email a friend
printable version
Grasshopper Buzzard Butastur rufipennis

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 full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 7,780,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 20000-49999 not applicable Not Applicable 2000
Population trend Decreasing Suspected -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.6 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated at well over 10,000 pairs which equates to 20,000 mature individuals (Thiollay 2000). The species is reported to be generally common and locally abundant in some areas (Ferguson-Lees et al. 2001), outnumbering all other raptors except Black Kite Milvus migrans (Thiollay 2000). It is placed in the band 20,000-49,999 mature individuals.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline locally owing to over-grazing and drought (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). A decline in non-breeding visitors to Kenya has been observed (Thiollay 2000).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Benin Native Extant        
Burkina Faso Native Extant        
Burundi Vagrant Extant        
Cameroon Native Extant        
Central African Republic Native Extant        
Chad Native Extant        
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant        
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant        
Djibouti Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Ethiopia Native Extant        
Gambia Native Extant        
Ghana Native Extant        
Guinea Native Extant        
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant        
Kenya Native Extant        
Liberia Vagrant Extant        
Mali Native Extant        
Mauritania Native Extant        
Niger Native Extant        
Nigeria Native Extant        
Rwanda Vagrant Extant        
Senegal Native Extant        
Sierra Leone Native Extant        
Somalia Native Extant        
South Sudan Native Extant Yes      
Sudan Native Extant        
Tanzania Native Extant        
Togo Native Extant        
Uganda Native Extant        

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land Suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land Suitable non-breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable non-breeding
Savanna Dry Suitable breeding
Savanna Dry Suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands Suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands Suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting / Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 4
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Butastur rufipennis. Downloaded from on 25/11/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/11/2015.

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 (Sundevall, 1851)
Population size 20000-49999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 7,780,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change