Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Accipiter nisus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Sparrowhawk, European Sparrowhawk
French Epervier d'Europe
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: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Khwaja, N.
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 stable, and hence the species does not 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; Andorra; Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Djibouti; Egypt; Estonia; Ethiopia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Hong Kong; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Latvia; Lebanon; Libya; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macao; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Mauritania; Moldova; Monaco; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Myanmar; Nepal; Netherlands; Niger; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation; San Marino; Saudi Arabia; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Canary Is.); Sudan; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan; Viet Nam; Yemen
Brunei Darussalam; Chad; Faroe Islands; Gambia; Iceland; Malaysia; Mali; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Western Sahara
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 23100000
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): 4500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population is estimated to number > c.1,500,000 individuals (Ferguson-Lees et al. 2001), while national population estimates include: c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs, c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in China; < c.50 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in Taiwan; c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in Korea; c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. In Europe, trends since 1980 have been stable, based on provisional data for 21 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands; P. Vorisek in litt. 2008).
For further information about this species, see 22695624_accipiter_nisus.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
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]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour The species is migratory in the north of its range, with these birds wintering in southern Europe, southern Asia and less commonly in Africa (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Further south, birds tend to be resident or dispersive (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Migrants move south between July and November, returning between March and June (Snow and Perrins 1998). Birds are generally solitary, except when nesting, and tend to migrate singly although large concentrations do form at narrow sea crossings (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Habitat It mainly inhabits forest, although preferring this to be interspersed with open areas (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Diet Small birds make up the vast majority of its diet (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Breeding site The nest is built in the lower crown of trees, on a fork or branch (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Management information Population trends are generally stable or increasing in areas where persecution has been controlled (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 7.2
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Widespread persecution, especially from gamekeepers, in the 20th century caused large numbers of the birds to be killed (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Sharp declines in Europe in the 1950s-1960s were driven by the use of harmful organochlorine pesticides, which causes direct mortality of adults as well as reduced breeding success. The species is still trapped in its thousands annually in Turkey, where it is used by falconers, but habitat alteration is thought to be the major contemporary threat (del Hoyo et al. 1994). It is also highly vulnerable to the impacts of potential wind energy developments (Strix 2012).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2013. Accipiter nisus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T22695624A40700313. . Downloaded on 08 October 2015.
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