State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Athene noctua (Scopoli, 1769)

  • Strix noctua Scopoli, 1769
Vernacular Name
Little Owl
Conservation status
Be (II); Bo (II)
Value of species
The species is listed as ‘endangered’ on the Dutch national Red List (Hustings et al. 2004).
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 extremely 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. In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 618,000-1,170,000 pairs, which equates to 1,240,000-2,340,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.25% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 4,960,000-9,360,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. The population is therefore placed in the band 5,000,000-9,999,999 mature individuals. Trend Justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The European population is estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015). The species is found in a variety of semi-open habitats, ranging from parkland, orchards and cultivated fields with hedges to rocky, semi-desert regions and steppes (Mikkola 1983) and extends from boreal to tropical areas. It is monogamous and breeds from March to August. The nest is built in a cavity and the hole is cleaned and scraped but will also use nest boxes. Clutches are usually three to six eggs (Holt et al. 2014). It feeds on insects, small rodents and plant matter. Birds and frogs are an important food source during the nesting season (Mikkola 1983). The species is sedentary although large displacements do occur (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997).
Book reference
  • Котенко Т.И., Ардамацкая Т.Б., Дубина Д.В. и др. Биоразнообразие Джарылгача: современное состояние и пути сохранения // Вісник зоології. – 2000. – Спец. випуск. – 240 с.
  • Літопис природи. Природний заповідник «Медобори». 2018, т.26. – Гримайлів, 2019. – 509 с.
  • Літопис природи. Природний заповідник «Розточчя». 2018, т.32. – Івано-Франкове, 2019. – 000 с.
  • Проект організації території Чорноморського біосферного заповідника НАН України та охорони його природних комплексів. Ч. 1. К.- 2016. 300 с.

Taxonomic branch