22734972-1

Milvus migrans 

Scope: Europe
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Milvus migrans (Boddaert, 1783)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Black Kite
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.
Taxonomic Notes: Milvus migrans and M. lineatus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) have been lumped following AERC TAC, a treatment supported by review by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group of the Milvus phylogeny presented by Johnson et al. (2005) which nests lineatus within the migrans clade. Johnson et al. (2005) show that yellow-billed populations belonging to aegyptius and parasitus do form a separate clade but the authors point out that further studies are needed to help clarify sister relationships within the group. For these reasons it is felt premature to split members of M. migrans.

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
Justification:
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 is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds 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 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 the EU27.

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Native:
Albania; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (European Russia); Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Canary Is.); Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine
Vagrant:
Iceland; Ireland; Norway; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:7020000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme 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):1000
Range Map:22734972-1

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 81,200-109,000 pairs, which equates to 162,000-218,000 mature individuals. The population in the EU27 is estimated at 47,500-52,900 pairs, which equates to 94,900-106,000 mature individuals. For details of national estimates, see the Supplementary Material.

Trend Justification:  In Europe the population size trend is unknown. In 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 22734972_milvus_migrans.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:162000-218000,187000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
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 is found almost ubiquitously throughout habitats. It inhabits semi-deserts, cultivated areas and fragmented woodland, preferring areas below 1,000 m with adjacent aquatic environments. In Europe, unlike elsewhere in its range, it generally avoids breeding in urban areas (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). It arrives at its breeding grounds between February and May (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001) and can be loosely colonial or a solitary breeder. Eggs are laid between March and June. It normally nests in the fork or on the branch of a tree but will also use cliff ledges and man-made structures.

The nest is constructed from sticks and lined with materials such as rags, plastic, paper, dung or skin and it, or at least the nest site, will be re-used annually. Clutch size is normally two or three eggs. An extremely versatile feeder, it takes carrion as well as live birds, mammals, fish, lizards, amphibians and invertebrates. Also human refuse has become a plentiful food source in many areas. The species is mainly migratory, with birds from Europe wintering in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East (Orta and Marks 2014). It is generally a gregarious species, with birds often roosting communally and migrating in scattered flocks (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Orta and Marks 2014).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):11.5
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species has suffered historically as a result of poisoning, shooting and the pollution of water by pesticides and other chemicals (Orta and Marks 2014). Carcass poisoning and water pollution continues to drive declines in Europe. Whilst it is well-suited to the presence of humans, particularly in terms of its diet, the modernisation of cities has been shown to reduce available habitat (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). It is very highly vulnerable to the effects of potential wind energy development (Strix 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. CMS Appendix II. EU Birds Directive Annex I. Bern Convention Appendix II. There are no known conservation actions currently in place.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Stricter legislation against poisoning, shooting and pollution should be developed and enforced. Suitable impact assessments should be made for wind energy developments.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Milvus migrans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22734972A60310651. . Downloaded on 23 April 2018.
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