Due to the sooty falcon's scattered distribution and often inaccessible breeding sites, it has proven difficult to accurately assess its population (4). While previous global population estimates have given figures of around 40,000 breeding pairs, a review of Arabian census data in 2006 indicated that the population may, in fact, be as low as 1,000 pairs and in decline (4) (8). In response to this discovery, in 2008 the IUCN uplisted the sooty falcon's threat status from Least Concern to Near Threatened (1) (4). The reasons for the sooty falcon's global decline are currently unclear. Since many of the sooty falcon's breeding grounds are in protected areas or are inaccessible, it has been proposed that pressures encountered at this species' wintering grounds or during its migration may be responsible (4). In the Abu Dhabi Emirate, the only United Arab Emirate where breeding pairs of sooty falcon are found, the situation is critical (9) (13). A survey conducted by the EAD in 2007 indicated that the sooty falcon has disappeared from many of its former breeding sites, and that currently only six breeding pairs are known to remain. The decline has been attributed to increased disturbance from urban development and the continuous presence of humans, especially during the nesting season (9).