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Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Least Concern
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) 9,420,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 12,500,000
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) 7.9 - - -
Trend justification: The population is decreasing owing to over-use of pesticides and improved locust control, agricultural intensification and destruction of nests by farm machinery and loss of small mammal and bird prey species due to changing agricultural practices (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan Native Extant     Yes
Albania Native Extant      
Algeria Native Extant      
Andorra Native Extant Yes    
Armenia Native Extant Yes   Yes
Austria Native Extant Yes    
Azerbaijan Native Extant Yes    
Bahrain Vagrant Extant     Yes
Bangladesh Vagrant Extant      
Belarus Native Extant Yes    
Belgium Native Extant Yes    
Benin Native Extant      
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes    
Botswana Native Extant      
Bulgaria Native Extant     Yes
Burkina Faso Native Extant      
Burundi Native Extant      
Cameroon Native Extant      
Cape Verde Vagrant Extant      
Central African Republic Native Extant      
Chad Native Extant      
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes    
Congo Vagrant Extant      
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant      
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant      
Croatia Native Extant Yes   Yes
Cyprus Native Extant     Yes
Czech Republic Native Extant      
Denmark Native Extant Yes   Yes
Djibouti Native Extant      
Egypt Native Extant      
Eritrea Native Extant      
Estonia Native Extant Yes    
Ethiopia Native Extant      
Finland Native Extant Yes    
France Native Extant Yes   Yes
Gambia Native Extant      
Georgia Native Extant Yes   Yes
Germany Native Extant Yes    
Ghana Native Extant      
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant     Yes
Greece Native Extant Yes   Yes
Guinea Native Extant      
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant      
Hungary Native Extant Yes   Yes
Iceland Vagrant Extant      
India Native Extant      
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant Yes   Yes
Iraq Native Extant     Yes
Ireland Vagrant Extant      
Israel Native Extant      
Italy Native Extant Yes   Yes
Jordan Native Extant     Yes
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes    
Kenya Native Extant      
Kuwait Native Extant     Yes
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes    
Latvia Native Extant Yes    
Lebanon Native Extant     Yes
Lesotho Native Extant      
Liberia Native Extant      
Libya Native Extant      
Liechtenstein Native Extant     Yes
Lithuania Native Extant      
Luxembourg Native Extant Yes    
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant Yes    
Malawi Native Extant      
Maldives Native Extant      
Mali Native Extant      
Malta Native Extant      
Mauritania Native Extant      
Moldova Native Extant      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes    
Morocco Native Extant      
Mozambique Native Extant      
Namibia Native Extant      
Nepal Native Extant      
Netherlands Native Extant Yes    
Niger Native Extant      
Nigeria Native Extant      
Norway Vagrant Extant      
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes
Pakistan Native Extant      
Palestinian Authority Territories 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   Yes
Rwanda Native Extant      
Saudi Arabia Native Extant     Yes
Senegal Native Extant      
Serbia Native Extant Yes    
Sierra Leone Native Extant      
Slovakia Native Extant Yes    
Slovenia Native Extant     Yes
Somalia Native Extant      
South Africa Native Extant      
South Sudan Native Extant   Yes  
Spain Native Extant     Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant      
Sudan Native Extant      
Swaziland Native Extant      
Sweden Native Extant Yes    
Switzerland Native Extant Yes    
Syria Native Extant     Yes
Tajikistan Native Extant      
Tanzania Native Extant      
Togo Native Extant      
Tunisia Native Extant      
Turkey Native Extant Yes    
Turkmenistan Native Extant      
Uganda Native Extant      
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes Yes
United Kingdom Native Extant Yes    
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes    
Western Sahara Native Extant      
Yemen Native Extant   Yes Yes
Zambia Native Extant      
Zimbabwe Native Extant      

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 Southern Seewinkel and Zitzmannsdorfer Wiesen site factsheet
Belarus Al'manskija baloty site factsheet
Belarus Balota Zvaniec site factsheet
Belarus Kaz'jany site factsheet
Belarus Mid Prypiac' site factsheet
Belarus Polesie Reserve site factsheet
Bosnia and Herzegovina Livno karst field and Busko lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Adata-Tundzha site factsheet
Bulgaria Derventski Heights site factsheet
Bulgaria Ruy Mountain site factsheet
Bulgaria Sakar site factsheet
Bulgaria Straldzha Complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Strandzha site factsheet
Bulgaria Zlatiata site factsheet
Croatia Lower Sava river site factsheet
Estonia Alam-Pedja site factsheet
Estonia Nätsi-Võlla site factsheet
Estonia Soomaa site factsheet
Estonia Suursoo-Leidissoo site factsheet
Estonia Tuhu-Kesu site factsheet
France Anse de Fouras, baie d'Yves et marais de Rochefort site factsheet
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton site factsheet
France Baie des Veys et Marais du Cotentin site factsheet
France Barois et Forêt de Clairvaux site factsheet
France Basse Vallée du Doubs : Dole Sud site factsheet
France Basses Corbières site factsheet
France Bassigny site factsheet
France Bazoncourt-Vigy site factsheet
France Brenne: Forêt de la Petite-Brenne site factsheet
France Crau site factsheet
France Estuaire de la Gironde : marais du Blayais site factsheet
France Estuaire de la Gironde : marais du Nord Médoc site factsheet
France Forêt de Citeaux et environs site factsheet
France Fresnes-en-Woëvre-Mars-la-Tour site factsheet
France Gorges de la Dourbie et causses avoisinants site factsheet
France Gorges de la Sioule site factsheet
France Gorges du Gardon site factsheet
France Haut Val d'Allier site factsheet
France Hautes garrigues du Montpellierais site factsheet
France Ile d'Oléron, marais de Brouage-Saint-Agnant site factsheet
France Les Couzes Nord site factsheet
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon site factsheet
France Marais salants de Noirmoutier site factsheet
France Minervois site factsheet
France Parc National des Cévennes site factsheet
France Petite Beauce site factsheet
France Plaine calcaire du sud Vendée site factsheet
France Plaine de Niort (nord-ouest) site factsheet
France Plaine de Niort (sud-est) site factsheet
France Plaine du Forez site factsheet
France Plaines de Saint-Jouin de Marne et d'Assais-les-Jumeaux site factsheet
France Plateau de Delme, Val de Petite Seille site factsheet
France Plateau de Valensole site factsheet
France Plateaux agricoles des environs de Frencq site factsheet
France Plateaux de Millevaches et de Gentioux site factsheet
France Sologne Bourbonnaise site factsheet
France Val d'Allier Bourbonnais site factsheet
France Val de Chiers et environs de Spincourt site factsheet
France Val de Saône site factsheet
France Vallée de la Conie et Beauce centrale site factsheet
France Vallée de la Loire : gorges de la Loire site factsheet
France Vallée de la Saône de Corre à Broye site factsheet
France Zones agricoles de la Hardt site factsheet
Hungary Alkaline pusztas of Upper Kiskunság site factsheet
Hungary Bodrogzug–Taktaköz site factsheet
Hungary Hanság site factsheet
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to site factsheet
Hungary Szigetköz site factsheet
Latvia Liepaja lake site factsheet
Lithuania Agricultural land near the Kalvarija settlement site factsheet
Lithuania Birzulius-Stervas marshes complex site factsheet
Lithuania Exploited Sulinkiai peatbog site factsheet
Lithuania Kamanos Strict NR site factsheet
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park site factsheet
Lithuania Tyruliai State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Lithuania Verkne river site factsheet
Lithuania Zuvintas Biosphere Reserve site factsheet
Netherlands Lauwersmeer site factsheet
Poland Biebrza river valley site factsheet
Poland Bzura River Valley site factsheet
Poland Chelm calcareous marshes site factsheet
Poland Lower Bug river valley site factsheet
Poland Middle Bug river valley site factsheet
Poland Upper Narew River Valley site factsheet
Poland Upper Nurzec River Valley site factsheet
Poland Warmia Site site factsheet
Poland Wizna Swamps site factsheet
Poland Wkra and Mlawka Rivers Valleys site factsheet
Portugal Campo Maior site factsheet
Portugal Castro Verde plains site factsheet
Portugal Cuba site factsheet
Portugal Estrela Mountains site factsheet
Portugal Gerês mountains site factsheet
Portugal Malcata mountains site factsheet
Portugal Monforte plains site factsheet
Portugal Montesinho and Nogueira mountains site factsheet
Portugal Mourão, Moura e Barrancos site factsheet
Portugal River Guadiana site factsheet
Portugal Sabôr and Maçãs site factsheet
Portugal Serra de Penha Garcia e Campina de Toulões site factsheet
Portugal Serras do Alvão e Marão site factsheet
Portugal Tejo estuary site factsheet
Portugal Vila Fernando site factsheet
Romania Aliman - Adamclisi site factsheet
Romania Babadag wood site factsheet
Romania Câmpia Crişurilor site factsheet
Romania Câmpia Nirului - Valea lerului site factsheet
Romania Cefa fish-ponds and Radvani wood site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Romania Dobrogei gorge site factsheet
Romania Hagieni forest site factsheet
Romania Jijiei şi Miletinului fish-ponds site factsheet
Romania Kogălniceanu - Gura Ialomiţei site factsheet
Slovakia Medzibodrozie site factsheet
Slovakia Puste Ulany-Zelenec site factsheet
Spain Azuaga-Llerena-Peraleda de Zaucejo site factsheet
Spain Bardenas Reales site factsheet
Spain Bienvenida-Usagre-Ribera del Fresno site factsheet
Spain Carrión-Frómista site factsheet
Spain Cinca river rice fields and steppe area site factsheet
Spain Condado-Campiña site factsheet
Spain Córdoba countryside site factsheet
Spain Jaén countryside site factsheet
Spain La Cabrera mountain range site factsheet
Spain La Limia site factsheet
Spain La Serena site factsheet
Spain Lerida steppes site factsheet
Spain Montes Aquilanos range site factsheet
Spain Oropesa plains site factsheet
Spain Pela mountain range-Orellana reservoir-Zorita site factsheet
Spain Plain between Cáceres and Trujillo-Aldea del Cano site factsheet
Spain Prat de Cabanes-Torreblanca site factsheet
Spain Quipar reservoir, Molino mountain range and Cagitán plains site factsheet
Spain Talamanca-Camarma site factsheet
Spain Tierra de Campiñas steppes site factsheet
Spain Tierra de Campos steppes site factsheet
Spain Trujillo-Torrecillas de la Tiesa site factsheet
Turkey Balıkdamı site factsheet
Turkey Bulanık and Malazgirt Plains site factsheet
Turkey Eşmekaya Marshes site factsheet
Turkey Tuz Lake site factsheet
Turkey Yüksekova site factsheet
Ukraine Chonovyny marsh site factsheet
Ukraine Forests in Dnipro and Desna valleys site factsheet
Ukraine Pryp'yat' river valley site factsheet
Ukraine Samars'kyj forest site factsheet
Ukraine Shats'ki lakes site factsheet
Ukraine Turiya river valley site factsheet
United Kingdom The Wash site factsheet
United Kingdom The Wash 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 Plantations suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 4000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


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 pygargus. Downloaded from on 16/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 16/04/2014.

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 Accipitridae (Osprey, kites, hawks and eagles)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 9,420,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species