email a friend
printable version
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus

IUCN Red List Criteria

Near Threatened (criteria nearly met) A2cde+3cde+4cde 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Near Threatened
2012 Near Threatened
2008 Near Threatened
2006 Near Threatened
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

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


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 5,840,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 16,600,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals medium Estimated 2003
Population trend Decreasing poor -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulation 1001-1000000 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated at 9,000-15,000 pairs.
Trend justification: The species is judged to be in moderately rapid decline overall, based on results from population surveys: A large decline occurred in Europe during 1970-1990 (Tucker and Heath 1994), when up to 30% of birds were lost (particularly from the key population in European Russia), and the species continued to decline in 1990-2000, when overall trends exceeded 30% over three generations (18 years) (BirdLife International 2004a). It appears that the species has been extirpated from Moldova and Belarus, where it bred formerly (Galushin et al. 2003, BirdLife International 2004a).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan Native Extant   Yes Yes
Albania Native Extant   Yes  
Algeria Native Extant   Yes Yes
Angola Native Extant   Yes  
Armenia Native Extant   Yes Yes
Austria Native Extant     Yes
Azerbaijan Native Extant     Yes
Bahrain Native Extant   Yes Yes
Bangladesh Native Extant   Yes  
Belarus Native Extant Yes    
Belgium Vagrant Extant      
Benin Native Extant   Yes  
Bhutan Unknown Extant   Yes  
Botswana Native Extant   Yes  
Bulgaria Native Extant     Yes
Burkina Faso Native Extant      
Burundi Native Extant   Yes  
Cameroon Native Extant   Yes  
Central African Republic Native Extant   Yes  
Chad Native Extant   Yes  
China (mainland) Native Extant      
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant   Yes  
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant   Yes  
Croatia Native Extant     Yes
Cyprus Native Extant   Yes Yes
Czech Republic Native Extant      
Denmark Vagrant Extant Yes   Yes
Djibouti Native Extant   Yes Yes
Egypt Native Extant   Yes Yes
Eritrea Native Extant   Yes Yes
Estonia Vagrant Extant      
Ethiopia Native Extant   Yes Yes
Finland Vagrant Extant      
France Vagrant Extant      
Gambia Native Extant   Yes  
Georgia Native Extant   Yes Yes
Germany Vagrant Extant      
Ghana Native Extant   Yes  
Gibraltar (to UK) Vagrant Extant      
Greece Native Extant   Yes Yes
Guinea Native Extant   Yes  
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant      
Hungary Native Extant Yes   Yes
Iceland Vagrant Extant      
India Native Extant   Yes  
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes Yes
Iraq Native Extant   Yes Yes
Israel Native Extant   Yes Yes
Italy Native Extant   Yes Yes
Japan Vagrant Extant      
Jordan Native Extant   Yes Yes
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes    
Kenya Native Extant   Yes Yes
Kuwait Native Extant     Yes
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes   Yes
Latvia Vagrant Extinct Yes   Yes
Lebanon Native Extant     Yes
Lesotho Vagrant Extant      
Liberia Native Extant   Yes  
Libya Native Extant   Yes Yes
Liechtenstein Vagrant Extant      
Luxembourg Vagrant Extant      
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant      
Malawi Native Extant   Yes  
Malaysia Vagrant Extant      
Maldives Native Extant      
Mali Native Extant   Yes  
Malta Native Extant      
Mauritania Native Extant   Yes  
Moldova Native Extant Yes    
Mongolia Native Extant Yes   Yes
Montenegro Native Extant      
Mozambique Native Extant   Yes  
Myanmar Native Extant   Yes  
Namibia Native Extant   Yes  
Nepal Native Extant   Yes  
Netherlands Vagrant Extant      
Niger Native Extant   Yes  
Nigeria Native Extant   Yes  
Norway Vagrant Extant      
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes
Pakistan Native Extant   Yes  
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant     Yes
Qatar Native Extant   Yes Yes
Romania Native Extant     Yes
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes    
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes    
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes
Rwanda Native Extant   Yes  
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes Yes
Senegal Native Extant   Yes  
Serbia Native Extant      
Sierra Leone Native Extant   Yes  
Slovakia Native Extant      
Slovenia Native Extant      
Somalia Native Extant   Yes  
South Africa Native Extant   Yes  
South Sudan Native Extant   Yes  
Spain Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Sri Lanka Native Extant   Yes  
Sudan Native Extant   Yes  
Swaziland Unknown Extant   Yes  
Sweden Vagrant Extant      
Switzerland Vagrant Extant      
Syria Native Extant   Yes Yes
Tajikistan Native Extant     Yes
Tanzania Native Extant   Yes Yes
Togo Native Extant   Yes  
Tunisia Native Extant   Yes Yes
Turkey Native Extant     Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant     Yes
Uganda Native Extant   Yes Yes
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes Yes
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant      
Uzbekistan Native Possibly Extinct     Yes
Vietnam Vagrant Extinct      
Yemen Native Extant   Yes 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
Algeria Parc National de l'Ahaggar site factsheet
Armenia Tashir site factsheet
Azerbaijan Korchai area site factsheet
Botswana South-east Botswana site factsheet
Bulgaria Balchik site factsheet
Bulgaria Batova site factsheet
Cameroon Kalamaloué National Park site factsheet
Cameroon Lake Maga site factsheet
Cameroon Logone flood-plain site factsheet
Cameroon Mont Manengouba site factsheet
Cameroon Waza National Park site factsheet
Cyprus Akrotiri Peninsula - Episkopi Cliffs site factsheet
Cyprus Cape Greco site factsheet
Cyprus Karpasia Peninsula - Kleides Islands site factsheet
Cyprus Xeros Valley and Hannoutaris Cliffs site factsheet
Djibouti Kadda Guéïni - Doumêra site factsheet
Egypt Ain Sukhna site factsheet
Egypt El Qa plain site factsheet
Egypt Gebel El Zeit site factsheet
Egypt Gebel Maghara site factsheet
Egypt Lake Bardawil site factsheet
Egypt Lake Manzala site factsheet
Egypt Ras Mohammed National Park site factsheet
Egypt Suez site factsheet
Egypt Zaranik Protected Area site factsheet
Ethiopia Abijatta - Shalla Lakes National Park site factsheet
Ethiopia Awash National Park site factsheet
Ethiopia Bahir Dar - Lake Tana site factsheet
Ethiopia Bale Mountains National Park site factsheet
Ethiopia Boyo wetland site factsheet
Ethiopia Chelekleka lake and swamp site factsheet
Ethiopia Dessa'a forest site factsheet
Ethiopia Dilu Meda (Tefki) site factsheet
Ethiopia Fogera plains site factsheet
Ethiopia Koka dam and Lake Gelila site factsheet
Ethiopia Lake Langano site factsheet
Ethiopia Nechisar National Park site factsheet
Ethiopia Senkele Sanctuary site factsheet
Ethiopia Simien Mountains National Park site factsheet
Ethiopia Sululta plain site factsheet
Ethiopia Yangudi-Rassa National Park site factsheet
Kazakhstan Aktubek site factsheet
Kazakhstan Alekseevskie steppe pine forests site factsheet
Kazakhstan Amangeldy site factsheet
Kazakhstan Ereymentau Mountains site factsheet
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Kazakhstan Koybagar-Tyuntyugur Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Sagyz site factsheet
Kazakhstan Vicinity of Korgalzhyn village site factsheet
Kazakhstan Western edge of the Karakoyin and Zhetikonyr Sands site factsheet
Kenya Kinangop grasslands site factsheet
Kenya Ol Ari Nyiro site factsheet
Kyrgyzstan Tulek Valley site factsheet
Malawi Lake Chilwa and flood-plain site factsheet
Namibia Etosha National Park site factsheet
Namibia Tsumkwe pan system site factsheet
Nepal Annapurna Conservation Area site factsheet
Nepal Chitwan National Park site factsheet
Nepal Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve site factsheet
Nepal Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Barrage site factsheet
Nepal Langtang National Park site factsheet
Nepal Mai Valley forests site factsheet
Nepal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve site factsheet
Niger 'W' National Park site factsheet
Romania Aliman - Adamclisi site factsheet
Romania Beştepe - Mahmudia site factsheet
Romania Dealurile Dorobanţu site factsheet
Romania Denis Tepe site factsheet
Romania Dobrogei gorge site factsheet
Romania Dumbrăveni - Plopeni site factsheet
Romania Hagieni forest site factsheet
Romania Kogălniceanu - Gura Ialomiţei site factsheet
Romania Stepa Casimcea site factsheet
Romania Stepa Saraiu - Horea site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Arkaim site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Birsuat site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Blagoveschenskaya (Kulunda lake and vicinity) site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Bol'shiye and Maliye Donki lakes site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Bol'shoye Beloe lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Bottomland of rivers Tobol near villages Lebedevka and Bygrovoe site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Bottomland of Tobol river near villages Lebedevka and Bygrovoe site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Ebeity lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Gor'koye lake near Karas'ye village site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Interfluve of the rivers Small and Big Karatanka site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Kurumbel'skaya steppe site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Lake Tavolzhan site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Plateau Ukok site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Siverga lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Stekleney Lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Uzkaya Steppe site factsheet
Russia (European) Algaiski site factsheet
Russia (European) Buinakskaya depression site factsheet
Russia (European) Bulukhta area site factsheet
Russia (European) Flood-plain of Alatyr' river in vicinity of Ardatov site factsheet
Russia (European) Floodplain of Pjana river near village Sarga site factsheet
Russia (European) Kulaksay lowland site factsheet
Russia (European) Kupy area site factsheet
Russia (European) Kurnikov liman site factsheet
Russia (European) Shalkaro-Zhetykol'ski lake system site factsheet
Russia (European) Siniye mountains site factsheet
Russia (European) Stepnovski saltmarshes site factsheet
Russia (European) Vicinity of Borisoglebovka (Saratovski [Semenovski] Reserve) site factsheet
Russia (European) Watershed of Bityug and Tsna rivers site factsheet
Russia (European) Zhestyanka site factsheet
Rwanda Akagera National Park site factsheet
Sudan En Nahud site factsheet
Syria Euphrates valley site factsheet
Tanzania Mount Kilimanjaro site factsheet
Tanzania Ngorongoro Conservation Area site factsheet
Turkey Tuz Lake site factsheet
Uganda Kidepo Valley National Park site factsheet
Uganda Murchison Falls National Park site factsheet
Uganda Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake George site factsheet
Ukraine Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve site factsheet
Ukraine Korotchenkivs'ki meadows site factsheet
Ukraine Samars'kyj forest site factsheet
Uzbekistan Angren Plateau site factsheet
Uzbekistan South-west Gizzar Foothills site factsheet
Zambia Bangweulu Swamps site factsheet
Zambia Kafue Flats site factsheet
Zambia Kafue National Park site factsheet
Zambia Kasanka National Park site factsheet
Zambia Lukanga Swamp site factsheet
Zambia Nyika National Park (Zambia) site factsheet
Zimbabwe Nyanga mountains site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Boreal suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate major breeding
Savanna Dry suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 4000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact:
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact:
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact:
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression / Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact:
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Circus macrourus. Downloaded from on 22/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/07/2014.

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 Near Threatened
Family Accipitridae (Osprey, kites, hawks and eagles)
Species name author (Gmelin, 1770)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 5,840,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species