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Status & Distribution

WTE in flight WTE in flight (c) Kjartan Trana
  • Distribution
    NW Europe to E Siberia, also isolated populations in Iceland & Greenland; extinct in SW Europe; has bred as far S as N Israel
  • World population
    8,900-10,500 pairs
  • European population
    5,000-6,600 pairs
  • EU population
    1,835-2,000 pairs (80% in Poland, Germany, Finland & Sweden)
  • Global status
    Least Concern (not currently threatened)
  • EU status
    Annex 1 of Birds Directive (species of conservation concern)
  • Extinct
    France (<1950), Ireland (<1910), Italy (<1960), Albania (c1965), Moldova (c1975)
  • Reintroduced
    Scotland (1975-present), 33 breeding pairs in 2006

CITES 1. Previously classified as Near-Threatened (BirdLife 2000) but recently downlisted to Least Concern due to continued population recovery in most parts of its range. However. populations still threatened or vulnerable in some countries. Declined historically from 19th century and extinct in parts of range inc. Britain, Ireland, W Europe. Recovery in late 20th century following formal protection as well as banning of DDT especially in Baltic. Population still probably expanding in Norway (c2,500 pairs) and Poland (600+ pairs). Successful reintroduction to Scotland. Rentroduced Republic of Ireland in 2007.