Raptor Population Index

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Raptors at Risk Raptors on the Rise Others

Species Assessment:
Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus)

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The 10-year migration count trends for Swallow-tailed Kite suggest a mix of migration counts trends across their range with 3 of 5 total sites showing statistically significant stable counts during this span. While the 3 sites reporting stable counts are located in the Gulf Region, the fourth Gulf site has reported a decrease in average counts. The East Region site has reported an increased average count (see pie charts and trend maps below). The Cardel, Veracruz count site observed to greatest number of this species during fall migration at 3,189 individuals. The 20-year count trends (not shown) imply a mostly stable and increasing population in the Gulf Region (Gulf Region: 2 stable, 1 increase). The Swallow-tailed Kite overwinters in South America, but USGS Breeding Bird Survey data suggest an overall increase in population at Gulf Region breeding grounds over the last two decades. The greatest threat to the species is loss and degradation of nesting, foraging and roosting habitat due to land development. In Florida, the center of species abundance, it is one of the most highly ranked species for management attention there. There are no formal management listings by state or federal agencies except in South Carolina, where the species is listed as Endangered.

Swallow-tailed Kite<br>Photo by David McNicholas

Photo by David McNicholas

Please cite this page as:
    D. Oleyar, D. Ethier, L. Goodrich, D. Brandes, R. Smith, J. Brown, and J. Sodergren. 2021. The Raptor Population Index: 2019 Analyses and Assessments.