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Southern Banded Snake-eagle Circaetus fasciolatus

Justification
This species is classified as Near Threatened owing to its small population, which is suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss and degradation. However, further evidence of such declines, or clarification of the subpopulation structure, may qualify the species for uplisting to a higher threat category.

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.

Identification
60cm. A small snake-eagle with barred underparts and three white bars on the relatively long tail. Dark brown upperparts and rufous brown underparts barred white below breast. Greyish face. Juvenile white below streaked with black. Yellow cere and legs. Similar spp. Western Banded Snake-eagle C. cinerascens has a single pale bar across a short tail, and has less barring on the underparts.

Distribution and population
Circaetus fasciolatus occurs from southern Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique to north-eastern South Africa, extending up the Save River (Mozambique) to south-eastern Zimbabwe (Brown et al. 1982). It is generally found within 20 km of the coast, except along major rivers (del Hoyo et al. 1994), in the lower Tana River forests in Kenya, the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, and in Zimbabwe (Brown et al. 1982). It is uncommon, occurring at low densities, over most of its range (Brown et al. 1982, Seddon et al. 1999) but may be locally common in the East Usambara Mountains (Stuart and Hutton 1977). In South Africa, where it has suffered a range reduction (no longer found in the southerly part of its former range), the total population is only 40-50 pairs (Harrison et al. 1997a). In the early 1990s it was recorded in only 16 out of 31 coastal forest blocks in Kenya and Tanzania (Burgess and Muir 1994), and a more recent survey recorded it in only 24 out of 41 forests (L. Bennun in litt. 1999).

Population justification
This species has a limited range and usually occurs at low densities; its population is estimated at 1,000-3,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 670-2,000 mature individuals.

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

Ecology
It is a secretive raptor feeding almost exclusively on snakes and lizards (Brown et al. 1982), but also taking rodents, amphibia, arthropods and birds (del Hoyo et al. 1994). It is confined mainly to dense coastal and riverine forest, also ranging into adjacent marshes and floodplains (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Anthropogenic habitats adjacent to forest are used for foraging and the species may nest in plantations of introduced Eucalyptus spp. (Borghesio et al. 2008). The species is sedentary and resident throughout much of its range, except for some movement north into Kenya during the dry season (May-September). Egg-laying occurs in July-October in East Africa and September-October in southern Africa. Its small nest is constructed from sticks and located in an upper fork of a forest tree, well-hidden amongst creeping plants (Parkes 2007). The clutch-size is one (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

Threats
Coastal forest is threatened with degradation and fragmentation (particularly along rivers) (del Hoyo et al. 1994) as a result of the extraction of wood for use as timber, charcoal, poles and firewood (Burgess and Muir 1994). In Mozambique, it probably no longer occurs on the coast between the Limpopo and Save rivers due to human population pressure and deforestation, while the population south of the Save river is probably fewer than 50 birds . (Parker in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct regular surveys to monitor the population. Monitor rates of forest clearance and degradation in its range. Increase the area of protected habitat across its range.

References
Borghesio, L.; John, J. R. M.; Mulungu, E.; Mkongewa, V.; Joho, M.; Cordeiro, N. J. 2008. Observations of threatened birds in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 15(1): 59-70.

Brown, L. H.; Urban, E. K.; Newman, K. 1982. The birds of Africa vol I. Academic Press, London.

Burgess, N. D.; Muir, C. 1994. Coastal forests of Eastern Africa: biodiversity and conservation. Society for Environmental Exploration and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and Sandy, U.K.

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.

Harrison, J. A.; Allan, D. G.; Underhill, L. G.; Herremans, M.; Tree, A. J.; Parker, V.; Brown, C. J. 1997. The atlas of southern African birds. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.

Parkes, D. A. 2007. Notes on the breeding of the Southern Banded Snake-eagle. Honeyguide 53(1&2): 9-12.

Seddon, N.; Ekstrom, J. M. M.; Capper, D. R.; Isherwood, I. S.; Muna, R.; Pople, R. G.; Tarimo, E.; Timothy, J. 1999. Notes on the ecology and conservation status of key bird species in Nilo and Nguu North Forest Reserves, Tanzania. Bird Conservation International 9: 9-28.

Seddon, N.; Ekstrom, J. M. M.; Capper, D. R.; Isherwood, I. S.; Muna, R.; Pople, R. G.; Tarimo, E.; Timothy, J. 1999. The importance of the Nilo and Nguu North Forest Reserves for the conservation of montane forest birds in Tanzania. Biological Conservation 87: 59-72.

Stuart, S. N.; Hutton, J. M. 1977. The avifauna of the east Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.

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
Evans, M., Martin, R, O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Contributors
Bennun, L., Parker, V.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Circaetus fasciolatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2014.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Southern banded snake-eagle (Circaetus fasciolatus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author Kaup, 1850
Population size 670-2000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 601,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change