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Striated Caracara Phalcoboenus australis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is classified as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small population.

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: #

Distribution and population
Phalcoboenus australis is restricted to isolated shores, rookeries and islets off extreme south Argentina and Chile, including the south and east coasts of Isla Grande on Tierra del Fuego, Isla de los Estados, Navarino and Cape Horn, and the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) (Bierregaard 1994, Strange 1996). It is rare in much of its range (Bierregaard 1994), but locally numerous on some of the smaller islands in the west Falklands (Strange 1996, Woods and Woods 1997). In 1983-1992, the population on the Falklands was estimated at 500-900 breeding pairs, with more recent surveys suggesting 500-650 pairs (R. Woods in litt. 1998). A 2006 survey found that the breeding population had not increased despite the species being protected by law since 1999 but was stable at around 500 pairs (R. Woods 2006).

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 1,000-2,499 mature individuals. This equates to 1,500-3,749 individuals in total, rounded here to 1,500-4,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A survey in 2006 found that the breeding population had not increased but was stable at around 500 pairs.

It occurs in open lowlands, from the tidal zone perhaps to low coastal mountains, and most typically along rocky coasts (Bierregaard 1994), feeding on dead adults and chicks of colonial seabirds, and insects and grubs along the tidal zone (Bierregaard 1994). It will attack weak or stranded sheep and, in groups, wild geese (Canevari et al. 1991).

It was heavily persecuted in the past on the Falklands (Bierregaard 1994), and is much reduced in numbers (Woods 1988). The immature population is probably only capable of replacing losses in the breeding population (Strange 1996), but none of the populations seem to be facing any major threats.

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It is officially protected by Falklands Islands (Malvinas) law. Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor breeding population on at least one island (including ringing to monitor juvenile mortality rate) (R. Woods 2006). Study ecology, dispersal, population dynamics and survival (R. Woods 2006). Assess incidence of damage to livestock and evaluate impact of species on sheep farming, then begin dialogue with farmers (R. Woods 2006).

Bierregaard, R. O. 1994. Neotropical Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 216-277. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Canevari, M. 1991. Nueva guia de las aves Argentinas. Fundación Acindar, Buenos Aires.

Strange, I. J. 1996. The Striated Caracara Phalcoboenus australis in the Falkland Islands. I. J. Strange, Falkland Islands.

Woods, R. W. 1988. Guide to birds of the Falkland Islands. Anthony Nelson, Oswestry, U.K.

Woods, R. W. 2007. Distribution and abundance of the Striated Caracara Phalcoboenus australis in the Falkland Islands - 2006.

Woods, R. W.; Woods, A. 1997. Atlas of breeding birds of the Falkland Islands. Anthony Nelson, Oswestry, U.K.

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.

Woods, R.W.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Phalcoboenus australis. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 - Striated caracara (Phalcoboenus australis) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Falconidae (Falcons, Caracaras)
Species name author (Gmelin, 1788)
Population size 1000-2499 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 46,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species