Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Tachybaptus ruficollis - Little Grebe

Range & Status

Old World; in Britain and Ireland there are 9000 pairs.

Regional Distribution

Cornwall: small numbers (totalling 100,150) winter on most estuaries and inland waters (few sites hold more than ten); only 510 pairs now breed (up to 20 in 1960s). Scarce in autumn and winter in the Isles of Scilly.

Habitat & Ecology

Breeds by pools and lakes with fringe and emergent vegetation. In winter chiefly on

sheltered estuaries.


Unknown, but decline in Cornish birds has been matched by a significant fall in the Irish population.


The lack of lowland freshwater sites limits breeding potential in Cornwall. The recent

creation of ponds for agricultural use has provided new breeding sites in east Cornwall; this trend is encouraging.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.