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Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered A2abcd+3bcd+4abcd 
Vulnerable A2abcd+3bcd+4abcd 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2015 Endangered
2013 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2011 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 6,580,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 100000-499999 poor Estimated 2013
Population trend Decreasing Suspected -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 16.6 - - -
Population justification: Even assuming densities as low as one pair / 100 km2 across eight million km2 range there would be 80,000 pairs or 160,000 mature individuals (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The European population is estimated at 800-1,200 pairs, which equates to 1,600-2,400 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 9% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 17,800-26,700 mature individuals. The estimate based on the European population is much lower than the 160,000 mature individuals estimated by Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001) and may be explained by differing densities of the species across its range. Combined totals from across the whole range estimate the number of pairs at 31,372 (26,014-36,731) which equates to 62,744 (52,028-73,462) mature individuals or 94,116 (78,042-110,193) individuals (I. Karyakin in litt. 2015). The population is placed in the band 100,000 to 499,999 mature individuals.
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). In Europe the population size is estimated to be decreasing by 80% or more in 49.8 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015) however the European population represents only a small proportion of the global population. Combined totals from across the species's range suggest a decline of 58.6% between 1997-2011 and 2013-2015 (I. Karyakin in litt. 2015).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant     Yes  
Albania Native Extant        
Angola Vagrant Extant        
Armenia Native Extant Yes      
Azerbaijan Native Extant        
Bahrain Native Extant     Yes  
Bangladesh Native Extant        
Belarus Vagrant Extant        
Bhutan Native Extant        
Botswana Native Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Burundi Vagrant Extant        
Cameroon Vagrant Extant        
Chad Vagrant Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant        
Croatia Vagrant Extant        
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant        
Denmark Vagrant Extant        
Djibouti Native Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Estonia Vagrant Extant        
Ethiopia Native Extant        
Finland Vagrant Extant        
France Vagrant Extant        
Georgia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Germany Vagrant Extant        
Greece Native Extant        
Hungary Vagrant Extant   Yes    
India Native Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Iraq Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Israel Native Extant        
Italy Vagrant Extant        
Jordan Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes      
Lebanon Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Malawi Native Extant        
Malaysia Native Extant        
Mali Vagrant Extant        
Moldova Native Extinct Yes      
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Myanmar Native Extant        
Namibia Native Extant        
Nepal Native Extant        
Netherlands Vagrant Extant        
Niger Vagrant Extant        
Nigeria Vagrant Extant        
North Korea Vagrant Extant        
Norway Vagrant Extant        
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant        
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant     Yes  
Poland Vagrant Extant        
Qatar Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Romania Native Extinct Yes      
Russia Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Rwanda Native Extant        
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Singapore Native Extant        
Slovakia Vagrant Extant        
Somalia Vagrant Extant        
South Africa Native Extant        
South Sudan Native Extant     Yes  
Spain Vagrant Extant        
Sudan Native Extant        
Swaziland Native Extant        
Sweden Vagrant Extant        
Syria Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Tajikistan Native Extant        
Tanzania Native Extant        
Thailand Native Extant        
Tunisia Vagrant Extant        
Turkey Native Extant Yes      
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Uganda Native Extant        
Ukraine Native Extant Yes      
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      
Vietnam Native Extant        
Yemen Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Zambia Native Extant        
Zimbabwe Native Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Kazakhstan Ayak-Bestau Hills site factsheet
Kazakhstan Chingiztau Mountains site factsheet
Kazakhstan Donyz-Tau cliff faces site factsheet
Kazakhstan Eastern Kazakhstan uplands site factsheet
Kazakhstan Ereymentau Mountains site factsheet
Kazakhstan Irgiz-Turgay Lakes site factsheet
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Kazakhstan Kulykol-Taldykol Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Lower reaches of the Ashchyozek River site factsheet
Kazakhstan Lower reaches of the Sarysu River site factsheet
Kazakhstan Manyrak Mountains site factsheet
Kazakhstan Middle reaches of the Sarysu River site factsheet
Kazakhstan Mugodzhary site factsheet
Kazakhstan Naurzum State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Kazakhstan Ortau upland massif site factsheet
Kazakhstan Sagyz site factsheet
Kazakhstan Sarykopa Lake System site factsheet
Kazakhstan Ulytau Mountains site factsheet
Kazakhstan Urda Sands site factsheet
Kazakhstan Western and northern foothills of the Kalba Range site factsheet
Kazakhstan Western edge of the Karakoyin and Zhetikonyr Sands site factsheet
Kazakhstan Zhagabulak Forest site factsheet
Kazakhstan Zhagalbayly and Tuyemoynak Hills site factsheet
Kenya Nairobi National Park site factsheet
Mongolia Darkhad Depression site factsheet
Mongolia Khasagt Khairkhan Mountain site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Aginskiye lakes site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Bain-Tsaganskiye lakes site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Middle Onon site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Plateau Ukok site factsheet
Russia (European) Kalausskiye floods site factsheet
Russia (European) Lysyi Liman lake and valley of Vostochniy Manych river site factsheet
Russia (European) Sources of Akshibai river site factsheet
Russia (European) Tazhinski liman site factsheet
Turkey Hodulbaba Mountain site factsheet
Turkey Tuz Lake site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Major breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Major non-breeding
Grassland Temperate Major breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) Suitable breeding
Savanna Dry Major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 3000 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 7900 m

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Reduced reproductive success
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Other options Other threat Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Aquila nipalensis. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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 Endangered
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author Hodgson, 1833
Population size 100000-499999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 6,580,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment