This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over 10 years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in 10 years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
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.; 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.
Behaviour Most birds are resident although some migrate locally in West Africa, and nomadism is recorded in the east and south-west of its range (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Flight is often low over the ground (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Birds are usually recorded singly or in pairs, but are known gather in groups of up to 20 at concentrated feeding sites (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The species is often crepuscular and possibly even nocturnal (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Habitat It inhabits a wide variety of habitats, from lowland deserts to forested mountains, and is recorded up to 5,000 m (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Diet Small birds make up most of its diet, particularly quails, pigeons and doves (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Breeding site Birds usually use the abandoned nests of other raptors, corvids or herons on trees and pylons (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Management information In Africa the species has been shown to benefit from bush clearance and higher populations of free-range poultry, which it hunts (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
In the mid-20th century the species underwent severe declines in Europe and Israel, driven by poisoning, shooting and trapping for falconry (del Hoyo et al. 1994). These have subsided, though persecution and the collection of eggs and chicks for falconry still probably constitute the most serious threats to the species, and in Italy it is still threatened by illegal shooting (Snow and Perrins 1998, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Local declines in southern Africa have possibly been associated with seed dressings, and whilst the overall effects of pesticides are unknown they have been shown to have negative impacts locally (del Hoyo et al. 1994). It is also vulnerable to the effects of potential wind energy development (Strix 2012).
del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1994. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Ferguson-Lees, J.; Christie, D. A. 2001. Raptors of the world. Christopher Helm, London.
Snow, D. W.; Perrins, C. M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic vol. 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Strix. 2012. Developing and testing the methodology for assessing and mapping the sensitivity of migratory birds to wind energy development. BirdLife International, Cambridge.
Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N.
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Falco biarmicus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/11/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/11/2014.
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
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Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Least Concern|
|Family||Falconidae (Falcons, Caracaras)|
|Species name author||Temminck, 1825|
|Population size||mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||17,900,000 km2|
|Links to further information|
- Additional Information on this species|
- Projected distributions under climate change