email a friend
printable version
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 29,300,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 29,300,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 7.2 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number > c.2,000,000 individuals (Rich et al. 2004), while national population estimates include: c.100-100,000 breeding pairs in China; < c.1,000 wintering individuals in Korea and c.100-100,000 breeding pairs in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: This species has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (-71.2% decline over 40 years, equating to a -26.7% decline per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). Note, however, that these surveys cover less than 50% of the species's range in North America.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant     Yes  
Albania Native Extant        
Algeria Native Extant        
Argentina Native Extant        
Armenia Native Extant Yes      
Austria Native Extant       Yes
Azerbaijan Native Extant       Yes
Bahrain Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Bangladesh Native Extant        
Belarus Native Extant       Yes
Belgium Native Extant     Yes Yes
Belize Vagrant Extant        
Bermuda (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Bhutan Vagrant Extant        
Bolivia Native Extant        
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes      
Brazil Native Extant        
Brunei Vagrant Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant   Yes    
Cameroon Vagrant Extant        
Canada Native Extant     Yes Yes
Cape Verde Vagrant Extant        
Cayman Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
Chad Vagrant Extant        
Chile Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes      
Colombia Native Extant        
Costa Rica Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Croatia Native Extant       Yes
Cuba Native Extant        
Cyprus Native Extant   Yes    
Czech Republic Native Extant       Yes
Denmark Native Extant     Yes Yes
Dominican Republic Native Extant        
Ecuador Native Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Estonia Native Extant       Yes
Ethiopia Native Extant        
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Native Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant        
Finland Native Extant     Yes Yes
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
French Guiana Native Extant        
Georgia Native Extant Yes      
Germany Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) Vagrant Extant        
Greece Native Extant     Yes Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) Vagrant Extant        
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Guatemala Native Extant        
Guinea Native Extant        
Guyana Native Extant        
Haiti Native Extant        
Hong Kong (China) Vagrant Extant        
Hungary Native Extant     Yes Yes
Iceland Native Extant       Yes
India Native Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Iraq Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Ireland Native Extant       Yes
Israel Native Extant Yes      
Italy Native Extant   Yes    
Japan Native Extant        
Jordan Native Extant     Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Vagrant Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant   Yes    
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes      
Laos Native Extant        
Latvia Native Extant Yes      
Lebanon Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Liberia Vagrant Extant        
Libya Native Extant        
Liechtenstein Vagrant Extant        
Lithuania Native Extant       Yes
Luxembourg Native Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Malaysia Vagrant Extant        
Maldives Native Extant        
Mali Native Extant        
Malta Native Extant        
Marshall Islands Native Extant   Yes    
Mauritania Native Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Micronesia, Federated States of Native Extant       Yes
Moldova Native Extant       Yes
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes      
Morocco Native Extant        
Myanmar Native Extant        
Nepal Native Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant       Yes
Niger Vagrant Extant        
North Korea Native Extant        
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Norway Native Extant Yes      
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant        
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Paraguay Native Extant        
Peru Native Extant        
Philippines Vagrant Extant        
Poland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Portugal Native Extant   Yes    
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant        
Qatar Vagrant Extant        
Romania Native Extant       Yes
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes    
Senegal Native Extant        
Serbia Native Extant Yes      
Singapore Vagrant Extant        
Slovakia Native Extant       Yes
Slovenia Native Extant        
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Native Extant        
South Korea Native Extant        
Spain Native Extant       Yes
Sri Lanka Vagrant Extant        
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant     Yes Yes
Sudan Native Extant   Yes    
Suriname Native Extant Yes      
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Vagrant Extant        
Sweden Native Extant     Yes Yes
Switzerland Native Extant        
Syria Native Extant   Yes    
Taiwan (China) Native Extant        
Tajikistan Native Extant        
Thailand Vagrant Extant        
Trinidad and Tobago Vagrant Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant       Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Uganda Vagrant Extant        
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes    
United Kingdom Native Extant       Yes
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Uruguay Native Extant Yes      
USA Native Extant Yes      
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      
Venezuela Native Extant        
Vietnam Native Extant        
Virgin Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
Virgin Islands (to USA) Vagrant Extant        
Yemen Native Extant   Yes    

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Austria Austrian part of Hanság site factsheet
Austria Parndorfer Platte and Heideboden site factsheet
Austria Southern Seewinkel and Zitzmannsdorfer Wiesen site factsheet
Belarus Balota Jel'nia site factsheet
Belarus Balota Zvaniec site factsheet
Belarus Mid Prypiac' site factsheet
Czech Republic Komarov site factsheet
Estonia Pärnu bay (NEW) site factsheet
Estonia Puhatu mire site factsheet
Estonia Väinameri site factsheet
Finland Käsivarsi fjelds site factsheet
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju site factsheet
Finland Litokaira site factsheet
Finland Olvassuo-Oravisuo-Näätäsuo-Sammakkosuo site factsheet
Finland Oulu region wetlands site factsheet
Finland Pomokaira-Koitelaiskaira site factsheet
Finland Saariselkä and Koilliskaira site factsheet
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton site factsheet
France Estuaires picards : baies de Somme et d'Authie site factsheet
France Planèze de Saint-Flour site factsheet
Hungary Bodrogzug–Taktaköz site factsheet
Lithuania Kamanos Strict NR site factsheet
Lithuania Musos tyrelis raised bog with surrounding forest site factsheet
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park site factsheet
Netherlands Ameland: Duinen-Oerd site factsheet
Netherlands Lauwersmeer site factsheet
Netherlands Schiermonnikoog site factsheet
Netherlands Terschelling: Dunes and Noordvaarder site factsheet
Netherlands Texel: Dunes and Hors site factsheet
Norway Dovrefjell site factsheet
Norway Varanger Peninsula site factsheet
Poland Biebrza river valley site factsheet
Poland Nida Rivar Valley site factsheet
Poland Tysmienica river valley site factsheet
Portugal Tejo estuary site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Romania Dumbrăviţa - Rotbav - Măgura Codlei site factsheet
Romania Mândra wetlands site factsheet
Sweden Sjaunja site factsheet
Ukraine Bagerove site factsheet
Ukraine Chonovyny marsh site factsheet
Ukraine Lyman lake site factsheet
Ukraine Samars'kyj forest site factsheet
Ukraine Shats'ki lakes site factsheet
United Kingdom Airds Moss and Muirkirk Uplands site factsheet
United Kingdom Bowland Fells site factsheet
United Kingdom Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands site factsheet
United Kingdom Forest of Clunie site factsheet
United Kingdom Galloway Forest Park site factsheet
United Kingdom Glen App and Galloway Moors site factsheet
United Kingdom Grampian Mountains site factsheet
United Kingdom Humber Estuary site factsheet
United Kingdom Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands site factsheet
United Kingdom Ornkey Mainland Moors site factsheet
United Kingdom Skokholm and Skomer site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate major breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 4300 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Asio flammeus. Downloaded from on 31/08/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 31/08/2015.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Strigidae (Typical Owls)
Species name author (Pontoppidan, 1763)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 29,300,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment