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Grey-faced Woodpecker Picus canus

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 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 Medium
Land mass type   Average mass 137 g


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 15,300,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.6 - - -
Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 180,000-320,000 breeding pairs, equating to 540,000-960,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 5-24% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 2,250,000-19,200,000 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.100-100,000 breeding pairs in Korea; c.100-10,000 breeding pairs in Japan and c.100-100,000 breeding pairs in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The species is suspected to have declined in Romania owing to forestry intensification (del Hoyo et al. 2002). In Europe, trends since 1982 have been stable, based on provisional data for 21 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands; P. Vorisek in litt. 2008).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Albania Native Extant Yes    
Austria Native Extant      
Bangladesh Native Extant Yes    
Belarus Native Extant      
Belgium Native Extant      
Bhutan Native Extant Yes    
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes    
Bulgaria Native Extant      
Cambodia Native Extant Yes    
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes    
Croatia Native Extant      
Czech Republic Native Extant      
Estonia Native Extant      
Finland Native Extant      
France Native Extant      
Germany Native Extant      
Greece Native Extant      
Hungary Native Extant      
India Native Extant Yes    
Indonesia Native Extant Yes    
Italy Native Extant      
Japan Native Extant Yes    
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes    
Laos Native Extant Yes    
Latvia Native Extant      
Liechtenstein Native Extant Yes    
Lithuania Native Extant      
Luxembourg Native Extant      
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant      
Malaysia Native Extant Yes    
Moldova Native Extant      
Mongolia Native Extant Yes    
Montenegro Native Extant Yes    
Myanmar Native Extant Yes    
Nepal Native Extant Yes    
Netherlands Native Extant Yes    
North Korea Native Extant Yes    
Norway Native Extant Yes    
Pakistan Native Extant Yes    
Poland Native Extant      
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   Yes  
Sweden Native Extant      
Switzerland Native Extant      
Taiwan (China) Native Extant Yes    
Thailand Native Extant Yes    
Turkey Native Extant Yes    
Ukraine Native Extant      
Vietnam Native Extant Yes    

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
Austria Villacher Alpe-Dobratsch site factsheet
Belgium Hautes Fagnes/Eifel site factsheet
Belgium Sinémurienne site factsheet
Bulgaria Kamchia Complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Kamchiyska Mountain site factsheet
Bulgaria Mikre Meadows site factsheet
Bulgaria Persenk site factsheet
Bulgaria Pirin site factsheet
Bulgaria Ponor site factsheet
Bulgaria Strandzha site factsheet
Bulgaria Studenets site factsheet
Bulgaria Trigrad-Mursalitsa site factsheet
Bulgaria Vasilyovska Mountain site factsheet
Czech Republic Beskydy mountains site factsheet
Czech Republic Confluence of the Morava (March) and Dyje (Thaya) rivers - Tvrdonicko site factsheet
Czech Republic Doupov hills site factsheet
Czech Republic Krivoklatsko (Krivoklatsko region) site factsheet
Czech Republic Novodomske raseliniste peatbog - Kovarska site factsheet
Czech Republic Trebonsko (Trebon region) site factsheet
Estonia Alam-Pedja site factsheet
Estonia Põhja-Liivimaa site factsheet
Estonia Väinameri site factsheet
Finland Nuuksio site factsheet
France Arrière Côte de Dijon et de Beaune site factsheet
France Barois et Forêt de Clairvaux site factsheet
France Bassigny site factsheet
France Etangs d'Argonne site factsheet
France Etangs de Sologne: St Viatre, Marcilly-en-Gault et forêt de Bruadan site factsheet
France Forêt de Châtillon et environs site factsheet
France Forêt de Chaux site factsheet
France Forêt de Citeaux et environs site factsheet
France Forêt de Haguenau site factsheet
France Forêt de Jugny site factsheet
France Forêts du Perche site factsheet
France Massif des Vosges : crêtes de Schneeberg au Donon site factsheet
France Massifs de Fontainebleau et zones humides adjacentes site factsheet
France Plateau Ardennais site factsheet
France Vallée de la Meuse site factsheet
France Vallée de la Saône de Corre à Broye site factsheet
France Vallée du Rhin : Marckolsheim à Strasbourg site factsheet
France Vallée du Rhin : Strasbourg à Lauterbourg site factsheet
France Vallée du Rhin : Village-neuf à Biescheim site factsheet
Hungary Aggtelek Karst site factsheet
Hungary Bükk site factsheet
Hungary North Bakony site factsheet
Hungary Őrség site factsheet
Hungary Zemplén Mountains site factsheet
Hungary Zselic site factsheet
Latvia Kemeri national park site factsheet
Latvia Razna site factsheet
Lithuania Adutiskis & Guntauninkai forest complex site factsheet
Lithuania Birzai forest site factsheet
Lithuania Cepkeliai Strict Nature Reserve site factsheet
Lithuania Dzukija National Park site factsheet
Lithuania Gruzai, Uzulenis, Taujenai, Skaistuziai and neighbouring forests complex site factsheet
Lithuania Lanciunava forest site factsheet
Lithuania Plinksiai state Nature Reserve and its environs site factsheet
Luxembourg Haff Réimech site factsheet
Poland Augustów forest site factsheet
Poland Beskid Niski Mountains site factsheet
Poland Beskid Slaski Mountains site factsheet
Poland Biebrza river valley site factsheet
Poland Bieszczady Mountains site factsheet
Poland Odra riverine forests site factsheet
Poland Przemysl Plateau site factsheet
Poland Sandomierz Forest site factsheet
Poland Slonne Mountains site factsheet
Poland Sudety Wałbrzysko-Kamiennogorskie Mountains site factsheet
Romania Almăjului Mountains - Locvei site factsheet
Romania Baraolt Mountains - Bodoc site factsheet
Romania Caraş gorge - Semenic Mountains site factsheet
Romania Comana site factsheet
Romania Dealurile Nordice ale Munţilor Făgăraş site factsheet
Romania Defileul Inferior al Mureşului site factsheet
Romania Grădiştea Muncelului site factsheet
Romania Nerei gorge - Beuşniţa site factsheet
Romania Podişul Hârtibaciului site factsheet
Romania Trascău Mountains site factsheet
Serbia Deliblatska pescara site factsheet
Serbia Tara mountain site factsheet
Serbia Vršačke Planine site factsheet
Slovakia Laborecka upland site factsheet
Slovakia Malá Fatra site factsheet
Slovakia Slanské hills site factsheet
Slovakia Strazovske hills site factsheet
Slovakia Volovské hills site factsheet
Sweden Färnebofjärden site factsheet
Sweden Sjöängen - Svartån site factsheet
Switzerland 'Grosses Moos' plain and Niederried reservoir site factsheet
Switzerland Jura mountains of Baselland - Solothurn site factsheet
Switzerland Lake Neuchâtel: southern shore site factsheet
Switzerland Lowlands of Zurich and lower valley of the river Thur site factsheet
Switzerland Upper Toggenburg and Säntis site factsheet
Turkey Akseki and İbradı Forests site factsheet
Ukraine Carpathian Biosphere Reserve site factsheet
Ukraine Carpathian Vulkanichnyj Mountains site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable resident
Forest Boreal suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane suitable resident
Forest Temperate suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 2600 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Picus canus. 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 Gmelin, 1788
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 15,300,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species