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Black Kite Milvus migrans

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2010 Least Concern
2008 Not Recognised
2004 Not Recognised
2000 Not Recognised
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type   Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 65,800,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 46,700,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1000000-6000000 poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Unknown -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.5 - - -
Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 64,000-100,000 breeding pairs, equating to 192,000-300,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 5-24% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 1,000,000-6,000,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
Trend justification: Despite being possibly the most common raptor in the world, the population has declined owing to poisoning, shooting, pollution of water and over-use of pesticides. Modernisation of urban environments and agricultural improvements are also thought to be causing declines locally (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). However, in Europe, trends since 1982 show that populations have undergone a moderate increase (p<0.05), based on provisional data for 21 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands; P. Vorisek in litt. 2008).

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    
Angola Native Extant       Yes
Armenia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Australia Native Extant       Yes
Austria Native Extant Yes      
Azerbaijan Native Extant       Yes
Bahrain Native Extant        
Bangladesh Native Extant       Yes
Belarus Native Extant Yes      
Belgium Native Extant Yes      
Benin Native Extant       Yes
Bhutan Native Extant       Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes      
Botswana Native Extant       Yes
Brunei Native Extant       Yes
Bulgaria Native Extant     Yes Yes
Burkina Faso Native Extant       Yes
Burundi Native Extant       Yes
Cambodia Native Extant       Yes
Cameroon Native Extant       Yes
Cape Verde Native Extant       Yes
Central African Republic Native Extant       Yes
Chad Native Extant       Yes
China (mainland) Native Extant       Yes
Comoros Native Extant       Yes
Congo Native Extant       Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant       Yes
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant       Yes
Croatia Native Extant Yes      
Czech Republic Native Extant Yes      
Denmark Native Extant     Yes  
Djibouti Native Extant       Yes
Egypt Native Extant       Yes
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Eritrea Native Extant       Yes
Estonia Native Extant Yes      
Ethiopia Native Extant       Yes
Finland Native Extant Yes      
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gabon Native Extant       Yes
Gambia Native Extant       Yes
Georgia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Germany Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Ghana Native Extant       Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant     Yes  
Greece Native Extant     Yes Yes
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant       Yes
Hungary Native Extant Yes      
Iceland Vagrant Extant        
India Native Extant        
Indonesia Native Extant       Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant     Yes Yes
Iraq Native Extant     Yes Yes
Ireland Vagrant Extant        
Israel Native Extant Yes      
Italy Native Extant     Yes Yes
Japan Native Extant       Yes
Jordan Native Extant     Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant       Yes
Kuwait Native Extant        
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes      
Laos Native Extant       Yes
Latvia Native Extant Yes      
Lebanon Native Extant        
Lesotho Native Extant       Yes
Liberia Native Extant       Yes
Libya Native Extant       Yes
Liechtenstein Native Extant Yes      
Lithuania Native Extant Yes      
Luxembourg Native Extant Yes      
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant Yes      
Madagascar Native Extant       Yes
Malawi Native Extant       Yes
Malaysia Native Extant       Yes
Mali Native Extant       Yes
Malta Native Extant     Yes  
Mauritania Native Extant       Yes
Mayotte (to France) Native Extant       Yes
Moldova Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes      
Morocco Native Extant       Yes
Mozambique Native Extant       Yes
Myanmar Native Extant       Yes
Namibia Native Extant       Yes
Nepal Native Extant       Yes
Netherlands Native Extant Yes      
Niger Native Extant       Yes
Nigeria Native Extant       Yes
North Korea Native Extant       Yes
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Norway Vagrant Extant        
Oman Native Extant        
Pakistan Native Extant       Yes
Palau Native Extant   Yes    
Papua New Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Philippines Native Extant       Yes
Poland Native Extant Yes      
Portugal Native Extant Yes      
Qatar Native Extant     Yes  
Romania Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Rwanda Native Extant       Yes
São Tomé e Príncipe Native Extant       Yes
Saudi Arabia Native Extant Yes      
Senegal Native Extant        
Serbia Native Extant Yes      
Seychelles Vagrant Extant        
Sierra Leone Native Extant       Yes
Singapore Native Extant       Yes
Slovakia Native Extant Yes      
Slovenia Native Extant Yes      
Somalia Native Extant       Yes
South Africa Native Extant       Yes
South Korea Native Extant       Yes
South Sudan Native Extant Yes Yes    
Spain Native Extant     Yes Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant       Yes
Sudan Native Extant Yes Yes    
Swaziland Native Extant       Yes
Sweden Native Extant Yes      
Switzerland Native Extant Yes      
Syria Native Extant Yes      
Taiwan (China) Native Extant       Yes
Tajikistan Native Extant Yes      
Tanzania Native Extant       Yes
Thailand Native Extant       Yes
Timor-Leste Native Extant       Yes
Togo Native Extant       Yes
Tunisia Native Extant Yes      
Turkey Native Extant     Yes Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Uganda Native Extant       Yes
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant     Yes  
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Vagrant Extant        
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      
Vietnam Native Extant       Yes
Western Sahara Native Extant       Yes
Yemen Native Extant Yes      
Zambia Native Extant       Yes
Zimbabwe Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Hungary Szigetköz site factsheet
Lithuania Asveja Regional Park site factsheet
Lithuania Initial area of Aukstaitija NP site factsheet
Lithuania Kauno Marios water reservoir & eastern coastal zone site factsheet
Lithuania Labanoras Regional Park site factsheet
Lithuania Lithuanian part of the Curonian Spit site factsheet
Lithuania The part of the Grazute RP site factsheet
Poland Augustów forest site factsheet
Poland Drawa River Site site factsheet
Poland Forest at Gwda River site factsheet
Poland Lower Odra river valley site factsheet
Poland Lower Silesia Forests site factsheet
Poland Middle Odra River Valley site factsheet
Poland Notec Forest site factsheet
Poland Oak-hornbeam forests in the Odra valley site factsheet
Poland Pisz forest site factsheet
Poland Witnica-Debno Site site factsheet
Slovenia Črete site factsheet
Slovenia Spodnja Sava site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable non-breeding
Desert Hot suitable breeding
Desert Hot suitable non-breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable non-breeding
Forest Temperate suitable breeding
Forest Temperate suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable non-breeding
Savanna Dry suitable breeding
Savanna Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 4900 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 5300 m

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Milvus migrans. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/08/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/08/2015.

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 Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author (Boddaert, 1783)
Population size 1000000-6000000 mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 65,800,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment