Species Action Plans Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)
This species is known to be undergoing steep population decline in Europe, although numbers in its Asiatic strongholds are thought to be more stable. Thus it is probably experiencing a moderately rapid population decline overall, and consequently it is categorised as Near Threatened. [source: Birdlife.org]
[Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) Europe 2002]
Agricultural development has resulted in fragmentation of the Pallid Harrier’s former core breeding range and has caused a population decline. This has been particularly noticeable in Eastern Europe, west of the Volga River. At the same time there have been instances of breeding in new areas, mostly far north of the range indicated in the standard handbooks. Most breeding pairs shift nesting places from year to year, probably tracking changes in the abundance of small rodent prey. Thus, local fluctuations in the Pallid Harrier population and range movements have hampered survey work. A preliminary assessment of the total breeding population of the Pallid Harrier at the beginning of the XXI century is 9,000 – 15,000 pairs, and it is evidently in decline. There is an urgent need for a structured program of surveys, research, monitoring and conservation action at breeding grounds. Reliable records of the species on migration routes and on winter grounds are also difficult to obtain due to the rarity of the species, its broad-front migration strategy, and difficulties in field identification. Further survey work and research is needed on this species in the winter range in order to be able to target conservation action effectively. However, some important concentrations have already been located in India and Africa where strict conservation measures are required now.
Vladimir Galushin, Roger Clarke and Anatoly Davygora (2002).International Action Plan for the Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)