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White-necked Hawk Buteogallus lacernulatus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it is assumed to have a small population, which is fragmented and likely to be declining as a result of continued habitat loss and direct persecution.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Taxonomic note
Buteogallus lacernulatus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Leucopternis.

Leucopternis lacernulata BirdLife International (2000), Leucopternis lacernulata Collar and Andrew (1988), Leucopternis lacernulata BirdLife International (2004), Leucopternis lacernulata Collar et al. (1994), Leucopternis lacernulata Stotz et al. (1996), Leucopternis lacernulata Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Leucopternis lacernulatus (Temminck, 1827)

43-48 cm. Medium-sized, black-and-white forest raptor. White head, washed grey on hindcrown, neck and upper back. All-white underparts. Black back and wings, some faint whitish mottling on tertials. Broad, rounded wings. Short white tail, with black base and thin apical band. Yellow iris, cere and legs. Immature has dark streaks on crown and nape, rufous-brown tips to wing-coverts and scapulars. Similar spp. Mantled Hawk L. polionota has some black mottling on upper back, white tips to secondaries and no black on tip of tail. Voice Not reported.

Distribution and population
Leucopternis lacernulatus occurs in the Atlantic forest of east Brazil (Paraíba in 1949 (Pacheco and Whitney 1995), Alagoas, central (T. A. de Melo Júnior in litt. 1999) and south Bahia, east Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and extreme east Paraná and Santa Catarina). Although considered common around 1830, the paucity of recent records suggest that it is uncommon in isolated forest patches, with a small overall population.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A moderate and on-going population decline is suspected based on rates of habitat destruction and persecution.

It appears largely confined to patches of primary lowland forest up to 900 m (but to 2,890 m in Minas Gerais [Machado et al. 1998]), where it occurs in the midstorey. In Minas Gerais, it has also been recorded in secondary habitats (capoeiras, Eucalyptus plantations), but always close to areas of extensive, more pristine, forest cover (Machado et al. 1998). It appears to specialise in invertebrate prey, feeding on those disturbed by other animals (including Eciton army ants, a human with a lawn-mower, foraging birds and monkeys) (Martuscelli 1996). A recent study of prey revealed grasshoppers, stick insects and a gastropod Megalobulimus paranaguensis (Martuscelli 1996). Stomach contents of three individuals also indicate a primarily invertebrate diet, including spiders and insects, although other prey, including birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, have been reported.

It is primarily at risk from habitat destruction, which is compounded by its low density and highly fragmented range. Unwarranted persecution as a predator of domestic animals remains a problem in São Paulo and Minas Gerais (Machado et al. 1998).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It occurs in at least 14 protected areas, but the distances between them, and the low density of the species, means that they do not guarantee long-term security. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey suitable habitat, particularly in the Jequitinhonha valley, Minas Gerais, and central Bahia. Consolidate protected areas where it occurs. Maintain and create habitat corridors between forest fragments. Initiate awareness programmes to address hunting problems.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Machado, A. B. M.; da Fonseca, G. A. B.; Machado, R. B.; Aguiar, L. M. De S.; Lins, L. V. 1998. Livro Vermelho: das espécies ameaçadas de extinça1o da fauna de Minas Gerais. Fundaça1o Biodiversitas, Belo Horizonte.

Martuscelli, P. 1996. Hunting behaviour of the Mantled Hawk Leucopternis polionota and the White-necked Hawk L. lacernulata in southeastern Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 116: 114-116.

Pacheco, J. F.; Whitney, B. M. 1995. Range extensions for some birds in northeastern Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 115: 157-163.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

De Luca, A., Develey, P., Melo Júnior, T.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Buteogallus lacernulatus. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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 Vulnerable
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author (Temminck, 1827)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 72,600 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species