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Verreaux's Eagle Aquila verreauxii
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This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number in the tens of thousands.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.


Behaviour The species primarily occurs in the Afrotropic zone, but is marginally Palearctic (30°N to 35°S) and has an altitudinal distribution from sea level to above 5000m.  Adults are sedentary while juveniles and immatures will disperse (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Habitat The species occupies remote, mountainous, rocky areas, as well as savannah and semi-desert; anywhere that rock hyraxes occur in substantial numbers (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001) Diet More than 60% of its prey are rock hyraxes but it will occasionally also take other mammals, birds, tortoises and rarely, other reptiles. Pairs will hunt cooperatively (del Hoyo et al., 1994). Breeding Site The nest is a stick structure, up to 1.8m in diameter, usually located on a cliff ledge or cave, although trees and artificial structures are also used. Breeding occurs year-round in East Africa, peaking in May-December, and from April to November from Zambia southwards, whilst in Ethiopia and Somalia breeding is from October to May. Clutch sizes are almost always two, with the older chick invariably killing the younger within three days of hatching (del Hoyo et al., 1994).

The species is locally persecuted in southern Africa where it coincides with livestock farms, but because the species does not take carrion, is little threatened by poisoned carcasses. Where hyraxes are hunted for food and skins, eagle populations have declined (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). It is not known to be affected by pesticides (del Hoyo et al., 1994).

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1994. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

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

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

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
Butchart, S. & Ekstrom, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Aquila verreauxii. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Verreaux’s eagle (Aquila verreauxii) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author Lesson, 1830
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 4,030,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change