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Bonelli's Eagle Aquila fasciata
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This species has a very 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 ten 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: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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
Aquila fasciata (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously listed as A. fasciatus.

Aquila fasciatus , Hieraaetus fasciatus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Hieraaetus fasciatus AERC TAC (2003)

Trend justification
The population is declining drastically throughout its range owing to over-use of pesticides, habitat degradation, loss of prey species, collision with power lines and persecution by hunters and pigeon fanciers (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Barov and Derhé 2011).


Behaviour The species has a fragmented distribution across the southern Palearctic and Indomalayan regions, and is marginally Afrotropical (45°N to 10°S). It is locally uncommon to rare and in decline across its range. The species is resident throughout its range, although juveniles will disperse up to 200km with individuals occasionally wandering further afield and passing through key migration routes (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001; Shirihai et al., 2000). Habitat The species occupies mountainous, rocky, arid to semi-moist habitat, from sea level to 1500m, but up to 3000m in Africa and 3750m in the Himalayan foothills. It generally occurs in open areas but also occupies woodland. Juveniles often occupy areas near large water bodies (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Diet The eagle’s prey principally comprises small or medium-sized birds, but it will also take mammals, some reptiles, insects and rarely, carrion (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Breeding Site The nest is composed of sticks, up to 2m in diameter, located on remote cliff ledges or in a large tree. The nest is re-used in successive years. Breeding occurs from January to July in the west of the range, and from November to September in the Indomalayan region (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001).

Since the 1950’s the species has declined throughout its range. It was affected by pesticide use in the mid-20th Century, and since then populations have not recovered to their pre-organochlorine levels. The species is persecuted by hunters and pigeon-fanciers in the west of its range and juveniles suffer high mortality from collisions with power lines (Rollan, et al., 2010). Declining prey availability, increasing human disturbance and poaching at nest sites, and agricultural intensification are thought to be key factors in the species’ decline (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001; del Hoyo et al., 1994).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

Barov, B and Derhé, M. A. 2011. Review of The Implementation Of Species Action Plans for Threatened Birds in the European Union 2004-2010. Final report. BirdLife International For the European Commission.

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.

Rollan, A.; Real, J.; Bosch, R.; Tintó, A.; Hernndez-Matías, A. 2010. Modelling the risk of collision with power lines in Bonelli"s Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus and its conservation implication. Bird Conservation International 20(3): 279-294.

Shirihai, H.; Yosef, R.; Alon, D.; Kirwan, G. M.; Spaar, R. 2000. Raptor migration in Israel and the Middle East: a summary of 30 years of field research. International Birding and Research Center in Eilat, Eilat, Israel.

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)

European Union Species Action Plan

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
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Aquila fasciata. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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 Least Concern
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author (Vieillot, 1822)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 5,440,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment