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Corncrake critically endangered

Target

1.2 No species or habitat types will become extinct or be lost, and the status of threatened and near-threatened species and habitat types will be improved.

Indicator

Status of specific threatened species
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Are we moving in the right direction? Published by the Norwegian Environment Agency

Corncrakes are strongly associated with farmland, particularly grassland. The Norwegian population declined severely from the late 1800s and through the early part of the 1900s. By the 1950s, the corncrake had almost disappeared as a breeding species across much of Eastern Norway. It was more successful in parts of Rogaland, the Lista area in Vest-Agder and parts of Møre og Romsdal, but even here numbers dropped sharply. 

By the mid-1990s, only 50–75 singing male corncrakes were recorded in Norway each summer. Nationwide monitoring of corncrakes started in 1995, and the number of singing males registered rose gradually to a maximum of 235 in 2003. There was a marked drop again in the period 2004–06. Since then, the number of singing males registered has remained fairly low, fluctuating between about 75 and 200.  

Corncrake numbers are highest in Rogaland and Oslo and Akershus, which are home to more than 40 % of the Norwegian population. Next follow Hedmark and Oppland. 

The corncrake is classified as critically endangered in the Norwegian Red List for Species. Most other Western European countries have registered a similar decline in corncrake numbers, but Eastern European populations are so far in a stronger position.

The conservation measures that have been implemented for corncrakes in Norway appear to be having a positive effect. Most confirmed breeding records in recent years have been in areas that are left undisturbed during the breeding season (vegetation not mown or mown later than normal).