Phalcoboenus australis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Phalcoboenus australis
Species Authority: (Gmelin, 1788)
Common Name(s):
English Striated Caracara, Forster's Caracara
Spanish Matamico Estriado, Caracara Austral, Matamico Grande, Tiuque Cordillerano Austral

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Woods, R.W.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Mansur, E., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small population.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Phalcoboenus australis is restricted to isolated shores, rookeries and islets off extreme south Argentina and Chile, including the south and east coasts of Isla Grande on Tierra del Fuego, Isla de los Estados, Navarino and Cape Horn, and the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) (Bierregaard 1994, Strange 1996). It is rare in much of its range (Bierregaard 1994), but locally numerous on some of the smaller islands in the west Falklands (Strange 1996, Woods and Woods 1997). In 1983-1992, the population on the Falklands was estimated at 500-900 breeding pairs, with more recent surveys suggesting 500-650 pairs (R. Woods in litt. 1998). A 2006 survey found that the breeding population had not increased despite the species being protected by law since 1999 but was stable at around 500 pairs (R. Woods 2006).

Argentina; Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 1,000-2,499 mature individuals. This equates to 1,500-3,749 individuals in total, rounded here to 1,500-4,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in open lowlands, from the tidal zone perhaps to low coastal mountains, and most typically along rocky coasts (Bierregaard 1994), feeding on dead adults and chicks of colonial seabirds, and insects and grubs along the tidal zone (Bierregaard 1994). It will attack weak or stranded sheep and, in groups, wild geese (Canevari et al. 1991).

Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It was heavily persecuted in the past on the Falklands (Bierregaard 1994), and is much reduced in numbers (Woods 1988). The immature population is probably only capable of replacing losses in the breeding population (Strange 1996), but none of the populations seem to be facing any major threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It is officially protected by Falklands Islands (Malvinas) law.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor breeding population on at least one island (including ringing to monitor juvenile mortality rate) (R. Woods 2006). Study ecology, dispersal, population dynamics and survival (R. Woods 2006). Assess incidence of damage to livestock and evaluate impact of species on sheep farming, then begin dialogue with farmers (R. Woods 2006).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Phalcoboenus australis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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