Population trends of the Finnish starling Sturnus vulgaris, 1952-1998, as inferred from annual ringing totals

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 3

abstract

Finnish starling populations have declined, a phenomenon first noted towards the end of the 1970s. Here we use national ringing totals to estimate changes in the starling population. However, the numbers ringed depend not only on the population size but also on yearly variations in ringing activities. Thus, it was necessary to correct these totals based on the records of other ringed passerines. In this study, we used a Monte Carlo simulation based on time series regressions for the estimation of confidence of indices. The results suggest that the population size from the early 1970s to the 1990s was significantly smaller than in the 1950s and 1960s. It was concluded that (i) the population was fairly stable in the period 1952-1970, (ii) the population started a consistent decline around 1970, and (iii) the population declined by approximately 90% in the period 1970-1985.

Rintala, J., Tiainen, J. & Pakkala, T. 2003, Ann. Zool. Fennici 40: 365-385

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