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Falco pelegrinoides

warning Endangered
EN (C1,D1)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Noam Weiss, Yoav Perlman, Meidad Goren, Itay Shanni, Ohad Hatzofe, Rei Segali

The Barbary Falcon is classified as Endangered (EN) due to its small and declining population (less than 250 mature individuals). The rate of decline in the number of breeding individuals is estimated to exceed 20% over 2 generations (12.8 years). In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Near Threatened (NT). The change in the status of the species reflects the decline of the population as well as the improvement in the quality of the data and differences in the assessment methods. According to some taxonomic sources, the Barbary Falcon should be considered a subspecies of the Peregrine, and not a separate species. However, Barbary and Peregrine Falcons have significantly different ecologies in Israel and thus their conservation status is best represented by separating the subspecies.
EN Current Regional Assessment | NT Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Desert Cliffs
Presence In Israel Resident
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Resident
Zoography Zones Saharo-Arabian, Sudano-Zambezian
Landscape Formations Cliffs
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Cliffs
Diet Types Vertebrate
Foraging Grounds Aerial
Body Sizes Medium (500 - 1000g)
Threat Factors Human Settlements in Gorges, Hiking & Climbing, Direct Persecution

The Barbary Falcon is a medium- to large-sized falcon, the smallest in the “large falcons” group. Treated here as a separate species, although by some specialists (including Birdlife International) considered a subspecies of the Peregrine Falcon. Its back and upperparts are bluish-grey, and it has a brown crown and reddish nape, a sandy colored belly and breast, with delicate spotting. It feeds mostly on birds it catches in flight, including swifts and swallows, but also pigeons, sandgrouse, sand partridges, larks and others.

The Barbary Falcon is a resident breeding species in the desert region: the Judean Desert (north up to Nahal Kidron area), the Negev Highlands, the Eastern Negev, the Arava and the Eilat Mountains. In winter, it can also be seen in the Western Negev, in Jerusalem and in the Tel-Aviv Metropolitan area. Approximately 100 pairs nested in Israel in the 1980s, when its range was more extensive, including in eastern Samaria and the western Negev Highlands (Shirihai 1996). During the last decade Barbary Falcons have not been observed breeding in Eastern Samaria, in the western Negev Highlands, nor in the northern and western parts of the Judean Desert (most of the pairs in the Judean Desert are now concentrated along the Fault Escarpment). The current population is estimated at 50 to 60 pairs.

In Eastern Samaria and in western parts of the Judean Desert, the Barbary Falcon was adversely affected by human presence, such as grazing on cliffs, and settlement of herders and their herds in caves and in the steep wadis. It is not clear why it receded in the western Negev Highlands. It was probably also adversely affected by trapping and collection for falconry, with juveniles that wander outside Israel’s borders being the main victims, but there is very little information regarding this.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.

The Barbary Falcon is classified as endangered (EN); its population is very small and restricted to relatively undisturbed cliffs in the Judean Desert and the Eastern Negev. During the past two decades, the population has receded from the northern and western parts of its range. A study to investigate the threat factors endangering the species should be conducted and a conservation program be formulated based on the results.

The dispersal and land-use patterns of Barbary falcons, as well as the factors threatening them, are not sufficiently understood. A study should be conducted to gather information on these topics.

The Barbary Falcon breeds from mid-February to July, in cliff alcoves, usually in canyons and on the Fault Escarpment along the Judean Desert. It lays 2-5 eggs, usually in an unlined nest, and occasionally in abandoned nests of crows or other raptors. Incubation lasts 28-30 days and the young fledge from the nest at the age of 33-39 days.

  • הצופה, א. ומירוז, א. 2015. תכנית אב לשימור העופות הדורסים בישראל. מסמך פנימי של רשות הטבע והגנים.
  • הרלינג, א. 2001. סיכום סקר קינון דורסי יום בשמורת עין גדי. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים.
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  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
  • פרומקין, ר., מן ש., 1984 .קנון דורסים בחבל המדברי של ישראל 1984-1980. העזניה גליון 11. הוצאת החברה להגנת הטבע.
  • פרלמן, י., אלתרמן, ש. וגרניט, ב. 2011. סקר עופות דוגרים בנחלים הפנימיים, אביב 2011. דו"ח מרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
  • פרלמן, י., שוחט, א. ולבינגר, ז. 2009. סקר אטלס ציפורים בערבה סיכום שנת 2009. דו"ח מרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Noam Weiss, Yoav Perlman, Meidad Goren, Itay Shanni, Ohad Hatzofe, Rei Segali

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

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% of protected sites

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