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Wahlberg's Eagle Aquila wahlbergi

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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.


Behaviour This is an Afrotropical species (18°N to 30°S), distributed throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa except the Horn of Africa and southernmost Africa. It is a long distance migrant, moving south in July - September and north in February - March. It is reasonably common where it occurs and is locally abundant whilst on migration, arriving in large numbers in relation to seasonal food abundance. The Uganda passage area may observe over 1000 individuals on migration in March and in July-August (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Habitat It can be found in woodlands from sea level to 2800m, including wooded savannas, riparian woodland and cultivated areas, ideally where there is a mosaic of open and wooded areas and medium levels of rainfall (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Diet The species has a wide prey base, predating mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Breeding Site Nests are up to 80cm in diameter and built from sticks in the upper fork of a tall tree. Breeding in most of its range is during September to February, although in West Africa it is during the June to November period (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001).

In some areas the species may be affected by accidental poisoning, human disturbance or woodland clearance, but there is no evidence to suggest this is affecting the population (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001; del Hoyo et al., 1994).

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.

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Aquila wahlbergi. Downloaded from on 21/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/04/2014.

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 - Wahlberg’s eagle (Aquila wahlbergi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Accipitridae (Osprey, kites, hawks and eagles)
Species name author Sundevall, 1851
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 12,600,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Climate change species distributions