Dippers require clear flowing water and consequently are rather vulnerable to many human-made changes. They can tolerate only a modest amount of pollution, whether domestic or farm, industrial or mining, and frequently abandon degraded habitats; even the planting of conifers close to streams can be detrimental. On the other hand, man-made structures such as bridges may enhance dipper populations by providing nest-sites. Generally, dipper populations have diminished in the face of human activity over most of their ranges, though in some cases (for example, in the United Kingdom) some populations have recovered as the decline of the mining industry has reduced stream pollution. One race of the Eurasian dipper (C. c. olympicus), formerly of Cyprus, is extinct, and several other populations, for example those in North Africa, are very small. One species, the rufous-fronted dipper of northern Argentina and southern Bolivia, is classified as Vulnerable with a total world population in the probable range of 1,000 pairs.
Was this article helpful?