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.

Saxicola rubetra - Whinchat

Range & Status

Europe and west Asia; in Britain and Ireland 20,000 pairs; declining.

Regional Distribution

Cornwall: summer visitor and passage migrant, breeding only on Bodmin Moor. The 1984 survey of the moor (Chown & Akers, 1984) provided a total of 180 pairs, but since then there has been a marked decline (mirrored throughout western Europe); although no comparable survey has been made since, it is possible that less than 50 pairs remained by 1993. Isles of Scilly: small numbers on passage.

Habitat & Ecology

Breeds in open grassland with scattered low vegetation, mostly above 200m.


Loss of habitat through ' improved' farming practices, forestry planting and the creation of reservoirs.


A management structure for Bodmin Moor needs to be agreed and implemented. Many breeding sites are within SSSI. Listed (long list) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995).


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.