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Grey-headed Fish-eagle Icthyophaga ichthyaetus

Justification
Although widespread, this species is now only locally common and may have a moderately small population, which is thought to be undergoing a moderately rapid population reduction owing to habitat degradation, pollution and over-fishing. It is therefore 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
The genus Icthyophaga (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously spelled Ichthyophaga.

Synonym(s)
Icthyophaga ichthyaetus

Distribution and population
Icthyophagus icthyaetus occurs in India (widespread and locally frequent in the north-east, scarce and local in the peninsula, Nepal (now rare and local, mainly below 250 m), Sri Lanka (rare in the dry lowlands), Bangladesh (widely distributed but uncommon and local), Myanmar (rare to scarce resident), Philippines (formerly quite common in the north and east, now rare and apparently declining), Thailand (formerly a widespread resident, now absent from north and centre, rare and local in the south), Laos (now rare), Vietnam (scarce in south, disappearing from north), Cambodia (scarce and declining [P. Davidson in litt. 2003]), Peninsular Malaysia (previously common, now uncommon and sparse, perhaps 40 pairs remaining), east Malaysia, Singapore (scarce), Brunei (scarce), and the Greater Sundas and Sulawesi, Indonesia (widely distributed but uncommon in Sumatra and Borneo, and now very rare in Java) (Collar et al. 2000). Although widely distributed, the species is local and declining in most parts of its range through loss of forested wetlands. However, historical and even recent records are difficult to interpret, in South-East Asia at least, due to identification difficulties between this species and Lesser Fish-eagle I. humilis.

Population justification
This species's global population is preliminarily estimated at 10,000-100,000 mature individuals on the basis that it may not exceed a five-figure total. This estimate equates to 15,000-150,000 individuals in total.

Trend justification
A moderately rapid and on-going population decline is suspected on the basis of rates of habitat degradation and levels of pollution and over-fishing.

Ecology
It is found near slow-moving rivers and streams, lakes, reservoirs and tidal lagoons in wooded country, usually in lowlands but ascending locally to 1,525 m.

Threats
The most pertinent threats are the loss of undisturbed wetlands, over-fishing, siltation, pollution and persecution. The construction of dams on the Mekong River has potential negative implications for the flood regime of Lake Tonle Sap and the Fish-eagle population there.

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to reveal important areas and regularly monitor at various sites throughout its range. Protect forest in areas known to be important to the species. Conduct awareness campaigns involving local residents to engender pride in the species and encourage better care of wetland habitats.

References
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., Mahood, S., Taylor, J.

Contributors
Davidson, P., Naoroji, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Icthyophaga ichthyaetus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/07/2014.

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 (Horsfield, 1821)
Population size 10000-100000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 4,840,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species