Willow Grouse Lagopus lagopus


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Perrins, C.M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
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 Low
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 55,900,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 48,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 10000000-29999999 poor estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 4.2 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number > c.40,000,000 individuals (Rich et al. 2004). The European population is estimated at 1,010,000-2,150,000 pairs, which equates to 2,020,000-4,310,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 15% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 13,000,000-28,700,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.The breeding population in Russia is estimated at c.100,000-1 million breeding pairs (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification: This species is widespread and common. It is suspected to exhibit marked three-fold to five-fold population fluctuations over ten year cycles. However declines have been noted locally owing to over-hunting. The species range has contracted in certain regions such as the Balkans, possibly owing to climatic changes (del Hoyo et al. 1994). In Europe the population size is estimated to be decreasing by 30-49% in 12.6 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Belarus N Extant Yes
Belgium I Extant Yes
Canada N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Czechia N Extant Yes
Estonia N Extant Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) I Extant Yes
Finland N Extant Yes
Germany N Extant Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Latvia N Extant Yes
Lithuania N Extant Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes
Poland V Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) I Extinct Yes
Sweden N Extant Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Belarus Asvieja
Belarus Balota Jel'nia
Belarus Kaz'jany
Belarus Biarezinski zapaviednik
Estonia Puhatu mire
Latvia Teici and Pelecare bogs
Latvia Lielais Kemeru bog
Latvia Pededze forest and Parabaine
Sweden Lake Tjålme – Valley of Lais
Sweden Lake Ånn – Storlien
Finland Puurijärvi-Isosuo wetlands
Finland Torronsuo and Lake Talpianjärvi
Finland Talaskangas
Finland Pitkäranta
Finland Kokkola and Kälviä archipelago
Finland Rahja archipelago
Finland Litokaira
Finland Valtavaara-Pyhävaara
Finland Pajupuronsuo-Isosuo-Kivisuo
Finland Oulanka-Sukerijärvi
Finland Syöte-Salmitunturi
Finland Juortanansalo
Finland Kemihaara (Vuotos) mires and forests
Finland Pöyrisvuoma mire protection area
Finland Lämsänaapa-Sakkala-aapa
Finland Joutsenaapa-Kaita-aapa
Finland Riisitunturi
Finland Luosto
Finland Kevo
Finland South-eastern Kittilä mires
Finland Maltio fjelds
Finland Värriö-Tuntsa
Finland Pallas and Ylläs fjelds
Finland Pomokaira-Koitelaiskaira
Finland Saariselkä and Koilliskaira
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju
Finland Käsivarsi fjelds
Finland Lätäseno and Jietajoki mires
Russia (European) Sources of the River Luga
Russia (European) Budnyanski mire
Russia (European) Lapland Biosphere Reserve
Russia (European) Pechoro-Ilychski Nature Reserve
Russia (European) Orshinski marshes
United Kingdom Lewis Peatlands
United Kingdom Monadhliath
United Kingdom North Yorkshire Moors
United Kingdom Pettigoe Plateau
United Kingdom Antrim Hills
United Kingdom Coilacriech
United Kingdom Forest of Clunie
United Kingdom Ladder Hills
United Kingdom Isle of Man Hills
Sweden Vindel Mountains (including Lake Tärna)
Sweden Påkketan
Sweden Tavvavouma
Russia (European) Sondugski Reserve and its outskirts
Russia (European) Watershead of Kama and Porysh rivers
Russia (European) Southern coast of Ladoga Lake
Belarus Liebiadziny Moch
Belarus Cikiny astravy
Belarus Janka river floodplain
Estonia Agusalu
Estonia Kikepera
Estonia Lavassaare
Estonia Muraka
Russia (Central Asian) Sources of the Bolshaya Karaganka and Syntasty rivers
Russia (European) Yuzhskoe lake-land
Russia (Central Asian) Vodorazdel'naya
Russia (Central Asian) Upper and Middle Yuribey
Russia (Central Asian) Seketovo, Rakhtovo and Artevo lakes
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Yuribey
Russia (Central Asian) Russkoye lake
Russia (Central Asian) Reservoir near river Sukhaya
Russia (Central Asian) Karamys lake
Russia (Central Asian) Bol'shoy and Maly Akh lakes
Russia (Central Asian) Mayan lake
Russia (Central Asian) Kuznetsky Alatau Zapovednik
Canada Kaskattama River Mouth
Canada Twin Islands
Kazakhstan Paradise Valley mountain plateau
Russia (European) Shalimovskoye bog
Finland Elimyssalo
Finland Oulu region wetlands
Finland Närängänvaara-Virmajoki-Romevaara
Finland Olvassuo-Oravisuo-Näätäsuo-Sammakkosuo
Finland Koitajoki area
Finland Patvinsuo National Park
Russia (European) Kologrivski forest
Russia (European) Bylinskaya
Russia (European) Ul'skoye bog
Ireland Owenduff River catchment and Nephin Beg
Estonia Alam-Pedja

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Boreal suitable resident
Grassland Subarctic suitable resident
Grassland Temperate suitable resident
Grassland Tundra major resident
Shrubland Boreal suitable resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Lagopus lagopus. Downloaded from on 09/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 09/12/2022.