Falco concolor breeds discontinuously and highly locally from Libya, eastwards through Egypt to the Red Sea islands off Sudan, Djibouti and Ethiopia, islands and coasts of north-west and south-west Saudi Arabia and north-west Yemen, southern Israel and south Jordan, as well as islands in the Persian Gulf from Qatar to Oman and south-west Pakistan; scattered records away from known breeding areas, especially in Arabia, suggest possible nesting in other parts of the region. Most of the population winters in Madagascar, but a small but unknown proportion winters in coastal Mozambique and eastern South Africa (south to southern Natal), and there is also limited over-wintering in the southern part of the breeding range. Estimating the total population has proved notoriously difficult, and the population may have been overestimated in the past. However, there are now thought to be no more than a few thousand wintering in Madagascar and a recent review of all Arabian census data, (which is reportedly surprisingly comprehensive for this species), and found that the total Arabian population is probably just below 500 breeding pairs1,2. Given that the Arabian population is generally regarded as the largest within its range (perhaps half of the world population), the estimate from Madagascar may indeed prove to be accurate1. Anecdotal evidence from Madagascar indicates a decline, and this is mirrored by data from breeding colonies in the Middle East2,3,4.
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