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Great Nicobar Serpent-eagle Spilornis klossi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This recently recognised species is believed to have a small and declining population, although it is not as scarce as previously reported. Increased settlement has led to increased pressure on natural resources, and planned development projects could severely affect suitable habitat within its very small range, although its population is not regarded as severely fragmented or restricted to a few locations, hence it is classified as Near Threatened.

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.

Taxonomic note
Spilornis minimus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into S. klossi with the remainder (i.e. nominate minimus) lumped with S. cheela (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) following Rasmussen and Anderton (2005).

Distribution and population
Spilornis klossi is endemic to the islands of Great Nicobar (including Pulo Kunji), Little Nicobar, Menchal, Pilo Milo and Treis in the South Nicobar island group, Nicobar islands, India (BirdLife International 2001, A. P. Zaibin in litt. 2012). There is some confusion over records in 1993, when it was reported to be "probably one of the rarest raptors in the country" and "rarely seen in the Great Nicobar island", because this has not been the impression of other fieldworkers. Following surveys in 2009-2011, it has been described as uncommon (A. P. Zaibin in litt. 2012).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001).

Trend justification
A population decline, as yet unquantified, is suspected on the basis of rates of habitat loss and degradation.

It is found in mixed evergreen forest, and is seen most frequently in the canopy, but also occurs in grassland and regenerating habitats, from sea-level to 100 m (A. P. Zaibin in litt. 2012).

Kamorta, Nancowry, Katchal and Tillangchong

Increased settlement of the islands has led to increased pressure on natural resources, and planned development projects could severely affect the habitat of this species.

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to assess the size of the population. Regularly monitor the population at selected sites across its range. Investigate its abundance in forest at different levels of perturbation. Protect significant areas of intact forest in the Nicobar islands. Fully investigate the possible impact of development programs and mitigate against their impacts.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

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., Crosby, M., Mahood, S., Taylor, J.

Zaibin, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Spilornis klossi. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 Richmond, 1902
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,100 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species