Dryocopus martius 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Piciformes Picidae

Scientific Name: Dryocopus martius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Black Woodpecker, Black woodpecker
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A., Ashpole, J
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Albania; Andorra; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:38900000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):100
Upper elevation limit (metres):2400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 1,110,000-1,820,000 pairs, which equates to 2,210,000-3,630,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.35% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 6,300,000-10,400,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  The species has expanded its range in western Europe, central Europe and Japan (del Hoyo et al. 2002). In Europe, trends between 1980 and 2013 show that populations have undergone a moderate increase (p<0.01) (EBCC 2015).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6000000-10499999Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species is found in all types of mature forest, so long as it is not extremely dense and gloomy and it also uses forest edges. In Scandinavia and Siberia it occupies spruce (Picea) and pine (Pinus) forests with larch (Larix), birch (Betula), aspen (Populus) and alder (Alnus); In Poland all habitat types in primeval forests; in central Europe occurs in all types of not over-dense deciduous, mixed or coniferous forest, from riparian woodland to subalpine forest. In Japan it uses open boreal mixed or coniferous forest at 100-1,000 m. Mating behaviour may begin in mid-January although egg-laying is generally from mid-March to mid-May. The nest is excavated in a tall tree, usually living and either coniferous or deciduous. Clutch size is typically three to five eggs. Its diet consists mainly of ants (Camponotus, Formica, Lasius) and their brood. Wood-boring beetles and bark beetles and their larvae (e.g. Cerambycidae, Elateridae) are also taken, as well as various other arthropods, and occasionally snails, fruits and berries. It has been reported to break into beehives. In most areas the species is resident and even northern populations only partially migratory (Winkler and Christie 2002).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5.8
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is not threatened across its range (Winkler and Christie 2002), however locally within Europe, logging and forestry management do pose a risk (Garmendia et al. 2006, Zhelezov 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. There are no known current conservation measures for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitoring should be established to ensure logging and forest management does not become a serious threat.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.1. Forest - Boreal
suitability:Suitable season:breeding major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.1. Forest - Boreal
suitability:Suitable season:non-breeding major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:breeding major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:non-breeding major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:breeding major importance:No
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:non-breeding major importance:No

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No

Bibliography [top]

BirdLife International. 2004. Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

BirdLife International. 2015. European Red List of Birds. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

EBCC. 2015. Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme. Available at:

Garmendia, A., Cárcamo, S., and Schwendtner, O. 2006. Forest management considerations for conservation of black woodpecker Dryocopus martius and white-backed woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos populations in Quinto Real (Spanish Western Pyrenees). Forest Diversity and Management, pp. 339-355. Springer Netherlands.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Winkler, H. and Christie, D. 2002. Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of th e Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Zhelezov, G. 2010. Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions: Southeastern Europe. Springer, New York.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Dryocopus martius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22681382A87301348. . Downloaded on 26 April 2018.
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