Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Falconiformes Falconidae

Scientific Name: Falco eleonorae
Species Authority: Géné, 1839
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Eleonora's Falcon
French Faucon d'Eléonore
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): Burfield, I., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N.
This species has a very 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 10 years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in 10 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:
Algeria; Bulgaria; Comoros; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; Eritrea; France; Gibraltar; Greece; Israel; Italy; Kenya; Lebanon; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Malawi; Malta; Mayotte; Montenegro; Morocco; Portugal; Serbia (Serbia); Somalia; Spain (Canary Is.); Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Tanzania, United Republic of; Tunisia; Turkey
Côte d'Ivoire; Denmark; Djibouti; French Southern Territories; Hungary; Jordan; Libya; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mozambique; Poland; Réunion; Rwanda; Seychelles; South Africa; Sweden; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Yemen
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 140000
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
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In Europe (which covers >95% of the breeding range), the breeding population is estimated to be 5,900-6,200 breeding pairs, equating to 11,800-12,600 mature individuals or 17,700-18,600 individuals in total (BirdLife International 2004).

Trend Justification:  The population is declining owing to over exploitation of chicks and eggs and loss of habitat caused by an increase in tourism development (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
For further information about this species, see 22696442_falco_eleonorae.pdf.
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Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 11800-12400 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 fully migratory, leaving its Mediterranean breeding grounds in October and November to winter in Madagascar, East Africa and the Mascarene Islands. The return journey begins in late April and May (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Birds are known to fly as high as 1,000 m during the breeding season (Snow and Perrins 1998). They are generally gregarious (though sometimes solitary), tending to move in small and loose flocks, and on migration often associating with other species flying at high altitudes, including F. subbuteo (Snow and Perrins 1998, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). They hunt mainly at twilight (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Habitat Birds usually breed and stop over on small islands and islets, wintering mainly in open woodland on Madagascar (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Diet It feeds on large flying insects and small birds (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Breeding site Birds nest in the holes and ledges of sea cliffs, or on the ground (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Management information The species appears to require very peaceful or uninhabited islands on which to breed, with direct exploitation and development both shown to be negative consequences of close proximity to people; effective protection has led to strong recoveries where implemented (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 6.4
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The species has historically suffered from exploitation and persecution brought about by local people. Human disturbance associated with tourism development has also been shown to negatively influence birds’ breeding success (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Predation by rats is also possibly important on some breeding islands (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The species is vulnerable to the effects of potential wind energy development (Strix 2012).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2013. Falco eleonorae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T22696442A40714293. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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