|Scientific Name:||Buteo socotraensis|
|Species Authority:||Porter and Kirwan, 2010|
|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.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Vulnerable D1 ver 3.1|
|Reviewer/s:||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.|
This species qualifies as Vulnerable because its population is estimated to be very small, although there is no evidence of a decline in the population, nor is there evidence of any serious and immediate threats, thus it is suspected to be stable.
|Range Description:||Buteo socotraensis was recently described, having been first collected in 1899, and has been assigned to species rank (Porter and Kirwan 2010). It is endemic to the island of Socotra, Yemen. Surveys carried out between 1999 and 2008 suggest that the population numbers fewer than 250 pairs, thus there are probably fewer than 500 mature individuals. There are insufficient data available to establish whether the species's status or population have changed since the first ornithological visits to Socotra in the 1880s (Porter and Kirwan 2010), thus the population is assumed to be stable in the absence of any evidence for trends or significant threats.|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||Surveys carried out between 1999 and 2008 suggest that the population numbers fewer than 250 pairs, thus there are probably fewer than 500 mature individuals. It is placed in the band 250-999 individuals in total, with a mature population likely numbering between 250-500.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||The species is a resident of foothills and plateaux, usually where there are deep ravines, from sea-level to at least 1,370 m, but is most common at 150-800 m (Porter and Kirwan 2010). It is likely to require steep cliffs for nesting. Its diet almost certainly consists exclusively of reptiles, invertebrates and perhaps nestlings. Breeding takes place between September and May. Nests are constructed with twigs and located on a cliff-ledge or crevice, and are sometimes supported by vegetation. Recorded broods have usually numbered one to two nestlings, but one pair is recorded to have fledged three young (Porter and Kirwan 2010).|
Young birds are occasionally taken from nests in the mistaken belief that they can be sold into the falconry trade; however, it is not known whether this has a significant impact on the species (Porter and Kirwan 2010). The population may be limited by competition for nesting sites from other native cliff-nesting species, such as Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus, Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus and Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis (Porter and Kirwan 2010).
Conservation Actions Underway
Following a Zoning Plan by the government of Yemen in 2000, c.75% of the island is protected in national parks and nature reserves (Porter and Kirwan 2010). The species's habitats are thus in theory well protected; no additional targeted actions are known. The introduced House Crow Corvus splendens was successfully eradicated from Socotra in 2009 after its accidental introduction in 1994 (Suleiman and Taleb 2010).
Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to confirm the population size. Monitor population trends. Study the impacts of potential threats, especially the removal of young birds from nests. Discourage nest-raiding for the falconry trade (Porter and Kirwan 2010) through education campaigns. Enforce laws against the removal of biological material from the island, thereby reducing nest-raiding (Porter and Kirwan 2010). Ensure adequate management of existing protected areas on Socotra (Porter and Kirwan 2010).
|Citation:||BirdLife International 2012. Buteo socotraensis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 May 2013.|
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