Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very 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). The population is declining, but at present the rate of decline does not approach the the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The species has a large population size, greatly exceeding the thresholds under the population size criterion. The species is therefore assessed as Least Concern, but if the rate of population reduction should increase the species may warrant listing as threatened. As such, continued population monitoring is required.

Population justification
In Taiwan, China, weather radar has been used to estimate the numbers of the species passing over during spring migration. A maximum of 409,000 individuals were estimated in 2004 (Chen et al. 2004) with at least 225,935 individuals over in just 5 April days (Sun et al. 2010). Germi et al. (2009) estimated that at least 350,000 Chinese Sparrowhawk migrate to eastern Indonesia, counting 225,067 between 20 September and 30 November 2007. These totals represent the best estimates of the total population size, which is therefore estimated at between 400,000-1,000,000 individuals. Assuming that two-thirds are mature, this represents 268,000-667,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
In South Korea, Kim et al. (2021) find that modelled occupancy based on robust survey has reduced by 11% (95% confidence interval -1 to -20%) between 1997-2005 and 2013-2017. In the absence of further trend estimates, this rate is suspected to apply to the population overall. Using the mid-point of the survey periods, the equivalent three-generation population reduction (assuming an exponential decline) is 11.2% (1-21%).  The population size is suspected to reduce at a faster rate than the occupancy, which only reduces when the last pair is lost from a surveyed unit. The best estimate of occupancy loss is set as the minimum suspected rate of population reduction, with the upper 95% confidence interval set as the upper suspected rate of reduction. Hence the past population reduction is suspected to have been 11-20% over the past three generations, and this rate is suspected to continue in the absence of .


Nests primarily in open broadleaf forest (Ma et al. 2016) including plantations (Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001), often near paddyfields or wetlands, where prey can be found (Orta & Kirwan 2020). Long-distance migrant, travelling via islands through Japan, Taiwan, China, Philippines and Indonesia, with a large proportion of the population passing through Taiwan, China, and the Sangihe and Talaud Islands in north Indonesia (Chen et al. 2004, Germi et al. 2009, Sun et al. 2010). A secondary route passes through mainland south-east Asia where passage is noted in Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and into Indonesia along the Sundaic chain (Orta & Kirwan 2020). Overwinters in lowland forest and forest edge (Myers 2019).


Land-use change within the species's wintering range could result in a loss of roosting habitat (Germi et al. 2009). For instance logging operations in Bali may reduce the availability of roost sites (Germi 2005). In Japan and Korea, a loss of nesting resources in secondary forests, particularly around industrial areas has been reported (Choi et al. 2008). Bird strikes from aircraft represent another potential threat (Tang et al. 2008). One Chinese Sparrowhawk was found on sale at a market in Bali, and 19 were being offered for sale on social media in Indonesia in 2015, however the extent of the trade is unlikely to be significant (Germi and Waluyo 2006; Gunawan et al. 2017).

Conservation actions

Conservation actions underway
Listed on CITES Appendix II, CMS Appendix II and Raptors MOU Category 2.


Text account compilers
Haskell, L.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Accipiter soloensis. Downloaded from on 19/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 19/08/2022.