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White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2011 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type   Average mass 108 g


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 11,100,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 11,200,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2004
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.2 - - -
Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 180,000-550,000 breeding pairs, equating to 540,000-1,650,000 individuals. Europe forms 25-49% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 1,00,000-7,000,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. National population estimates include c.100-10,000 breeding pairs in China; c.100-10,000 breeding pairs in Taiwan; c.100-10,000 breeding pairs in Korea; c.10,000 breeding pairs in Japan, and c.100-10,000 breeding pairs in Russia.
Trend justification: Despite extending its range in Slovenia and into Switzerland, the population is suspected to be in decline. Massive declines have been observed in Scandinavia. The population is in decline locally throughout much of its range owing to intensive forestry management, removal of dead wood and introduction of conifers (del Hoyo et al. 2002).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Albania Native Extant Yes    
Armenia Native Extant Yes    
Austria Native Extant      
Azerbaijan Native Extant      
Belarus Native Extant      
Belgium Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes    
Bulgaria Native Extant      
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes    
Croatia Native Extant      
Czech Republic Native Extant      
Estonia Native Extant      
Finland Native Extant      
France Native Extant      
Georgia Native Extant Yes    
Germany Native Extant Yes    
Greece Native Extant      
Hungary Native Extant      
Italy Native Extant      
Japan Native Extant Yes    
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes    
Latvia Native Extant      
Liechtenstein Native Extant      
Lithuania Native Extant      
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant      
Moldova Native Extant      
Mongolia Native Extant Yes    
Montenegro Native Extant Yes    
Netherlands Vagrant Extant   Yes  
North Korea Native Extant Yes    
Norway Native Extant Yes    
Poland Native Extant Yes    
Romania Native Extant      
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes    
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes    
Serbia Native Extant Yes    
Slovakia Native Extant      
Slovenia Native Extant      
South Korea Native Extant Yes    
Spain Native Extant      
Sweden Native Extant      
Switzerland Native Extant Yes    
Taiwan (China) Native Extant Yes    
Turkey Native Extant      
Ukraine Native Extant      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Austria Karwendel site factsheet
Austria Northern Kalkalpen site factsheet
Austria Ötscher-Dürrenstein site factsheet
Austria Slope forests in the Klostertal site factsheet
Austria Vienna forest site factsheet
Bulgaria Central Balkan site factsheet
Bulgaria Dobrostan site factsheet
Bulgaria Pirin site factsheet
Bulgaria Rila site factsheet
Bulgaria Sredna Gora site factsheet
Bulgaria Strandzha site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Balkan site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Rhodopes site factsheet
Czech Republic Beskydy mountains site factsheet
Czech Republic Hostynske vrchy hills site factsheet
Estonia Alam-Pedja site factsheet
Estonia Põhja-Liivimaa site factsheet
Estonia Väinameri site factsheet
France Haute Soule : massif de la Pierre-St-Martin. site factsheet
France Hautes Vallées d'Aspe et d'Ossau site factsheet
France Vallées du Lis et de la Pique site factsheet
Greece Antikhassia mountains and Meteora site factsheet
Greece Mavrovouni mountain, Larissa site factsheet
Hungary Börzsöny site factsheet
Hungary Bükk site factsheet
Hungary Mátra site factsheet
Hungary North Bakony site factsheet
Hungary Zemplén Mountains site factsheet
Latvia Gauja national park site factsheet
Latvia Kemeri national park site factsheet
Latvia Kuja site factsheet
Latvia Vecumi site factsheet
Latvia Ziemelgauja site factsheet
Latvia Zvarde forest site factsheet
Lithuania Babtai-Varlenai forest complex site factsheet
Lithuania Gruzai, Uzulenis, Taujenai, Skaistuziai and neighbouring forests complex site factsheet
Lithuania Lanciunava forest site factsheet
Lithuania Padauguva forest complex site factsheet
Lithuania Zuvintas Biosphere Reserve site factsheet
Poland Beskid Niski Mountains site factsheet
Poland Beskid Zywiecki Mountains site factsheet
Poland Bialowieza Forest site factsheet
Poland Biebrza river valley site factsheet
Poland Bieszczady Mountains site factsheet
Poland Borecka forest site factsheet
Poland Gorce mountains site factsheet
Poland Przemysl Plateau site factsheet
Poland Roztocze site factsheet
Poland Slonne Mountains site factsheet
Romania Almăjului Mountains - Locvei site factsheet
Romania Baraolt Mountains - Bodoc site factsheet
Romania Caraş gorge - Semenic Mountains site factsheet
Romania Dealurile Nordice ale Munţilor Făgăraş site factsheet
Romania Domogled - Cernei valley site factsheet
Romania Frumoasa site factsheet
Romania Grădiştea Muncelului site factsheet
Romania Nerei gorge - Beuşniţa site factsheet
Romania Padiş - Vlădeasa mountain site factsheet
Romania Trascău Mountains site factsheet
Slovakia Laborecka upland site factsheet
Slovakia Slanské hills site factsheet
Slovakia Velká Fatra site factsheet
Slovakia Vihorlat site factsheet
Slovakia Volovské hills site factsheet
Slovenia Gluha loza site factsheet
Slovenia Kočevsko site factsheet
Slovenia Snežnik plateau and Pivka valley site factsheet
Slovenia Trnovski gozd site factsheet
Spain Belagua-Ansó-Hecho site factsheet
Turkey Yenice forest site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Boreal suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane suitable resident
Forest Temperate major resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 1850 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Dendrocopos leucotos. Downloaded from on 10/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 10/07/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Picidae (Woodpeckers)
Species name author (Bechstein, 1803)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 11,100,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species