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 appears 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.
The global population is estimated to number > c.10,000 individuals (Ferguson-Lees et al. 2001), while national population sizes have been estimated at c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in China and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat destruction through drainage of wetlands and agricultural expansion (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001).
Agricultural development and drainage of wetlands threatens the species (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Orta et al. 2014).
Text account compilers
Harding, M., Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S. & Ashpole, J
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Circus melanoleucos. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/10/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/10/2019.