Falco naumanni 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Falconiformes Falconidae

Scientific Name: Falco naumanni Fleischer, 1818
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Lesser Kestrel
French Faucon crécerellette
Spanish Cernícalo Primilla
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Identification information: 29-32 cm. Small falcon. Male has grey head, uniform rusty upperparts, buff underparts with black spots. Grey band from carpal to tertials and black flight feathers. Grey tail with black subterminal band. Female and immature rusty with black barring and streaking and paler underparts. Similar spp. Common Kestrel F. tinnunculus is larger. Male lacks grey band on wing and has black spotting on upperparts and moustachial stripe. Voice Kye-kye but weaker and hoarser than F. tinnunculus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-03-31
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Burfield, I., Ieronymidou, C., Pople, R., Wheatley, H. & Wright, L
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU27 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

In Europe this species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). 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 ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern in Europe.

Within the EU27 this species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). 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 ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern in the EU27.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Falco naumanni breeds in Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar (to UK), France, Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYRO Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Israel, Palestinian Authority Territories, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. Birds winter in southern Spain, southern Turkey, Malta and across much of Africa, particularly South Africa. The European population is estimated at 25,000-42,000 pairs, with half of these in Spain. Several thousand pairs breed outside this range, principally in central Asia. Western Palearctic populations have undergone serious declines, although a few have begun to increase again. The western European population has declined by c.95% since 1950, and the species has disappeared from the Ural region of Russia and from northern Kazakhstan, as well as from the western and central parts of the Balkan Peninsula (Davygora 1998, B. Barov in litt. 2007). However, some populations in south-western and central Europe are stable or increasing (Iñigo and Barov 2010) and eastern breeding populations are also reported to be stable (Galushin 2009). Italy has seen a marked population increase and range expansion since 2000 (N. Baccetti in litt. 2010), and the population in Andalucía, Spain, has increased from c.2,100 pairs in 1988 to c.4,800 in 2009 (J. R. Garrido in litt. 2011). In Kazakhstan, the species appears to be stable or increasing slightly, perhaps in association with the abandonment of villages and livestock stations in the 1990s (J. Kamp in litt. 2010). Coordinated counts of the South African wintering population recorded 117,000 birds in 2005/2006 (van Zyl 2007, A. van Zyl in litt. 2007) and 98,000 birds in 2006/2007 (A. van Zyl in litt. 2007), but it is not clear whether this represents a genuine reduction in numbers or whether the missing birds were wintering elsewhere, most likely in East Africa (A. van Zyl in litt. 2007). An enormous roost discovered in January 2007 in Senegal contained over 28,600 individuals (most likely European/North African breeders).

Countries occurrence:
Albania; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; France; Georgia; Gibraltar; Greece; Italy; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Moldova; Montenegro; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (European Russia); Serbia; Spain; Turkey; Ukraine
Regionally extinct:
Austria; Czech Republic; Slovakia; Slovenia
Belgium; Denmark; Germany; Ireland; Liechtenstein; Sweden; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:2420000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):2600
Range Map:22696357-1

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 30,500-38,000 pairs, which equates to 61,000-76,100 mature individuals. The population in the EU27 is estimated at 25,700-29,300 pairs, which equates to 51,500-58,600 mature individuals. For details of national estimates, see the Supplementary Material.

Trend Justification:  In Europe and the EU27 the population size is estimated to be increasing. For details of national estimates, see attached PDF.
For further information about this species, see 22696357_falco_naumanni.pdf.
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Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:61000-76100,67600Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is usually a colonial breeder, often in the vicinity of human settlements. It forages in steppe-like habitats, natural and managed grasslands, and non-intensive cultivation. It is mainly migratory, with most breeders overwintering in sub-Saharan Africa, although some travel to parts of north-west Africa, southern Europe and southern Asia. Migrants leave their breeding grounds in September and return between February and April (Orta and Kirwan 2015). It migrates in flocks of varying sizes, usually tens to low hundreds, often with other falcons such as F. tinnunculus, F. vespertinus and F. amurensis (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Large numbers, sometimes up to thousands, gather at roosts on migration (Orta and Kirwan 2015). They cross water bodies readily on a broad front, flying high enough to be barely detectable; they fly lower over land (often c.20–30 m), particularly on northward migration (Brown et al. 1982, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). It breeds colonially and egg-laying occurs mainly in May, nesting mainly in human constructions, such as large old buildings, houses, walls and ruins, in towns or on the outskirts but also uses natural sites, for example rock faces, clay banks and quarries, and occasionally old corvid nests. The nest is placed in a hollow or below eaves, and it has also taken readily to artificial nesting boxes in some areas. Clutches are normally three to six eggs. It feeds mostly on aerial and terrestrial insects. It is a trans-Saharan migrant although some birds winter in southern Europe and northern Africa (Orta and Kirwan 2015).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5.7
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main cause of its decline was habitat loss and degradation in its western Palearctic breeding grounds, primarily a result of agricultural intensification, but also afforestation and urbanisation. The use of pesticides may cause direct mortality, but is probably more important in reducing prey populations. The neglect or restoration of old buildings has resulted in the loss of nest-sites (Davygora 1998, J.-P. Biber in litt. 1999). At La Crau in southern France, where such nest sites are rare, a population increase in the 1990s may be linked to the progressive selection of ground nests in stone piles, reducing interspecific and intraspecific competition (Prugnolle et al. 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II, CMS Appendix I and II. Research and management of the species, its sites and habitats have been carried out in France, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Israel, Jordan and South Africa. A European action plan has been published.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Encourage surveys and monitoring. Research limiting factors and habitat management. Promote national action plans. Promote appropriate agricultural policies, control of pesticides and zoned forestry. Construct artificial nests. Protect colonies. Encourage legal protection.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Falco naumanni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22696357A60134112. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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