are the latest additions,along with the Puffin, Kittiwake and Shag, representing the sea birds.

On the Red list there are now 67 species. The Amber list 96 species the Green list 81 species. 

To read more and to see the Amber list visit. http://www.bto.org/sites/default/files/shared_documents/publications/birds-conservation-concern/birds-of-conservation-concern-4-leaflet.pdf

Or visit rspb/org.uk/bocc 

Starling added to red list

Image courtesy of PierreSelim CC BY-SA 3.0 license

Latest update 2019

The UK’s leading bird BoCC4 Amber list conservation organisations have worked together to review the status of birds in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The bird species that breed or overwinter were assessed against a set of objective 0 50 100 150 200 250 BoCC1 (1996) BoCC2 (2002) BoCC3 (2009) BoCC 4 (2015) Number of species Green list Amber list Red list Former breeder The quantitative criteria assessed the historical decline, trends in population and range, population size, localisation and international importance of each species as well as their global and European threat status. A total of 247 species were considered. Three of these – the Temminck’s stint, wryneck and serin – no longer breed in the UK and were moved to the list of former breeders. There are 67 species on the Red list, 96 on the Amber list, and 81 on the Green list. The Red list has grown by 15 since the last review in 2009. Twenty species have been added, but three have moved to Amber and two are now no longer assessed as they have ceased breeding in the UK. The figure opposite shows how the Red, Amber and Green lists have changed since the first assessment in 1996. criteria to be placed on the Green, Amber or Red list – indicating an increasing level of conservation concern. The review used up-to-date information on the status of birds in the UK and elsewhere in their ranges, drawing on data collated through the UK’s bird monitoring schemes. 50 100 150 200 250 BoCC1 (1996) BoCC2 (2002) BoCC3 (2009) BoCC 4 (2015)


Latest summary 2019. Growing red list  courtesy of the BTO.



This update shows that many bird species are increasingly at risk. Nineteen species were red-listed for the first time due to worsening population status, and one species (Merlin) was returned to the Red list. In most cases, this is due to evidence from monitoring schemes such as BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) of increasingly severe declines in breeding populations (e.g. for Curlew, Nightingale, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat Grey Wagtail and Mistle Thrush), surveys of scarce breeders such as Dotterel, Black Redstart and Slavonian Grebe, or by seabird monitoring (e.g. Kittiwake and Shag). Puffin is red-listed due to its global assessment as Vulnerable.

From Green to Red

Two  species moved directly from the Green to Red list: White-fronted Goose on account of the non-breeding population decline and Long-tailed Duck as a consequence of being classified as Globally Threatened. In addition to White-fronted Goose, three other species (Red-necked Grebe, Ringed Plover and Pochard) are red-listed for the first time due to increasingly marked declines in wintering populations, the latter also classified globally as Vulnerable. Woodcock joins the Red List, as a consequence of severe declines in breeding range. These changes increase the Red List to 67 species, more than 25% of all those assessed.

UK List 2021

The lists above are still accurate at the time of writing.

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