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Rufous-tailed Hawk Buteo ventralis

This species is considered to be Vulnerable owing to its small population (<1,000 mature individuals). Evidence of continuing declines would make the species eligible for classification as Endangered and information demonstrating a population greater than 1,000 mature individuals with a stable population trend would warrant downlisting to Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

45-60 cm medium-sized hawk. Polymorphic, with pale and dark morphs. Long square-tipped wings with kinked trailing edges and medium-length tail (Bierregaard et al. 2015). Voice Only description a harsh drawn-out "kee-ahrr".

Distribution and population
This species is endemic to the lower Andes of Patagonia in southern Chile and Argentina, where it is rare, occurring at naturally low densities. No data is available regarding numbers or densities, and there is no firm evidence of a decline, but its habitat has suffered extensive degradation and some authorities consider that the total population is unlikely to exceed 1,000 individuals (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Further information is required regarding population size, trends and other potential or existing threats. Increased knowledge of identification features may generate more records of this species.

Population justification
The total population is placed in the band 250-999 mature individuals, equating to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable despite the fact that the destruction of its habitat is ongoing.

It inhabits the ecotone between Nothofagus forest and steppe grassland from sea level to at least 1,200 m and locally to 1,500 m (H. Norambuena et al. in litt. 2013, Bierregaard et al. 2015). Feeds predominantly on mammals and birds (Bierregaard et al. 2015). Shows preference for areas with southern beech and Chile pine Araucaria araucana but also occurs in parkland, tree-lined fields, open coastal grassland and Patagonian upland brush-steppe (Bierregaard et al. 2015).

Its habitat has been negatively affected by logging and overgrazing since the introduction of sheep and cattle (S. Imberti in litt. 2003). Suitable habitat has been lost to Pinus and Eucalyptus plantations (H. Norambuena et al. in litt. 2013). The species is persecuted due to its habit of apparently feeding on poultry (Rivas-Fuenzalida et al. 2011, H. Norambuena et al. in litt. 2013).

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II.Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Survey to obtain an accurate population estimate and monitor trends. Clarify threats. Protect areas of suitable habitat and safeguard against the effects of logging and overgrazing.

Bierregaard, R. O. 1994. Neotropical Accipitridae (Hawks and Eagles). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 52-205. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Kirwan, G.M. and Christie, D.A. 2015. Rufous-tailed Hawk (Buteo ventralis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Chebez, J. C. 1994. Los que se van: especies argentinas en peligro. Albatros, Buenos Aires.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1994. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Ferguson-Lees, J. and Christie, D.A. 2001. Raptors of the world. Christopher Helm, London.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Rivas-Fuenzalida, T., Medel, J. and Figueroa R, R.A. 2011. Reproducción del aguilucho colarojiza (Buteo ventralis) en remanentes de bosque lluvioso templado de la Araucanía, sur de Chile. Ornitologia Neotropical 22: 405-420.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Mansur, E., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Ashpole, J

Imberti, I., Figueroa, R., Jiménez, J., Rivas-Fuenzalida, T., Norambuena, H., Medel, J. & Raimilla, V.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Buteo ventralis. Downloaded from on 01/12/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/12/2015.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Rufous-tailed hawk (Buteo ventralis) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author Gould, 1837
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 537,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species