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LC
Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis

Justification
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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to 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 10 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: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
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
Even assuming densities as low as 1 pair / 100 km2 across 8 million km2 range there would be 80,000 pairs or 160,000 mature individuals (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001), thus this figure is given here as a preliminary, minimum estimate.

Trend justification
The population is declining owing to habitat destruction (especially conversion of steppe into agricultural land), persecution, and collisions with power lines. Locally populations are declining owing to heavy predation of chicks (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001).

Ecology
Behaviour The species is migratory, with birds wintering in south-east Africa and southern Asia (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Migrants leave their breeding grounds between August and October, returning between January and May (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The species is usually seen singly or in pairs, but small flocks can gather at thermals, roosts and good feeding sites, and flocks of up to 400 regularly form on migration, when birds avoid sea crossings and thus form large concentrations at bottleneck sites (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Snow and Perrins 1998, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Habitat It inhabits areas of steppe and semi-desert, and is recorded breeding up to 2,300 m in mountainous regions (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Diet It feeds mainly on small mammals on its breeding grounds, with susliks forming the vast majority of its diet in some areas; when wintering it appears to feed mainly on mole rats in East Africa, and termites and Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea predominate in southern Africa (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Breeding site Nests have traditionally been built as large platforms on the ground, although recent habitat alterations seem to have caused a shift to building a few metres higher in bushes or trees (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Management information Artificial structures are now key to this species for nest building in some parts of its range (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

Threats
The species has declined in the west of its breeding range, including extirpation from Romania, Moldova and Ukraine, as a result of the conversion of steppes to agricultural land combined with direct persecution (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). It is also adversely affected by power lines and is very highly vulnerable to the impacts of potential wind energy developments (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Strix 2012).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

References
Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

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.; Christie, D. A. 2001. Raptors of the world. Christopher Helm, London.

Snow, D. W.; Perrins, C. M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic vol. 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Strix. 2012. Developing and testing the methodology for assessing and mapping the sensitivity of migratory birds to wind energy development. BirdLife International, Cambridge.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

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., Harding, M., Khwaja, N. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Aquila nipalensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/11/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/11/2014.

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 - Steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author Hodgson, 1833
Population size 160000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 6,580,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species