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Black Solitary Eagle Buteogallus solitarius
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species has a moderately small population size which is likely to be declining owing to habitat loss and hunting. It is consequently classified as Near Threatened but may be uplisted to Vulnerable based on further evidence of its population size and trends.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Taxonomic note
Buteogallus solitarius (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Harpyhaliaetus.

Harpyhaliaetus solitarius (Tschudi, 1844)

Distribution and population
Harpyhaliaetus solitarius has a wide latitudinal distribution, from western Mexico to extreme north-west Argentina (with other populations in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia). Despite its extensive distribution, it is generally rare and local (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001) and the population may not exceed 1,000 individuals (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001) although this estimate is probably too low.

Population justification
Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001) stated that the population was most unlikely to exceed three figures, however even though the species occurs at low densities it has an extremely large range and this estimate seems implausibly low. The population is therefore preliminarily suspected to lie in the range 1,000-2,499 mature individuals. This equates to 1,500-3,749 individuals in total, rounded here to 1,500-4,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and unsustainable hunting.

It is a species of humid, densely wooded foothills and other tropical and subtropical premontane and humid montane forest, mostly between 600 and 2,200 m.

Serious threats include deforestation, disturbance and shooting.

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Study its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Survey and attempt to estimate global population. Extend protected areas network to include further core areas of remaining habitat.

Ferguson-Lees, J.; Christie, D. A. 2001. Raptors of the world. Christopher Helm, London.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Begazo, A., Clay, R., Engblom, G., Hennessey, A., Sharpe, C J

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Buteogallus solitarius. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author (Tschudi, 1844)
Population size 1000-2499 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 699,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species