Skip to content

Falco pelegrinoides

warning Endangered
EN (C1,D1)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Noam Weiss, Yoav Perlman, Meidad Goren, Itay Shanni, Ohad Hatzofe, Rei Segali
Update Time: Jan. 1, 2011, 7:39 a.m.

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 Global Assessment

Habitats Desert Cliffs
Presence In Israel Resident
Breeding In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Resident
Zoographical Zones Saharo-Arabian, Sudani
Landscape Types Cliffs
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Cliffs
Diet Types Terrestrial Vertebrates
Foraging Grounds Aerial
Body Sizes Medium (500 - 1000g)
Threat Factors Human Settlements in Gorges, Hikers and rock climbers, Hunting and trapping

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.
  • מירוז, א. והצופה, א. 2014. סיכום סקר קינון עופות דורסים במדבר יהודה. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים.
  • 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

Current occupancy map by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
0 0 0 0 0

Distribution maps

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

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values in the current decade as determined from experts' opinion and observations from databases.

Relative Abundance 2010-2020 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
8 12 12 21 19

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Density values based primarily on the book The Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Relative Abundance 1980-1990 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
5 14 14 17 22

Occupancy 1990-2020

The map shows differences in the species breeding distribution between the 1980's breeding map and the current weighted breeding evaluation. Negative value - species previously bred in the grid and is not presently breeding; positive value - species has not previously bred in the grid and is currently breeding.

Occupancy 1990-2020
Data Missing No Change Occupancy Increase Occupancy Decrease
6 35 1 9

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020

The map shows the changes in the relative abundance of a species in each of the distribution grids between the breeding map of the 1980s and the weighted current breeding evaluation. Negative values - decline in abundance; positive values - increase in abundance; zero - no change in abundance.

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020
80 to 100 50 20 to 30 No Change 30- to 20- 50- 100- to 80- Data Missing
0 4 2 22 12 14 11 16

Red number
IUCN category
Threat Definition according to the red book
() districts
% of protected sites

Other Species

Falco subbuteo
Falco biarmicus
Falco tinnunculus
Falco concolor