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LC
Little Owl Athene noctua

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 not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass 171 g

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 26,700,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Stable -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 4.4 - - -
Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 560,000-1,300,000 breeding pairs, equating to 1,680,000-3,900,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 25-49% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 5,000,000-15,000,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. National population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in China; < c.100 breeding pairs and < c.50 individuals on migration in Korea and c.100-100,000 breeding pairs in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant       Yes
Albania Native Extant Yes      
Algeria Native Extant       Yes
Andorra Native Extant       Yes
Armenia Native Extant Yes      
Austria Native Extant       Yes
Azerbaijan Native Extant       Yes
Belarus Native Extant       Yes
Belgium Native Extant       Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes      
Bulgaria Native Extant       Yes
Chad Native Extant       Yes
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes      
Croatia Native Extant       Yes
Cyprus Native Extant       Yes
Czech Republic Native Extant       Yes
Denmark Native Extant       Yes
Djibouti Native Extant       Yes
Egypt Native Extant       Yes
Eritrea Native Extant       Yes
Ethiopia Native Extant       Yes
Finland Vagrant Extant   Yes    
France Native Extant       Yes
Georgia Native Extant Yes      
Germany Native Extant Yes      
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant       Yes
Greece Native Extant       Yes
Hungary Native Extant       Yes
India Native Extant Yes      
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Iraq Native Extant       Yes
Ireland Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Israel Native Extant Yes      
Italy Native Extant       Yes
Jordan Native Extant       Yes
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kuwait Native Extant       Yes
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes      
Latvia Native Extant       Yes
Lebanon Native Extant       Yes
Libya Native Extant       Yes
Liechtenstein Native Possibly Extinct Yes      
Lithuania Native Extant       Yes
Luxembourg Native Extant       Yes
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Mali Native Extant       Yes
Malta Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Mauritania Native Extant       Yes
Moldova Native Extant       Yes
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes      
Morocco Native Extant       Yes
Nepal Native Extant Yes      
Netherlands Native Extant       Yes
New Zealand Introduced Extant Yes      
Niger Native Extant       Yes
North Korea Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Norway Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Oman Native Extant       Yes
Pakistan Native Extant Yes      
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant       Yes
Poland Native Extant Yes      
Portugal Native Extant       Yes
Qatar Native Extant       Yes
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
Serbia Native Extant Yes      
Slovakia Native Extant       Yes
Slovenia Native Extant       Yes
Somalia Native Extant       Yes
South Korea Native Extant Yes      
Spain Native Extant       Yes
Sudan Native Extant       Yes
Sweden Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Switzerland Native Extant       Yes
Syria Native Extant       Yes
Tajikistan Native Extant Yes      
Tunisia Native Extant       Yes
Turkey Native Extant       Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Ukraine Native Extant       Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant       Yes
United Kingdom Native Extant       Yes
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      
Western Sahara Native Extant Yes      
Yemen Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Bulgaria Kamchiyska Mountain site factsheet
Bulgaria Ludogorie site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Balkan site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Strandzha site factsheet
Cyprus Akamas and Agia Aikaterini – Agia Paraskevi Gorges site factsheet
Cyprus Diarizos Valley site factsheet
Cyprus Karpasia Peninsula - Kleides Islands site factsheet
Cyprus Pentadaktylos Mountains site factsheet
Cyprus Xeros Valley and Hannoutaris Cliffs site factsheet
France Crau site factsheet
France Plateau de Valensole site factsheet
Germany Niers valley site factsheet
Greece Antikhassia mountains and Meteora site factsheet
Greece Central Rodos and the areas of Lindos, Mesanagros and Katavia-Prassonisi site factsheet
Greece Mounts Dias, Mavrovouni and Koronos site factsheet
Greece Southern Mani, Mount Sanghias and Cape Tenaro site factsheet
Greece Thessaly plain site factsheet
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Pelagonia site factsheet
Portugal Castro Verde plains site factsheet
Spain Mountains of Barcelona site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable resident
Grassland Temperate suitable resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Shrubland Boreal suitable resident
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 2600 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Utilisation

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 (2014) Species factsheet: Athene noctua. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/08/2014.

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 (Scopoli, 1769)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 26,700,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change