Revealing the contributions of reproduction and survival to the Europe-wide decline in meadow birds: review and meta-analysis

M. Roodbergen, D.C. van der Werf, H. Hotker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


In this review, we summarize available data on nest success, chick survival and reproductive output, and adult and juvenile survival of five meadow breeding waders in Europe: Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus), Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), and Common Redshank (Tringa totanus). The survival data from the assembled studies did not show an overall decline in adult survival in any of these species. However, our meta-analyses on reproduction data show that chick survival declined strongly in the last 40 years in western Europe and that nest success declined in eastern Europe in the period 1995-2005, in Scandinavia in the period 1985-2005, and in western Europe in the period 1950-1980. Predation of nests has increased by c. +40% in all five species in western Europe during the last four decades. Results on reproductive output, the number of fledglings produced per breeding pair, were less clear. A decline was apparent in Eurasian Oystercatcher in the period 1963-2005; an initial decline in 1953-1990, but slight recent (1990-2006) recovery in Northern Lapwing; an initial decline in Black-tailed Godwit in the period 1985-1995, but again slight increase from 1995 onwards; no trend in Common Redshank (1992-2006) nor in Eurasian Curlew (1961-2006). In all five species the results indicate that present population declines are caused by a decrease in reproduction, not in adult survival, and that reproductive output is presently too low to compensate for adult mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-74
JournalJournal of Ornithology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • redshank tringa-totanus
  • oystercatchers haematopus-ostralegus
  • lapwings vanellus-vanellus
  • godwits limosa-limosa
  • farmland birds
  • agricultural intensification
  • breeding population
  • adult survival
  • nest success
  • demographic parameters


Dive into the research topics of 'Revealing the contributions of reproduction and survival to the Europe-wide decline in meadow birds: review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this