Falco deiroleucus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Falconiformes Falconidae

Scientific Name: Falco deiroleucus Temminck, 1825
Common Name(s):
English Orange-breasted Falcon
Spanish Halcón Pechianaranjado, Halcón Pechirrojo, Halcón Pechirrufo, Halcón Plomizo
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: Typical medium-sized falcon with a loud acsiiiiiic call. Overall colouration very dark. Underparts mainly orange, with black barring. Iris brown; bill dark with yellow base and cere; legs yellow-orange.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Berry, R., Donegan, T., Lees, A. & Panjabi, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N. & Taylor, J.

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, as well as evidence of declines elsewhere within its extensive range, it is suspected that the total population of this species is undergoing ongoing declines at the rate of 25-30% over three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Near Threatened.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Falco deiroleucus has a range covering much of Latin America. The most northerly limit of its distribution is in southern Mexico. In 1992, a total of 10 pairs were known from Belize and Tikal National Park, Guatemala. The species is known from throughout southern Central America, through El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama to Colombia, where it is very rare (del Hoyo et al. 1994). From there, its range extends eastwards through Venezuela, where it is considered scarce and local with most known pairs in remote locations (Hilty 2003, Restall et al. 2006). In Guyana and Suriname it is also scarce, and likewise in French Guiana, although here it is at least widespread. It is scarce in Trinidad and Tobago, with no records from the latter island. It is rare in Ecuador, and is also known to range through Brazil and Bolivia to Paraguay, north Argentina (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Restall et al. 2006), and was recorded for the first time in Chile, at Calama, in 2007 (Jara 2008). Declines in territory occupancy, average annual fledgling production per pair and the overall breeding productivity of the population were noted between 1992-1997 and 2003-2009 in Belize (Berry et al. 2010), and these declines continue (R. B. Berry in litt. 2011). The small population (c.30 pairs) in Belize and Guatemala appears to be isolated (Berry et al. 2010, R. B. Berry in litt. 2011), and an analysis of historical and contemporary records suggests that the species has been extirpated from much of Central America and southern Mexico, and that its range is contracting in South America (Berry et al. 2010). The species is thus suspected to have declined overall, owing primarily to continued habitat loss and fragmentation, and this negative trend is projected to continue (Bird et al. 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Possibly extinct:
Costa Rica
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:16300000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Partners in Flight estimated the population to number fewer than 50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008), thus it is placed in the band 20,000-49,999 individuals here.

Trend Justification:  This species is suspected to lose 23.9-27.5% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (18 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It has some tolerance of forest degradation, but is poorly known and therefore suspected to decline by a rate approaching 30% over three generations.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species occurs in a range of habitats, including lowland forest, savanna edges, drier regions such as the Chaco, and subtropical mountain slopes. It also occurs in human-modified landscapes, but only if mature forest is the dominant habitat (Berry et al. 2010). It is found mostly up to 1,100 m, but has been recorded at c.2,900 m (Carrión and Vargas 2008). It is a highly specialised hunter of flying prey, mainly birds, but also bats. In Guatemala and Belize, courtship begins in February and offspring fledge in May and June. The nest is built on a cliff face, or rarely in a tree, often near water (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Berry et al. 2010).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):6.2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon Basin (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011), although the clearance, fragmentation and degradation of its forest habitat is expected to be a significant threat to the species throughout much of its range. The species, however, exhibits some tolerance of forest fragmentation and degradation, being recorded in modified landscapes with cultivated fields, orchards and pastures (Berry et al. 2010), and it has been found nesting in dead trees in cattle pastures (A. Lees in litt. 2011). This suggests that it is not in rapid decline as a result. A further problem associated with habitat loss appears to be its displacement from nest sites by Black Vulture Coragyps atratus, whose arrival is linked to human occupation and deforestation (del Hoyo et al. 1994). The construction at three hydroelectric dams along the Macal River, Belize, initiated in 1993 and still on-going today, has been implicated in the loss of two territories in the 1990s, and has exposed two still active territories to an influx of construction workers, increased public access, the risk of electrocution and collision with powerlines, and increased numbers of Black Vultures (Berry et al. 2010). The species may suffer a low level of direct persecution by humans, and average nesting success appears to be depressed by frequent predation, at least in some areas. The species may also be negatively impacted by the presence of Africanised Bees. In addition, the species is affected by high tourist traffic in the vicinity of some breeding sites (Berry et al. 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
This species occurs in a number of protected areas throughout its extensive range. Fundación ProAves Colombia has designated a reserve in the East Andes specifically for the protection of this species (T. Donegan in litt. 2012). The experimental introduction of captive-bred birds of Panamanian origin is being carried out in the Mountain Pine Ridge of Belize, which should reveal whether inbreeding depression has been the cause of lowered breeding productivity (Berry et al. 2010).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out a periodic meta-analysis of all known records and conduct further surveys to study the species's range, population size and trends. Monitor habitat trends across its range. Encourage the protection of nests by land-owners. Investigate methods for reducing the impacts of Black Vultures and other predators and nest competitors (Berry et al. 2010). Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Falco deiroleucus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22696516A93569126. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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