Buteo rufinus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Buteo rufinus
Species Authority: (Cretzschmar, 1827)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Long-legged Buzzard
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.
Taxonomic Notes: Buteo buteo (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) was split into B. buteo and B. bannermani by Hazevoet (1995) but Clouet and Wink (2000) and Hazevoet (1995) noted that bannermani has a close genetic affinity with B. rufinus: bannermanni and rufinus are thus currently treated as conspecific pending further study. A previously unnamed Buteo from Socotra (formerly included within B. rufinus by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group) has now been formally named Buteo socotraensis (Porter and Kirwan 2010), and has been recognised as a species by the BTWG.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2013-11-03
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Khwaja, N., Symes, A. & Ashpole, J
This species has an extremely 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). The population trend appears to be fluctuating, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, 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 ten 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:
2013 Least Concern (LC)
2012 Least Concern (LC)
2011 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Not Recognized (NR)
2004 Not Recognized (NR)
2000 Not Recognized (NR)
1994 Not Recognized (NR)
1988 Not Recognized (NR)

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Armenia (Armenia, Armenia); Armenia (Armenia, Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Benin; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Central African Republic; Chad; China; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Mali; Mauritania; Mongolia; Morocco; Myanmar; Nepal; Niger; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia (Serbia, Serbia); Serbia (Serbia, Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; South Sudan; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Western Sahara; Yemen
Belarus; Belgium; Botswana; Denmark; Finland; France; Gambia; Ghana; Malawi; Malta; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Somalia; Sweden; Switzerland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 8890000
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
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3900
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The European population is estimated at 11,800-19,200 pairs, which equates to 23,700-38,400 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 17% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 139,000-226,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. It is placed in the band 100,000 to 499,999 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to fluctuate in response to vole populations (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The European trend is currently estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015) however accounting for fluctuations the global population trend for this species is estimated to be stable.

Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 100000-499999 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 North African birds are resident, but birds breeding in Eurasia migrate south to North Africa and southern Asia, leaving their breeding grounds in August and September and returning in March and April (del Hoyo et al. 1994). It is generally observed singly, in pairs or in small family groups, but is more gregarious on migration when larger flocks can form (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Habitat It is a species of open areas, particularly steppe and semi-desert, and has been recorded up to 3,500 m (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Diet It feeds mainly on small mammals (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Breeding site The nest is made on cliff ledges and crags (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Management information Birds require sufficient outcrops, trees or disused nests on which to build their own nests (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 9.8
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The population in Israel declined as a result of pesticide poisoning in the 1950s, but has since recovered (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001), however afforestation remains a threat (Friedemann et al. 2011). It is very highly vulnerable to the impacts of potential wind energy developments (Strix 2012). The species is also threatened by habitat destruction through agricultural intensification which may also reduce prey species. An increase in orchards and vineyards has reduced suitable habitat in Bulgaria (Demerdzhiev et al. 2014). Electrocution has also caused fatalities (Mebs and Schmidt 2006). In Saudi Arabia, stone quarrying has reduced populations (Global Raptor Information Network 2015). In China, rubbish and waste materials used in nest construction were identified as potential causes of nest failures (Wu et al. 2008). In its Sahelian range, the species is vulnerable to habitat degradation through wood harvesting, overgrazing, burning and exposure to pesticides (Thiollay 2007).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Buteo rufinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22736562A80336186. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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