Asio flammeus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Strigiformes Strigidae

Scientific Name: Asio flammeus
Species Authority: (Pontoppidan, 1763)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Short-eared Owl
French Hibou des marais
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.

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 extremely 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:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Argentina; Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Brazil; Bulgaria; Canada; Cayman Islands; Chile; China; Colombia; Croatia; Cuba; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Egypt; Eritrea; Estonia; Ethiopia; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); Faroe Islands; Finland; France; French Guiana; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Guam; Guatemala; Guinea; Guyana; Haiti; Hungary; Iceland; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Latvia; Lebanon; Libya; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Maldives; Mali; Malta; Marshall Islands; Mauritania; Mexico; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Myanmar; Nepal; Netherlands; Northern Mariana Islands; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Paraguay; Peru; Poland; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Romania; Russian Federation; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Spain; Sudan; Suriname; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States (Georgia); United States Minor Outlying Islands; Uruguay; Uzbekistan; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Viet Nam; Virgin Islands, British; Yemen
Belize; Bermuda; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Chad; Costa Rica; Gibraltar; Greenland; Hong Kong; Kenya; Liberia; Liechtenstein; Malaysia; Niger; Philippines; Qatar; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Thailand; Trinidad and Tobago; Uganda; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 29300000
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): 4300
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population is estimated to number approximately 3,000,000 individuals which equates to 2,000,000 mature individuals (Partners in Flight Science Committee 2013). The European population is estimated at 54,700-186,000 pairs, which equates to 109,000-372,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 14% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 391,000-1,330,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  This species has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (71.2% decline over 40 years, equating to a 26.7% decline per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). Note, however, that these surveys cover less than 50% of the species's range in North America. In Europe, the population trend is estimated to be fluctuating (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 350000-2000000 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): Due to its nesting habits and nomadic nature, the species is vulnerable to habitat loss at any season; conversion of open habitats to agriculture, grazing, recreation, housing and resort development is a key factor in decline, as well as reforestation in some areas. Wind-turbine developments may also impact the species. In central Europe declines have been caused by drainage and the intensification of agriculture, together with persecution, rodenticide poisoning, urbanization and traffic mortality. It does not always occupy apparently suitable habitat, which may be due to levels of prey or predation or the effects of distribution and abundance. Domestic and feral cats and dogs cause disturbance (Olsen et al. 2013). Skunks have been known to prey on eggs and nestlings (Olsen et al. 2013).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Asio flammeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22689531A80598940. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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