Black Baza Aviceda leuphotes


Justification of Red List category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend is suspected to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
There is very little data on population size for this species. Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001) estimated the global population to number > c.10,000 individuals (Ferguson-Lees et al. 2001), while the population in China has been estimated at c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration (Brazil 2009). The Black Baza was the most common raptor counted during migrating bird surveys at Chumphon, Thailand in autumn 2003 (68,219 individuals) and spring 2007 and 2008 (22,000 individuals on average) (DeCandido et al. 2008). 68,219 individuals equates to approximately 45,700 mature individuals. In the absence of data from other parts of its range, it is placed in the band 10,000-50,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction through deforestation (Clark and Kirwan 2020). During 2001-2020, 15% of forest cover was lost across this species’s range (Global Forest Watch 2021), equating to a loss of 10.6% over three generations (13.47 years [Bird et al. 2020]). During 2016-2020, 5.3% of forest cover was lost across this species’s range (Global Forest Watch 2021), equivalent to 16.7% when projected forward over three generations. This species utilises orchards, gardens and agricultural areas in winter, but nests predominantly in forests (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). There are currently no other known significant threats to the species, therefore it is suspected to be declining at a similar rate to forest loss.


Breeds in open deciduous or evergreen forest, including second growth and bamboo-dominated areas, especially around clearings and wide streams (Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001). On passage and in winter, it will sometimes use mangroves (Chye 2012), orchards, gardens, rice paddies and other cultivated areas (Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001).


Widespread forest loss across its range poses the most significant threat (Clark and Kirwan 2020). Small numbers of birds have been found for sale on Indonesian online bird trading groups (Iqbal 2016; Gunawan et al. 2017).

Conservation actions

Conservation actions underway
The species is listed on CITES Appendix II, CMS Appendix II and Raptors MoU Category 2. 

Conservation actions needed
Very little is known about population size, trends, or threats, therefore further research is necessary to enable a more thorough assessment of extinction risk.


Text account compilers
Haskell, L.

Ekstrom, J., Ashpole, J & Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Aviceda leuphotes. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.