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Ayres's Hawk-eagle Hieraaetus ayresii

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 may be small, 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)
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
The BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group is aware that phylogenetic analyses have been published which have proposed generic rearrangements which may affect this species, but prefers to wait until work by other taxonomists reveals how these changes affect the entire groups involved.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 1,000-10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 670-6,700 mature individuals.

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

The species is vulnerable to habitat loss, degradation of woodland and direct persecution (due to its habit of preying on racing pigeons and other birds [Hartley and Mundy 2003]) in parts of its range (Kemp and Boesman 2013, Global Raptor Information Network 2015). It may also be vulnerable to pesticide contamination (Global Raptor Information Network 2015).

Ferguson-Lees, J. and Christie, D.A. 2001. Raptors of the world. Christopher Helm, London.

Global Raptor Information Network. 2015. Species account: Ayre's Hawk-eagle Aquila ayresii. Available at: (Accessed: 03/07/2015).

Hartley, R.R. and Mundy, P.J. 2003. Morphometrics and status of Ayres's Hawk-eagle in Zimbabwe. Journal of Raptor Research 37(1): 44-54.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Kemp, A.C. & Boesman, P. 2013. Ayres's Hawk-eagle (Hieraaetus ayresii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

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

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Hieraaetus ayresii. Downloaded from on 28/11/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/11/2015.

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 - Ayres’s hawk-eagle (Hieraaetus ayresii) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author Gurney, 1862
Population size 670-6700 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 5,030,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change