Falco peregrinus 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Falconiformes Falconidae

Scientific Name: Falco peregrinus Tunstall, 1771
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Peregrine Falcon
Falco pelegrinoides Temminck, 1829
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. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Taxonomic Notes: Falco peregrinus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously split as F. peregrinus and F. pelegrinoides following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

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)

At both European and EU27 scales 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 within both Europe and the EU27.

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Albania; Andorra; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Greenland; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (European Russia); Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Canary Is.); Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Faroe Islands; Iceland
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:4950000
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):3300
Range Map:45354964-1

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 14,900-28,800 pairs, which equates to 29,700-57,600 mature individuals. The population in the EU27 is estimated at 9,700-11,900 pairs, which equates to 19,300-23,800 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 45354964_falco_peregrinus.pdf.
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Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:29700-57600,38300Continuing 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:

Birds are highly migratory in the temperate and Arctic parts of its range, moving from Europe to Africa. Those breeding at lower latitudes tend to be resident (White et al. 2013). Migrating birds leave their breeding sites between August and November, and return between March and May (Snow and Perrins 1998). Migrants readily fly over expanses of sea and ocean. Most birds travel singly or in pairs, even on migration (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). It inhabits a wide variety of habitats, tolerating wet and dry, hot and cool climates. Birds make up most of its diet, principally pigeons and doves. Egg-laying occurs from February to March in northern temperate zones and eggs are usually laid in a scrape or depression in a rock face, with no nest being built (White et al. 2013). Clutches are usually three to four eggs (Snow and Perrins 1998).

Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):6.8
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Historically, the species was affected by shooting in the U.K., notably during the Second World War (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Persecution throughout its range was the major threat in the 19th and early 20th centuries (Snow and Perrins 1998). Severe population declines in the 1960s–1970s were driven by eggshell breakage and mortality of adults and embryos from the hydrocarbon contamination associated with pesticides of that time (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, White et al. 2013). The species is used extensively in falconry, although the population-level impacts of this are uncertain (White et al. 2013). It is highly vulnerable to the effects of potential wind energy development (Strix 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway

Bern Convention Appendix II. CMS Appendix II. CITES Appendix I. EU Birds Directive Annex I. The tree-nesting population in central and eastern Europe declined from c. 4,000 pairs to extirpation, before restoration efforts in Germany and Poland returned it to c. 20 pairs. Populations recovered following the ban of harmful hydrocarbons in most countries, which appears important to the birds' survival (White et al. 2013). Surveillance of nests and other direct protection measures have been successful in permitting population increases (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Conservation Actions Proposed

Significant further efforts are needed to fully restore it across its former range, which included Germany, Poland, Russia, Belarus and the Baltic States (European Peregrine Falcon Working Group in litt. 2007). Most importantly, harmful food-chain pollutants should be eliminated and the release of new potentially damaging chemicals prevented; the ban on organochlorine and other highly toxic pesticides should be enforced. Nest surveillance and other direct protection measures should be continued. Monitoring of breeding populations and exposure to toxic pollutants should also continue (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Falco peregrinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T45354964A66705455. . Downloaded on 16 July 2018.
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