Rufous-tailed Hawk Buteo ventralis


Justification of Red List Category
This species is considered to be Vulnerable owing to its small population (<1,000 mature individuals). Evidence of continuing declines would make the species eligible for classification as Endangered and information demonstrating a population greater than 1,000 mature individuals with a stable population trend would warrant downlisting to Near Threatened.

Population justification
The total population is placed in the band 250-999 mature individuals, equating to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable despite the fact that the destruction of its habitat is ongoing.

Distribution and population

This species is endemic to the lower Andes of Patagonia in southern Chile and Argentina, where it is rare, occurring at naturally low densities. No data is available regarding numbers or densities, and there is no firm evidence of a decline, but its habitat has suffered extensive degradation and some authorities consider that the total population is unlikely to exceed 1,000 individuals (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Further information is required regarding population size, trends and other potential or existing threats. Increased knowledge of identification features may generate more records of this species.


It inhabits the ecotone between Nothofagus forest and steppe grassland from sea level to at least 1,200 m and locally to 1,500 m (H. Norambuena et al. in litt. 2013, Bierregaard et al. 2015). Feeds predominantly on mammals and birds (Bierregaard et al. 2015). Shows preference for areas with southern beech and Chile pine Araucaria araucana but also occurs in parkland, tree-lined fields, open coastal grassland and Patagonian upland brush-steppe (Bierregaard et al. 2015).


Its habitat has been negatively affected by logging and overgrazing since the introduction of sheep and cattle (S. Imberti in litt. 2003). Suitable habitat has been lost to Pinus and Eucalyptus plantations (H. Norambuena et al. in litt. 2013). The species is persecuted due to its alleged habit of feeding on poultry (Rivas-Fuenzalida et al. 2011, H. Norambuena et al. in litt. 2013).

Conservation actions

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II.

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Survey to obtain an accurate population estimate and monitor trends. Clarify threats. Protect areas of suitable habitat and safeguard against the effects of logging and overgrazing.


45-60 cm medium-sized hawk. Polymorphic, with pale and dark morphs. Long square-tipped wings with kinked trailing edges and medium-length tail (Bierregaard et al. 2015). Voice Only description a harsh drawn-out kee-ahrr.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Mansur, E., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Ashpole, J

Imberti, I., Figueroa, R., Jiménez, J., Rivas-Fuenzalida, T., Norambuena, H., Medel, J. & Raimilla, V.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Buteo ventralis. Downloaded from on 27/06/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/06/2022.