Bubo scandiacus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Strigiformes Strigidae

Scientific Name: Bubo scandiacus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Snowy Owl
Bubo scandiaca
Taxonomic Source(s): 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.
Taxonomic Notes: Bubo scandiacus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously listed as B. scandiaca.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2012-05-03
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S. & Ashpole, J
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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten 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 ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Least Concern (LC)
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Canada; China; Faroe Islands; Finland; Greenland; Iceland; Japan; Kazakhstan; Latvia; Norway; Russian Federation; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; United Kingdom; United States
Albania; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bermuda; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; France; Germany; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Ireland; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kyrgyzstan; Luxembourg; Mongolia; Montenegro; Netherlands; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Turkmenistan; Ukraine
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 5770000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 300
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population is estimated to number approximately 200,000 individuals which equates to 133,000 mature individuals (Partners in Flight Science Committee 2013). The North American population is estimated at 100,000 individuals (Partners in Flight Science Committee 2013). The European population is estimated at 700-2,300 pairs, which equates to 1,400-4,600 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend Justification:  This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). In Europe the population size is estimated to be fluctuating (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 100000-499999 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Harvesting of species for food, feathers and claws by native peoples may have local impact on population, but unlikely to have any wider effect on total numbers. Electrocution, airplane strikes, collision with vehicles and entanglement in fishing equipment have all been identified as sources of mortality in Alberta, Canada (Holt et al. 2015). Climate change has a significant impact on the onset of spring and snowmelt in the breeding areas which may change the availability of prey for the species (International Snowy Owl Working Group 2010).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Bubo scandiacus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22689055A80495139. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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