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Sooty Falcon Falco concolor
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List Criteria

Near Threatened (criteria nearly met) C1+2a(ii) 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Near Threatened
2013 Near Threatened
2012 Near Threatened
2008 Near Threatened
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) 380,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 722,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 10000-19999 poor Estimated 2007
Population trend Decreasing poor -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.2 - - -
Population justification: It is very difficult to accurately estimate the population size, but breeding surveys and evidence from the non-breeding grounds (F. Hawkins in litt. 2007) suggest there may only be a few thousand; this is placed into the banded range 10,000-19,999 mature individuals pending new information. This equates to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 15,000-30,000 individuals.
Trend justification: A slow or moderate and on-going population decline is suspected on the basis of fragmentary population figures and surveys.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Bahrain Native Extant Yes      
Chad Native Extant        
Cyprus Vagrant Extant        
Djibouti Native Extant Yes      
Egypt Native Extant Yes      
Eritrea Native Extant Yes      
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant Yes      
Israel Native Extant Yes      
Jordan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant        
Kuwait Vagrant Extant   Yes Yes  
Libya Native Extant Yes      
Madagascar Native Extant        
Malawi Native Extant        
Mali Vagrant Extant        
Malta Vagrant Extant        
Mauritius Native Extant        
Mozambique Native Extant        
Namibia Vagrant Extant        
Niger Native Extant        
Oman Native Extant Yes      
Pakistan Native Extant        
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant Yes      
Qatar Native Extant     Yes  
Réunion (to France) Native Extant        
Rwanda Native Extant        
Saudi Arabia Native Extant Yes      
Seychelles Vagrant Extant        
Somalia Native Extant        
South Africa Native Extant        
Sudan Native Extant     Yes  
Syria Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Tanzania Native Extant        
Turkey Vagrant Extant        
Uganda Native Extant        
United Arab Emirates Native Extant Yes      
Yemen Native Extant Yes      
Zambia Native Extant        
Zimbabwe Vagrant Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Bahrain Hawar Islands site factsheet
Chad Ouadi Rimé - Ouadi Achim site factsheet
Djibouti Les Sept Frères site factsheet
Egypt Gebel Elba site factsheet
Egypt Gebel Maghara site factsheet
Egypt Hurghada archipelago site factsheet
Egypt Nabq Protected Area site factsheet
Egypt Qulân islands site factsheet
Egypt Quseima site factsheet
Egypt St Katherine Protectorate site factsheet
Egypt The Abraq area site factsheet
Egypt Wadi Gerafi site factsheet
Egypt Wadi Gimal island site factsheet
Egypt Zabargad island site factsheet
Eritrea Dehalak Archipelago and offshore islands site factsheet
Eritrea Ghinda site factsheet
Israel Cliffs of Zin and the Negev highlands site factsheet
Israel Judean desert site factsheet
Israel Northern Arava valley site factsheet
Israel Southern Arava valley and Elat mountains site factsheet
Jordan Aqaba coast and mountains site factsheet
Jordan Dana site factsheet
Jordan Hisma Basin - Rum site factsheet
Jordan Petra site factsheet
Jordan Wadi Mujib site factsheet
Libya Ghat oases site factsheet
Libya Zallaf site factsheet
Niger NNR Aïr - Ténéré site factsheet
Oman Bandar Jussah site factsheet
Oman Daymaniyat Islands site factsheet
Oman Fahl Island site factsheet
Oman Ra's Abu Da'ud site factsheet
Oman Ra's as Sawadi - Juzor as Sawadi site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Al-Wajh Bank site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Farasan Islands site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Kutambil island site factsheet
Saudi Arabia Qishran Bay site factsheet
Sudan Khor Arba'at site factsheet
Sudan Mukawwar island and Dunganab bay site factsheet
United Arab Emirates Delma site factsheet
Yemen Islands north of Al-Hudaydah site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Desert Hot major breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable non-breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) suitable breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) suitable breeding
Savanna Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Moist suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 1500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Species disturbance
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Unknown Unknown Unknown
Species disturbance
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Unknown Unknown Unknown
Reduced reproductive success


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - -  

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Falco concolor. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Falconidae (Falcons, Caracaras)
Species name author Temminck, 1825
Population size 10000-19999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 380,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change