Experts Join Forces to Protect the Sooty Falcon

25. March 2013

Please read the following important message about the Sooty Falcon from Umberto Gallo Orsi.


The Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor) is a fast, highly agile bird of prey that feeds on small birds and insects captured in flight. It is classified as ‘Near Threatened’ in the IUCN Red List and is listed in ‘Category 1’ (Globally and Near Threatened species) of the UNEP/CMS Raptors MOU, primarily due to suspected population declines.
It breeds in harsh desert and semi-arid habitats, in and around the Middle East, and spends the winter on Madagascar, with small numbers remaining along the South-East littoral zone of Africa.
However, information on the species’ ecology is fragmented and incomplete, particularly about the migration and wintering periods of its lifecycle. There is a pressing need to gather more accurate and comprehensive information on the Sooty Falcon, including about its global population status and the main threats causing its decline.
The Coordinating Unit (CU) of the Raptors MOU, in close collaboration with Range States*, specialist ornithologists and other interested parties, is leading the development of an International Single Species Action Plan (ISSAP) for the Sooty Falcon. I have been asked to coordinate ISSAP process.
Over the next twelve months, I’ll work with the CU to establish and coordinate the Sooty Falcon Working Group; review existing knowledge and published literature relating to the ecology and conservation of the Sooty Falcon; develop and maintain an information resource base; and, prepare a draft Sooty Falcon ISSAP for review at an Action Planning Workshop expected to take place in the latter part of 2013.
However, the success of this project will not be possible without extensive international collaboration and cooperation with all Range States, specialists and others interested in this iconic species. A database of contacts has already been established and further information will be available soon.
In the meantime, anyone interested in contributing to this important initiative, can contact me at sootyfalconwg@gmail.com