Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Near Threatened A2cde+3cde+4cde
2017 Near Threatened A2cde+3cde+4cde
2016 Near Threatened A2cde+3cde+4cde
2013 Near Threatened A2cde+3cde+4cde
2012 Near Threatened A2cde+3cde+4cde
2008 Near Threatened A2c,d,e; A3c,d,e; A4c,d,e
2006 Near Threatened
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 8,440,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 57,600,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 18000-30000 medium 2003
Population trend Decreasing poor estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 20-29 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 20-29 - - -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated at 9,000-15,000 pairs (Galushin et al. 2003), equating to 18,000-30,000 mature individuals. The European population is estimated at 300-1,100 breeding females, which roughly equates to 600-2,300 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: A large decline occurred in Europe during 1970-1990 (Tucker and Heath 1994), when up to 30% of birds were lost (particularly from the key population in European Russia), and the species continued to decline in 1990-2000, when overall trends exceeded 30% over three generations (18 years) (BirdLife International 2004). More recently, the European population trend was assessed as unknown in the 2015 European Red List of Birds, with decreases, fluctuations, increases and unknown trends reported for the various range countries (BirdLife International 2015). Europe comprises about 40% of the species’ global breeding range, but holds a much smaller proportion of the global population, as the larger proportion is concentrated in Central Asia, especially in southern Russia and Kazakhstan (Galushin et al. 2003). When last assessed, surveys in the Kustanay Oblast region (northern Kazakhstan) from 1997 to 2004 indicated a fluctuating but ostensibly stable population of 1,500–2,000 pairs, nesting at a density of 9.4–25 pairs per 100 km(Bragin 1999, E. Bragin in litt. 2005). No other detailed surveys were known from its Asiatic range, although anecdotal evidence from southern Kazakhstan (Almaty to Chockpack Bird Station) suggested that it was locally abundant (A. Corso in litt. 2005). 

The partly nomadic nature of the species and its fluctuating numbers make an assessment of the overall trend problematic, but a moderately rapid decline continues to be suspected on a precautionary basis until better data are available from across the range.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes Yes
Albania N Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant Yes Yes
Angola N Extant Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes Yes
Austria N Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes Yes
Bahrain N Extant Yes Yes
Bangladesh N Extant Yes
Belarus N Extant Yes
Belgium V Extant
Benin N Extant Yes
Bhutan U Extant Yes
Botswana N Extant Yes
Bulgaria N Extant Yes
Burkina Faso N Extant
Burundi N Extant Yes
Cameroon N Extant Yes
Central African Republic N Extant Yes
Chad N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant Yes
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant Yes
Croatia N Extant Yes
Cyprus N Extant Yes Yes
Czechia N Extant Yes
Denmark V Extant Yes Yes
Djibouti N Extant Yes Yes
Egypt N Extant Yes Yes
Eritrea N Extant Yes Yes
Estonia V Extant
Eswatini U Extant
Ethiopia N Extant Yes Yes
Finland V Extant Yes
France V Extant
Gambia N Extant Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes Yes
Germany V Extant
Ghana N Extant Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) V Extant
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Guinea N Extant Yes
Guinea-Bissau N Extant
Hungary N Extant Yes Yes
Iceland V Extant
India N Extant Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes Yes
Israel N Extant Yes Yes
Italy N Extant Yes Yes
Japan V Extant
Jordan N Extant Yes Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes Yes
Kuwait N Extant Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes Yes
Latvia V Extinct Yes Yes
Lebanon N Extant Yes
Lesotho V Extant
Liberia N Extant Yes
Libya N Extant Yes Yes
Liechtenstein V Extant
Luxembourg V Extant
Malawi N Extant Yes
Malaysia V Extant
Maldives N Extant Yes
Mali N Extant Yes
Malta N Extant Yes
Mauritania N Extant Yes
Moldova N Extant Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes Yes
Montenegro N Extant
Mozambique N Extant Yes
Myanmar N Extant Yes
Namibia N Extant Yes
Nepal N Extant Yes
Netherlands V Extant
Niger N Extant Yes
Nigeria N Extant Yes
North Macedonia N Extant
Norway V Extant
Oman N Extant Yes Yes
Pakistan N Extant Yes
Palestinian Authority Territories N Extant Yes
Qatar N Extant Yes Yes
Romania N Extant Yes Yes
Russia N Extant Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes Yes
Rwanda N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes Yes
Senegal N Extant Yes
Serbia N Extant Yes
Sierra Leone N Extant Yes
Slovakia N Extant Yes
Slovenia N Extant Yes
Somalia N Extant Yes
South Africa N Extant Yes
South Sudan N Extant Yes
Spain V Extant Yes
Sri Lanka N Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes
Sweden V Extant
Switzerland V Extant
Syria N Extant Yes Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes Yes
Togo N Extant Yes
Tunisia N Extant Yes Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Uganda N Extant Yes Yes
Ukraine N Extant Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes Yes
United Kingdom V Extant
Uzbekistan N Possibly Extinct Yes
Vietnam V Extinct
Yemen N Extant Yes Yes
Zambia N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Algeria Parc National de l'Ahaggar
Armenia Tashir
Azerbaijan Korchai area
Botswana South-east Botswana
Bulgaria Balchik
Bulgaria Batova
Cameroon Kalamaloué National Park
Cameroon Lake Maga
Cameroon Logone flood-plain
Cameroon Mont Manengouba
Cameroon Waza National Park
Cyprus Akrotiri Peninsula - Episkopi Cliffs
Cyprus Cape Greco
Cyprus Karpasia Peninsula - Kleides Islands
Cyprus Xeros Valley and Hanoutaris Cliffs
Djibouti Kadda Guéïni - Doumêra
Egypt Ain Sukhna
Egypt El Qa plain
Egypt Gebel El Zeit
Egypt Gebel Maghara
Egypt Lake Bardawil
Egypt Lake Manzala
Egypt Ras Mohammed National Park
Egypt Suez
Egypt Zaranik Protected Area
Ethiopia Abijatta - Shalla Lakes National Park
Ethiopia Awash National Park
Ethiopia Bahir Dar - Lake Tana
Ethiopia Bale Mountains National Park
Ethiopia Boyo wetland
Ethiopia Chelekleka lake and swamp
Ethiopia Dessa'a forest
Ethiopia Dilu Meda (Tefki)
Ethiopia Fogera plains
Ethiopia Koka dam and Lake Gelila
Ethiopia Lake Langano
Ethiopia Nechisar National Park and surroundings
Ethiopia Senkele Sanctuary
Ethiopia Simien Mountains National Park
Ethiopia Sululta plain
Ethiopia Yangudi-Rassa National Park
Georgia Batumi
Kazakhstan Aksu-Dzhabagly State Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Aktubek
Kazakhstan Alekseevskie steppe pine forests
Kazakhstan Amangeldy
Kazakhstan Ayak-Bestau Hills
Kazakhstan Chingiztau Mountains
Kazakhstan Eastern Kazakhstan uplands
Kazakhstan Ereymentau Mountains
Kazakhstan Ertis Ormany (Shaldai Forest)
Kazakhstan Iskrinskie Pine Forests
Kazakhstan Kamyshovoe-Zhamankol Lakes
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Korgankol Lake
Kazakhstan Koybagar-Tyuntyugur Lake System
Kazakhstan Kulykol-Taldykol Lake System
Kazakhstan Kushmurun Lake
Kazakhstan Lower reaches of the Sarysu River
Kazakhstan Manyrak Mountains
Kazakhstan Middle reaches of the Sarysu River
Kazakhstan Mugodzhary
Kazakhstan Naurzum State Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Ortau upland massif
Kazakhstan Sagyz
Kazakhstan Sankebay Lakes
Kazakhstan Sarykopa Lake System
Kazakhstan Semey Ormany (Semipalatinsk Forest)
Kazakhstan Shaglyteniz Lake and marshes
Kazakhstan Shoshkaly Lake System
Kazakhstan Teniz-Karakamys Lakes
Kazakhstan Tounsor Hollow Lakes
Kazakhstan Ulytau Mountains
Kazakhstan Vicinity of Korgalzhyn village
Kazakhstan Western and northern foothills of the Kalba Range
Kazakhstan Western edge of the Karakoyin and Zhetikonyr Sands
Kazakhstan Zhagabulak Forest
Kazakhstan Zhagalbayly and Tuyemoynak Hills
Kazakhstan Zharsor-Urkash Salt Lakes
Kenya Kinangop grasslands
Kenya Nairobi National Park
Kenya Ol Ari Nyiro
Kyrgyzstan Tulek Valley
Malawi Lake Chilwa and flood-plain
Namibia Etosha National Park
Namibia Tsumkwe pan system
Nepal Annapurna Conservation Area
Nepal Chitwan National Park
Nepal Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve
Nepal Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Barrage
Nepal Langtang National Park
Nepal Mai Valley forests
Nepal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve
Niger 'W' National Park
Romania Aliman - Adamclisi
Romania Beştepe - Mahmudia
Romania Dealurile Dorobanţu
Romania Denis Tepe
Romania Dobrogei gorge
Romania Dumbrăveni - Plopeni
Romania Hagieni forest
Romania Kogălniceanu - Gura Ialomiţei
Romania Stepa Casimcea
Romania Stepa Saraiu - Horea
Russia (Central Asian) Arkaim
Russia (Central Asian) Birsuat
Russia (Central Asian) Blagoveschenskaya (Kulunda lake and vicinity)
Russia (Central Asian) Bol'shiye and Maliye Donki lakes
Russia (Central Asian) Bol'shoye Beloye lake
Russia (Central Asian) Bottomland of Tobol river near villages Lebedevka and Bygrovoe
Russia (Central Asian) Ebeity lake
Russia (Central Asian) Flood-plain of Tobol river near Lebedevka and Bugrovoye villages
Russia (Central Asian) Gor'koye lake near Karas'ye village
Russia (Central Asian) Interfluve of the rivers Small and Big Karatanka
Russia (Central Asian) Kurumbel'skaya steppe
Russia (Central Asian) Lake Tavolzhan
Russia (Central Asian) Plateau Ukok
Russia (Central Asian) Siverga lake
Russia (Central Asian) Stekleney Lake
Russia (Central Asian) Uzkaya Steppe
Russia (European) Algaiski
Russia (European) Buinakskaya depression
Russia (European) Bulukhta area
Russia (European) Flood-plain of Alatyr' river in vicinity of Ardatov
Russia (European) Floodplain of Pjana river near village Sarga
Russia (European) Islands in the western part of Lake Manych-Gudilo
Russia (European) Kulaksay lowland
Russia (European) Kupy area
Russia (European) Kurnikov liman
Russia (European) Shalkaro-Zhetykol'ski lake system
Russia (European) Siniye mountains
Russia (European) Stepnovski saltmarshes
Russia (European) Teberdinski Nature Reserve
Russia (European) Vicinity of Borisoglebovka (Saratovski [Semenovski] Reserve)
Russia (European) Watershed of Bityug and Tsna rivers
Russia (European) Zhestyanka
Rwanda Akagera National Park
Sudan En Nahud
Syria Euphrates valley
Tanzania Masai Steppe
Tanzania Mount Kilimanjaro
Tanzania Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Turkey Tuz Lake
Uganda Kidepo Valley National Park
Uganda Murchison Falls National Park
Uganda Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake George
Ukraine Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve
Ukraine Korotchenkivs'ki meadows
Ukraine Samars'kyj forest
Uzbekistan Angren Plateau
Uzbekistan South-west Gizzar Foothills
Zambia Bangweulu Swamps
Zambia Barotse Floodplains
Zambia Kafue Flats
Zambia Kafue National Park
Zambia Kasanka National Park
Zambia Lukanga Swamp
Zambia Nyika National Park (Zambia)
Zimbabwe Nyanga mountains

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Boreal suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate major breeding
Savanna Dry suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 4000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Circus macrourus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/02/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/02/2020.