Although Rostrhamus sociabilis is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN red list due to its large distribution and global population increases (BirdLife International, 2012), it is a species with a very specialized niche in terms of its habitat and diet (Beissinger et al., 1994; Bergmann et al., 2013) and thus population responses to changes in weather (Reichert et al., 2012) and habitat (Bowling et al., 2012) have been thoroughly studied. Since 1967, when a survey of the Florida population could only find 21 individuals (Stieglitz et al., 1967), there has been concern about Snail Kite populations. Some have highlighted that dispersal of juveniles has accounted for supposed population declines (Rodgers et al., 1988), but it is evident that reproduction and survival of populations is specially sensitive to changes in the hydrology of their environment because it affects the number of breeding attempts (Reichert et al., 2012), the structural stability of nests (Snyder, 1989), predation pressures on nests (Beissinger, 1986), and the ability of finding prey (Bergmann, 2013). In addition, despite the ability juveniles have to disperse when habitat conditions are not optimal, this behavior is also linked to an increased mortality (Bowling et al., 2012).
Currently the Florida population, consisting solely of R. s. plumbeus, is protected by the Florida Everglades National Park but it is still classified as federally endangered in the United States (USFWS, 2013). More research on the status of other populations is needed in order to determine their conservation status.