Square-tailed Kite Lophoictinia isura


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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be small, 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
The species has been described as uncommon (Debus and Kirwan 2018).

Trend justification
The population is tentatively assessed as declining as the result of habitat loss per Tracewski et al. (2016).

Distribution and population

Endemic to Australia, this species is found throughout the mainland, though rarely in central Australia.


This species is a specialised, canopy-dwelling predator inhabiting primarily coastal and subcoastal environments and inland wooded watercourses. There is an assured supply of passerines in those places where it hunts around towns, and it may have even benefited from partial clearance (Garnett and Crowley 2000).


Half or more of its habitat in southern and eastern Australia has been at least partially cleared for agriculture. Illegal egg-collecting and shooting constitute threats in marginal populations.


Text account compilers
Harding, M., Ekstrom, J., Hermes, C., Butchart, S., Palmer-Newton, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Lophoictinia isura. Downloaded from on 30/06/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 30/06/2022.