Population information

Order name Charadriiformes
Family name Scolopacidae
Scientific name Scolopax rusticola Common name Eurasian Woodcock
Population name Europe/South & West Europe & North Africa
Breeding range N, E, C and parts of W Europe to Turkey & Caucasus Non-breeding range W & S Europe, N Africa
Red List Category Least Concern
Ramsar regions Africa Europe

Conservation Framework

Conservation framework Notes

Population size

Publication Start year End year Minimum Maximum Estimate quality Notes References Actions
WPE 2 1982 1982 15,000,000 15,000,001 [R311]
WPE 3 1999 1999 15,000,000 15,000,001 [R314]
WPE 4 2005 2005 10,000,000 25,000,000 [S593] [R624]
WPE 1 0 0 2,000,000 2,000,001 [R311]
WPE 5 2005 2005 10,000,000 25,000,000 Expert opinion [R624]
CSR 4 2005 2005 10,000,000 25,000,000 Expert opinion [R624]
CSR 5 2005 2005 10,000,000 25,000,000 Expert opinion [R624]
CSR 6 1992 2012 20,000,000 26,000,000 Best guess [S8294] [R1362] [R1361] [R63] [R624]

Population trends

Publication Start year End year Trend Trend quality Notes References Actions
WPE 2 1973 1983 STA [R311]
WPE 3 1990 2000 STA [R230]
WPE 4 1990 2000 STA [R230]
WPE 1 0 0 Unknown
WPE 5 1996 2000 STA Good [R1279]
CSR 4 1990 2000 STA Poor [R230]
CSR 5 1990 2000 STA Poor [R230]
CSR 6 2000 2012 STA Poor [T6294] [R1362] [R1361] [R1279]

Population 1% level

Publication Yearset 1 percent Note
WPE 2 1997 20000
WPE 3 2002 20000
WPE 4 2006 20000
WPE 1 1994 20000
WPE 5 2012 158100
CSR 4 0 -1
CSR 5 0 -1
CSR 6 0 -1


  • R311 - Hepburn, I.R. 1983. Hunting bags and population of woodcock in Europe. pp. 138-145. In: Kalchreuter, H. (ed.). Proc. 2nd European Woodcock and Snipe Workshop. Fordingbridge.
  • R314 - Hirschfield, E., Roselaar, C.S. and Shirihai, H. 2000. Identification, taxonomy and distribution of Greater and Lesser Sandplovers. British Birds 93 (4): 162-189.
  • R230 - Ferrand, Y. and Gossmann, F. 2001. Elements for a Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) management plan. Game and Wildlife Science 18(1): 115-139.
  • R624 - Thorup, O. (comp) 2006. Breeding Waders in Europe 2000. International Wader Studies 14. International Wader Study Group, UK.
  • R1279 - Ferrand Y., and Gossman, F. 2009. La B?casse des bois. Histoire naturelle.-Saint-Lucien : Effet de Lisi?re, 223 pp.
  • R1362 - European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (in prep) Population and trend data provided by the EU Member States in the frame of their reporting under Article 12 of the EU Birds Directive. Online fact sheets. European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, Paris. URL: http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_12/Reports_2013/Member_State_Deliveries. Accessed on 31 July 2014.
  • R1361 - BirdLife International, BTO, EBCC, CSO, IUCN, RSPB, SOVON, Wetlands International (in prep) Population and trend data provided to the European Red List of Birds Project funded by the European Commission. Digital dataset. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK. Accessed on 31 July 2014.
  • R63 - BirdLife International (2004)b. Birds in Europe, population estimates, trends and conservation status. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 12).
  • R1549 - BirdLife International 2015. European Red List of Birds. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. http://datazone.birdlife.org/info/euroredlist
  • R1607 - FANBO 2017. FANBPO Annual Report on Woodcock (FAROW); 2015-2016 hunting season. URL: http://www.fanbpo.fr/uploaded/rapport-annuel-de-la-fanbpo-sur-la-ba-casse-saison-de-chasse-2015-2016.pdf
  • R1451 - Stroud, D. A. (2004). Status of migratory wader populations in Africa and Western Eurasia in the 1990s. International Wader Study Group.
  • R1608 - Ferrand, Y. 2006. Sixth European Woodcock and Snipe Specialist Group Workshop – Proceedings of an international symposium of the Wetlands International Woodcock and Snipe Specialist Group, 25-27 November 2003, Nantes, France. International Wader Studies 13, Wageningen,The Netherlands.


  • S593 - For populations over 2 million birds, Ramsar Convention criterion 5 (20,000 or more waterbirds) applies.
  • S8294 - European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (in prep.) and BirdLife International et al. (in prep.) provide updated breeding population estimates for the EU MS (except CZ and GR), CH, NO and TR which sum up to 6,810,125-8,580,973 pairs. According to BirdLife International (2004), further 10,299-18,088 pairs can be in AL, AD, HR, CZ, GR, LI, MK, RS, ME and UA. This yields a total estimate of 6,820,424-8,599,061 pairs, i.e. 20,000,000-26,000,000 individuals after rounding. This new estimate agrees well with the estimate of Thorup (2006). The refinement is largely due to a more precise estimate from RU.
  • T6294 - Overall trend based on national estimates is stable. Decreasing in LV, SI, SK and the UK, not increasing anywhere, unknown in AT, BG, HU, IT, LU, NL, NO, PL, RO, TR and considered to be stable elsewhere (European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, in prep., BirdLife International et al. in prep.). Ferrand and Gossman (2009) also considered the trend stable.
  • S9009 - 6,998,601-8,850,558 pairs
  • T7100 - BirdLife International (2015) has assessed the short-term trend of the European breeding population as stable with a slight declining tendency. FANBO (2017) reported also a stable short-term (2006/2007 - 2015/2016) but with a slightly increasing tendency. The long-term trend appears to be declining (0.9708-0.9981). In the long-term, the population thought to be decreasing by 5-30% in RU (hosting 84% of the population) and in CH, SI, SK, TR and UK (<5% in total). The population is thought to be stable in CZ, DK, FI, LI and LV (<5% in total), stable in DE, EE, ES, FR, GR, LT, RS and SE (the latter hosting about 8% of the population), fluctuating in BA and UA, unknown in AD, AL, AT, BG, HR, HU, IE, IT, LU, ME, MK, NL, NO, PL, RO and XK. Only two countries, FI and FR classified the quality of their long-term trend assessment as good, the rest is medium or poor (BirdLife International 2015). The significant long-term decline assessment depends primarily on the poor quality assessment of RU. Delany et al. (2009) has reviewed earlier claims of decline in RU and other evidence and considered the population remaining relatively stable also in the long-term following the assessments of Stroud (2004) and Ferrand et al. (2006).

Copyright Wetlands International 2012

Citation: Wetlands International (). "Waterbird Population Estimates" . Retrieved from wpe.wetlands.org on