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Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered A2acde+3cde+4acde 
Vulnerable  

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Vulnerable
2012 Near Threatened
2009 Near Threatened
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 not a migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type   Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 29,200,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Not Applicable 0
Population trend Decreasing poor -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 18.5 - - -
Population justification: The global population has not been quantified, but was estimated as probably 'in tens of thousands' by Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001), while the South African population was believed to be no larger than 600 pairs (Barnes 2000).
Trend justification: Declines have taken place across much of this species's range owing to habitat loss, deliberate and incidental poisoning, collisions with power lines, and pollution. Comparison of South African Bird Atlas Project data from 1987-1993 and 2007-2012 suggests that the species underwent declines of nearly 60% in 20 years; the rate of decline in protected areas was 42% over this period, including declines of 54% in Kruger National Park and 45% in the Kalahari National Park (D. Cloete per R. van Eeden in litt. 2013). Rapid declines have almost certainly taken place in Kenya, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, and road counts in Tsavo National Park since the 1970s indicate a 50% decline, although the data have not yet been analysed (S. Thomsett in litt. 2013). The overall rate of decline is difficult to quantify but is suspected to have been rapid or possibly even very rapid over the past three generations (56 years). It is consequently placed in the band 30-49%, but better data may show that declines are even more severe.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Angola Native Extant       Yes
Benin Native Extant       Yes
Botswana Native Extant       Yes
Burkina Faso Native Extant       Yes
Burundi Native Extant       Yes
Cameroon Native Extant       Yes
Central African Republic Native Extant       Yes
Chad Native Extant       Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant       Yes
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant       Yes
Eritrea Native Extant       Yes
Ethiopia Native Extant       Yes
Gambia Native Extant       Yes
Ghana Native Extant       Yes
Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant       Yes
Kenya Native Extant       Yes
Liberia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Malawi Native Extant       Yes
Mali Native Extant       Yes
Mauritania Native Extant       Yes
Mozambique Native Extant       Yes
Namibia Native Extant       Yes
Niger Native Extant       Yes
Nigeria Native Extant       Yes
Rwanda Native Extant       Yes
Senegal Native Extant       Yes
Sierra Leone Native Extant       Yes
Somalia Native Extant       Yes
South Africa Native Extant       Yes
South Sudan Native Extant       Yes
Sudan Native Extant       Yes
Swaziland Native Extant       Yes
Tanzania Native Extant       Yes
Togo Native Extant       Yes
Uganda Native Extant       Yes
Zambia Native Extant       Yes
Zimbabwe Native Extant       Yes

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Savanna Dry major resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

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 Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use / Dams (size unknown) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality

Utilisation

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Polemaetus bellicosus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/09/2014.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author (Daudin, 1800)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 29,200,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change