Ural Owl Strix uralensis


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 is very large, and hence does not 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 European population is estimated at 80,300-132,000 pairs, which equates to160,000-263,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International in prep.). Europe forms approximately 25% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 640,000-1,052,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in part due to the provision of thousands of nest boxes in some areas to replace dead-wood habitat lost during forestry operations (del Hoyo et al. 1999). In Europe the population size is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International in prep.).


In areas dominated by open areas, such as fields and clearfells, the Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) outcompetes this species (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997). It also suffers from forestry management, which has resulted in the loss of hollow and broken trees which provide nesting sites (König 2008; Holt et al. 2020). Data from Global Forest Watch (2021) suggests that the rates of forest loss are <20% over three generations, and this species is able to utilise other habitats, including urban dwellings, pastureland and rural gardens (Holt et al. 2020).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
This species is listed under CITES appendix II.


Text account compilers
Clark, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Strix uralensis. Downloaded from on 08/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 08/12/2023.