Red-listed in Ireland due to significant decline in breeding population. The European population is currently evaluated as declining.
The reasons for the barn owl's decline are not fully understood, but can most likely be attributed to loss of suitable habitat and the use of rodenticides. Other factors that have been implicated include the loss of suitable nest sites, expansion of road networks and the increasing severity of winters.
The barn owl is found to be very dependant on white-toothed shrew with other small mammals forming a much smaller percentage of prey caught.