Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Chinese (Simplified) (1) (learn more)

Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Male and female imperial eagles form monogamous pairs at around four years old and then stay together for life. They build a large nest, known as an eyrie, from sticks, at the top of a tall tree (2), and will return to this and a couple of other nests in rotation every year, making repairs as necessary (6). During the spring, the female lays between two and four eggs, which are incubated for 43 days by both parents, hatching from the end of May to the middle of June. The smallest hatchling is usually pecked or starved to death by its older, stronger sibling, which claims more of the adults' attention. The surviving nestling will learn to fly at around two months, but will stay at the nest for another few weeks, being fed by the female until it can hunt (2). The imperial eagle usually hunts alone, targeting small mammals (mainly ground squirrels known as susliks (Spermophilus citellus)), reptiles, birds and carrion (2). They have excellent eyesight for spotting prey whilst gliding, but they may also steal the catch of other birds of prey, sometimes obtaining the majority of their food this way (6). Whilst each bird begins its migratory journey alone, imperial eagles often congregate into loose flocks of ten or more to soar on level wings, covering up to 8,000 kilometres in six weeks (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

Adult imperial eagles are stocky in shape with black-brown feathers and a pale golden crown and nape. The shoulders have prominent white patches and the tail is greyish-brown. The head is large, the wings are long and straight and the strong feet have long, curved talons. Juveniles are paler with patterning on the rump, wings and tail. They have bold streaks on the underwings and the underside of the body (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Comprehensive Description

Summary

"Aquila heliaca, commonly called the Imperial Eagle, is a large bird of prey that are migratory and winter in northeastern Africa, southern and eastern Asia."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Aquilua heliaca can be found throughout southern Europe, from Greece to southern Russia. Here it can be found as far south as a line drawn from Cyprus to northwest India, and as far east as Central Siberia. It can also be found sparsely in Spain. In winter it migrates to northeast Africa (from Egypt to Kenya), India, and southeast China (Channing 2000).

Biogeographic Regions: palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range Description

Aquila heliaca breeds in Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine (Heredia 1996). Breeding has not been proved but possibly occurs in Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Pakistan, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. On passage and in winter, birds are found in the Middle East, east Africa south to Tanzania, the Arabian peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and south and east Asia (from Thailand to Korea). The European population comprises 1,800-2,200 pairs (Demerdzhiev et al. 2011). This number is considerably higher than previous estimates of 1,051-1,619 pairs were reported in 2000 (Horváth et al. 2002) and 1,110-1,624 pairs in 2008 (BirdLife International 2008, Barov and Derhé 2011), and is partly due to increased survey effort rather than a genuinely large population increase. There was a rapid decline in Europe and probably in Asia in the second half of the 20th century. Recently the central European population (177-192 pairs mostly in Hungary and Slovakia) appears to have been increasing (Horváth et al. 2005, Demerdzhiev et al. 2011) as a result of conservation efforts, although the majority of the threats to the species persist (D. Horal in litt. 2012). In the last six years the occurrence of persecution incidents significantly increased (Horváth et al. 2011), with more than 50 Eastern Imperial Eagles poisoned in Hungary (M. Horváth in litt. 2012). The Balkan population (76-132 pairs mostly in Bulgaria and Macedonia [Demerdzhiev et al. 2011] ) is apparently stable (although the last proven breeding in Greece took place in 1993). Recent surveys in Azerbaijan found relatively high densities in the north-western plains, estimating 50-60 pairs within a 6,000 km2 study area (Horváth et al. 2007), and a total population size of 50-150 pairs (Horváth et al. 2008, Sultanov 2010). This suggests that the Caucasian population may have been underestimated (it was previously assumed that less than 50 pairs bred in Azerbaijan and Georgia) (Horváth et al. 2007). Populations in the Volga Region of Russia are relatively stable, but are suspected to decline in the future due to the presence of threats at breeding sites (M. Korepov and R. Bekmansurov in litt. 2012). At least half of the world population (and possibly more) breeds in Russia (900-1,000 pairs [Belik et al. 2002]) and Kazakhstan (750-800 pairs [Bragin 1999]). More recent surveys conducted by Karyakin et al. (2008, 2011) estimated 3,000-3,500 pairs in Russia and 3,500-4,000 pairs in Kazakhstan. However these figures have yet to be confirmed and should be treated with caution. Although these populations currently seem to be stable, the Russian population has been predicted to decline in the next three to five years [V. Galushin in litt. 1999].

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

"Distribution size (in km2): 9440000. Global range: Central & North East palearctic, East Africa, East Asia. Indian subcontinent range: East Afghanistan, Northern plains, Montane valleys, Indus valley, Mekran coast, Bhutan, West Bengal, Bangladesh"
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Endemic Distribution

Not endemic.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

C Europe to Mongolia; winters to Africa, n India and China.
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

The imperial eagle is found from southern Europe to southern Russia, as well as northwest India and central Siberia. In winter it migrates to the Middle East, east Africa as far south as Tanzania, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and south and east Asia (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

The Imperial Eagle is the second largest eagle to reside in Europe. It can grow to a length of about 0.92 meters. It can have a wingspan approaching 2.14 meters and have a mass of about 3.6 kilograms. Adults are black-brown in color. They have a pale golden crown and nape, and a grey base that extends to the tail. They also have very apparent white "braces" on their scapulars. Juveniles are paler and more variegated than the adults. They are yellow-brown with rump, wing, and tail patterns similar to the patterns of the Lesser Spotted, pale Spotted, Tawny and Steppe eagles. They are distinguished from these eagles, however, by the bolder streaks on their under-wings and body, the lack of a pale band under the wing-coverts, and their larger and more majestic build. Both the juveniles and adults have noticeably protruding head and long, parallel-edged wings. Like other eagles, they have strong legs and feet. Their feet include long, curved talons that they use to seize, kill and carry their prey. They also have large eyes that are located slightly to the side of the head. These eyes provide them with extremely keen eyesight, allowing them to spot prey from high in the air. (Peterson 1993, Wyss 1997, Eagle 1988)

Average mass: 3000 g.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

"A large, stout-bodied eagle. Adults have a glossy blackish brown body, white marks on the back, and buff vents and under tail-coverts. Tawny buff to whitish head and neck that protrudes distinctly from the body. Long and broad wings that remain flat when soaring and gliding. A longish tail mottled with grey and brown and tipped white with a broad black subterminal band. Sexes alike. Females larger. Juveniles brown in colour with pale-edged feathers on head and neck, conspicuously streaked buffish body with pale underside, uniform pale rump and back and tail with pale bars. They also display a pronounced curve to trailing edge of wings."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Size

Length: 81-90cm. Wingspan: 1.8–2.16 m. Weight: 2.45–4.55 Kg.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Look Alikes

Golden Eagle A. chrysaetos and Steppe Eagle A. nipalensis.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

The Imperial Eagle tends to live in forests, where it will build a huge, conspicuous nest in an isolated tall tree. Old forests, and the forests in mountains, hills, and along rivers are all common habitats. It has, however, also been known to live in steppes, open landscapes, agricultural areas, and even semideserts. Imperial eagles hunt in open fields or wetlands. During migration, a variety of habitats are used, though they seem to prefer to winter in wetlands. (Heredia 1996, Peterson 1993)

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This is a lowland species that has been pushed to higher altitudes by persecution and habitat loss in Europe. In central and eastern Europe, it breeds in forests up to 1,000 m and also in steppe and agricultural areas with large trees, and nowadays also on electricity pylons. In the Caucasus, it occurs in steppe, lowland and riverine forests and semi-deserts. Eastern populations breed in natural steppe and agricultural habitats. Both adults and immatures of the eastern populations are migratory, wintering in the Middle East, East Africa south to Tanzania, the Arabian peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and south and east Asia; wintering birds have also been reported in Hong Kong (China). These birds make their southward migration between September and November, returning between February and May (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Wetlands are apparently preferred on the wintering grounds. Birds are usually seen singly or in pairs, with small groups sometimes forming on migration or at sources of food or water (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). In exceptional cases large groups of up to 200 have been known to form on autumn migration (Snow and Perrins 1998). Adults in central Europe, the Balkan peninsula, Turkey and the Caucasus are usually residents, whilst most immatures move south. Non-territorial birds often associate with other large eagles such as A. clanga and Haliaeetus albicilla on wintering and temporary settlement areas.


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

General Habitat

"A. Global: Landmass Type: Continent Habitat systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater. Forest Dependency: Medium. Altitude: 0 - 1400 m. Altitudinal limits: (max) 3900 m. General Habitats: Forest - Temperate; Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation; Grassland - Temperate, Subtropical/Tropical Dry; Wetlands (inland)- Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands; Artificial/Terrestrial- Arable Land, Pastureland. Breeding Habitats: Artificial landscapes (terrestrial) - Arable land, Pastureland; Forest - Temperate; Grassland - Subtropical/tropical (lowland) dry, Temperate; Shrubland - Mediterranean-type. B. In India: Open treeless country."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Originally a lowland species, the imperial eagle has been pushed to higher elevations by habitat loss and hunting. In central and eastern Europe it is found in forests up to 1,000 metres, as well as steppe and agricultural areas with large trees. In the Caucasus, it is still found in lowland and riverine forests and semi-deserts. It winters in wetlands (5).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Migration

"A full migrant. In India, it is a widespread winter visitor to North India down to Maharashtra. These birds prefer wetlands in their wintering grounds."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

The Imperial Eagle, like other birds of prey, is a carnivore. Its main source of food is small mammals, such as rabbits and susliks (ground squirrels in the genus Spermophilus). It will also eat reptiles, including some poisonous snakes, and other birds, such as young magpies, waders, and ducks. It has been known to feed on some carrion as well, carrying off lambs that were already dead. It generally hunts by slowly flying around the open areas near the forest where it resides, staying just above the treetop level, and scanning for prey. Its excellent eyesight makes spotting prey easy. When it sees a suitable prey item it will drop down on it, using its talons to kill and carry the prey. It will also, on a few occasions, perch high on a tree near the edge of the forest, and drop on its prey from there. (Channing 2000, Eagle 1988)

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

"Carnivorous. Feeds on carrion, rodents, ground-dwelling birds like young magpies, waders, and ducks, reptiles including poisonous snakes."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Known prey organisms

Aquila heliaca preys on:
Marmota bobak

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population Biology

"5,200 - 16,800 mature individuals (1999)"
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Behaviour

"Seen perched on a tree-top or on the ground for hours on end, this heavy sluggish bird obtains most of its prey by robbing them off other birds of prey."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Expectancy

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
56 (high) years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
56 years.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Maximum longevity: 56 years.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 56 years (captivity)
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Imperial Eagles are ready to breed for the first time when they are about four years old. When they reach this age, they find a mate whom they stay with for life. If one happens to die, however, the other will usually find a new mate and breed the next year. Every pair will build a nest, called an eyrie, in the top of a tree. These nests are generally made mainly with sticks, and are used only during the spring and summer months. Females will generally lay two eggs a year. Sometimes, however, they will lay three eggs, and on a few rare occasions they will lay four. These eggs have to be incubated for about forty-three days before they can hatch, and both parents will participate in the incubation. Even though two eggs are usually hatched, it is unusual for both eaglets, or baby eagles, to survive. One is usually born a couple days earlier than the other. This older, larger eaglet eats more than its share of food, and will repeatedly attack, often killing, the younger one. The young eagles are ready to fly when they are sixty days old. They stay near the nest, however, for an additional two weeks, and continue to be fed by the mother until they are ready to hunt for themselves. (Bologna 1978, Eagle 1988)

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

"Reproductive age: 4 years. Mating system: Birds form monogamous pairs that last their lifetimes. Mating season: March to April. Nesting site: Nests are built in trees, not surrounded by other trees to allow unobstructed view of the land. Very rarely, they are built on cliffs or on the ground. Nests: Large compact masses of twigs, upholstered with grass and feathers. Clutch size: 2 eggs a year. Sometimes 3, and rarely 4. Eggs: Dull white in colour with lavender grey splotches. Incubation period: 43 days. Fledgelings: Usually hatch a few days apart. The first born usually eats a majority of the food and pecks at the younger ones till they die. Surviving fledgelings leave the nest after 6-75 days."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Aquila heliaca

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

The Imperial Eagle is classified as endangered at the European level, and vulnerable at the global level. There are several threats to its survival, and habitat alterations are probably the most critical. Several kinds of forestry operations in their breeding areas can seriously hurt its ability to survive and reproduce. These operations include, but aren't limited to, the cutting of forests for reafforestation with alien species, cutting of large, old trees in forests and along forest edges, and logging disturbances. Several other types of human disturbances can also be major limiting factors. The Imperial Eagle is a very sensitive species, and can easily be hurt by both intentional and unintentional interference. An example of intentional interference is hunting. Imperial Eagles are often shot during migrations. Examples of unintentional interference include the eagles ingesting poisons meant to control other species and flying into power lines, electrocuting themselves. (Heredia 1996)

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: appendix i

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: vulnerable

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
C2a(ii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S.

Contributor/s
Galushin, V., Hallmann, B., Horváth, M., Katzner, T., Kovács, A., Stoychev, S., Bekmansurov, R., Korepov, M., Horal, D., Moshkin, A., Gradev, G., Velevski, M., Stanislav, V., Ryabtsev, V. & Mátyás, P.

Justification
This species has a small global population, and is likely to be undergoing continuing declines, primarily as a result of habitat loss and degradation, adult mortality through persecution and collision with powerlines, nest robbing and prey depletion. It is therefore listed as Vulnerable. More information is needed to confirm the size and trends of populations in Asia. Should this information show that the population is larger than currently thought, or declining at a more moderate rate, the species will warrant downlisting to a lower threat category.


History
  • 2012
    Vulnerable
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

"Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(ii) (ver 3.1) Year Published: 2008 Assessor/s: BirdLife International Reviewer/s: Butchart, S., Bird, J., Pople, R., Burfield, I., Gilroy, J. Contributor/s: Hallmann, B., Stoychev, S., Katzner, T., Horváth, M., Kovács, A., Galushin, V."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Status in Egypt

Regular passage visitor and winter visitor?

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1), and listed on Appendix I of CITES (3) and Appendices I and II of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS or Bonn Convention) (4).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 1,800-2,200 breeding pairs, equating to 3,600-4,400 individuals. Recent population estimates from Russia and Kazakhstan suggest the global population may exceed 10,000 mature individuals, but in light of criticism of these estimates the population is precautionarily retained in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals here. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Population Trend
Decreasing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Decreasing
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
Breeding sites are threatened primarily by intensive forestry in the mountains, and by the shortage of large indigenous trees in the lowlands (e.g. illegal tree cutting affected several pairs in Russia [Karyakin et al. 2009a] and Bulgaria). Other threats are loss and alteration of feeding habitats, shortages of small and medium-sized prey species (particularly ground-squirrels Spermophilus spp.), human disturbance of breeding sites, nest robbing and illegal trade, shooting, poisoning and electrocution by powerlines. An average of c.450 Eastern Imperial Eagles were killed by powerlines during the 2009 breeding season in the Altai region – 25% of the total population of the region (Karyakin et al. 2009b). Habitat alterations associated with agricultural expansion threaten historical and potential breeding sites in former range countries. Hunting, poisoning, prey depletion and other mortality factors are also likely to pose threats along migration routes and in wintering areas. Competition for nest sites with Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga has been reported in the Altai region, Russia (Karyakin et al. 2009c).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

"Major threats include loss and alteration of breeding and feeding habitats, shortages of small and medium-sized prey species, human disturbance of breeding sites, nest robbing and illegal trade, shooting, poisoning and electrocution by powerlines."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Native forest has been lost to the forestry industry as trees are felled and replaced with introduced species, depriving the imperial eagle of nesting and feeding sites. Nest robbing by humans is common, and trade in this species remains a problem. Additionally, imperial eagles are shot and poisoned, and are electrocuted on power lines. Shortages of prey species, particularly the suslik (Spermophilus citellus), have also contributed to the decline of this eagle (4).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Legislation

"CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) India Listed Species:Yes. Appendix:I. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Global Listed Species:Yes. Appendix:I. AEWA (Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds) Listed Species:Yes. Appendix:I/II. IWPA (Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972) Listed Species:No."
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I and II. CMS Appendix I and II. It is legally protected in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine. The Eastern Imperial Eagle Working Group was established in 1990. A European action plan was published in 1996 and its implementation reviewed in 2010 (Barov and Derhé 2011). Regional Action Plans have been published for the Balkan Peninsula (Stoychev et al. 2004) and for the Southern Caucasus (Horváth et al. 2006). The Eastern Imperial Eagle Management Guidelines for Hungary were published in 2005 and are under preparation for Slovakia(Kovács et al. 2006).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys in Asia (particularly Russia and Kazakhstan) to determine population size and trends. Conduct surveys to identify breeding and wintering sites, and migration routes. Improve protection of species and sites. Implement beneficial forestry policies. Maintain large trees in open land and protect old woodland on slopes(B. Hallmann in litt. 1999). Prevent mortality from nest robbing, nest destruction, illegal trade, poisoning and electrocution on medium-voltage powerlines, as well as persecution in wintering grounds and migratory routes. Maintain feeding habitats by preserving traditional land use. Increase the availability of prey species by habitat management. Raise public awareness and involve stakeholders in conservation activities.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

The imperial eagle is legally protected in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine. The Eastern Imperial Eagle Working Group was established in 1990 and the European Action Plan was published in 1996. Crucial steps in the conservation of this eagle are the improvement of forestry practices, the maintenance of large trees and the prevention of mortality via nest robbing, illegal trade, poisoning and power lines (6).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Although rare, Imperial Eagles have been known to attack humans who come too close to their nests. They may dive at a person who gets too close and strike at them with their talons. (Eagle 1988)

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Imperial Eagles are beneficial to farmers and ranchers because they feed on rabbits and other small mammals. By eating these animals, the Imperial Eagle reduces their numbers, and thus reduces the damage they can do. This eagle also feeds on venomous reptiles, many of which have been known to cause serious harm to humans. (Channing 2000)

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Eastern imperial eagle

The eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) is a large species of bird of prey that breeds from southeastern Europe to western and central Asia. Most populations are migratory and winter in northeastern Africa, and southern and eastern Asia.[2] The Spanish imperial eagle, found in Spain and Portugal, was formerly lumped with this species, the name imperial eagle being used in both circumstances. However, the two are now regarded as separate species[3] due to significant differences in morphology,[4] ecology[2] and molecular characteristics.[5][6]

Detail of an imperial eagle.

The eastern imperial eagle is a large eagle with a length of 72–90 cm (28–35 in), a wingspan of 1.8–2.16 m (5.9–7.1 ft) and a weight of 2.45–4.55 kilograms (5.4–10.0 lb). Females are about a quarter larger than males.[2][7][8] It closely resembles the Spanish imperial eagle, but has far less white to the "shoulder" and it is slightly larger.[2]

Impeagle.JPG

In Europe, the eastern imperial eagle is threatened with extinction. It has nearly vanished from many areas of its former range, e.g. Hungary and Austria.[1] Today, the only European populations are increasing in the Carpathian basin, mainly the northern mountains of Hungary and the southern region of Slovakia. The breeding population in Hungary consists of about 105 pairs.[9] The most western breeding population on the border between Austria and Czech republic consists of 15 - 20 pairs.

There are many eastern imperial eagle nests in the Bulgaria/Turkey section of the European Green Belt (the uncultivated belt along the former Iron Curtain.)

The monarchy of Austria-Hungary once chose the imperial eagle to be its heraldic animal, but this did not help this bird. The eagle's preferred habitat is open country with small woods; unlike many other species of eagle, it does not generally live in mountains, large forests or treeless steppes.

Eastern imperial eagles generally prefer to construct a nest in a tree which is not surrounded by other trees, so that the nest is visible from a considerable distance, and so that the occupants may observe the surroundings unobstructed. Tree branches are taken in order to build the nest, which is upholstered with grass and feathers. Very rarely it nests on cliffs or the ground.[2]

In March or April the female lays two to three eggs. The chicks hatch after about 43 days and leave the nest after 60–77 days.[2] Often, however, only one will survive to leave the nest, with the others dying before becoming fully fledged. In at least a part of its range, more than a third of all nesting attempts are entirely unsuccessful.[2]

The eastern imperial eagle feeds mainly on European hares, European hamsters and common pheasants as well as a variety of other birds and mammals.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2013). "Aquila heliaca". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Meyburg, B. U. (1994). Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca). Pp. 194-195 in: del Hoyo, Elliott & Sargatal. eds. (1994). Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 2. ISBN 84-87334-15-6
  3. ^ Sangster, George; Knox, Alan G.; Helbig, Andreas J. & Parkin, David T. (2002) Taxonomic recommendations for European birds. Ibis 144(1): 153–159. doi:10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00026.x PDF fulltext
  4. ^ Cramp, S. & Simmons, K. E. L. (1980) Birds of the Western Palearctic, Vol. 2. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  5. ^ Padilla, J. A.; Martinez-Trancón, M.; Rabasco, A. & Fernández-García, J. L. (1999) The karyotype of the Iberian imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) analyzed by classical and DNA replication banding. Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics 84: 61–66. doi:10.1159/000015216 (HTML abstract)
  6. ^ Seibold, I.; Helbig, A. J.; Meyburg, B. U.; Negro, J. J. & Wink, M. (1996): Genetic differentiation and molecular phylogeny of European Aquila eagles (Aves: Falconiformes) according to cytochrome-b nucleotide sequences. In: Meyburg, B. U. & Chancellor, R. D. (eds): Eagle Studies: 1–15. Berlin: World Working Group on Birds of Prey.
  7. ^ Raptors of the World by Ferguson-Lees, Christie, Franklin, Mead & Burton. Houghton Mifflin (2001), ISBN 0-618-12762-3
  8. ^ Ali, Salim (1993). The Book of Indian Birds. Bombay: Bombay Natural History Society. ISBN 0-19-563731-3. 
  9. ^ a b Horváth M et al. 2010. Spatial variation in prey composition and its possible effect on reproductive success in an expanding eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) population. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 56, 187–200.
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!