Archived 2011-2012 topics: Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca): downlist to Near Threatened?

Initial deadline for comments: 31 January 2012.

BirdLife species factsheet for Eastern Imperial Eagle

Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca breeds from south-eastern Europe to central Asia and winters in north-eastern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and southern and eastern Asia. It is currently listed as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(ii) on the IUCN Red List, because when last assessed its global population was considered small (<10,000 mature individuals) and suspected to be undergoing continuing declines, primarily as a result of habitat loss and degradation, adult mortality through persecution and collision with power-lines, nest robbing and prey depletion.

Significant progress in implementing the species action plan (Heredia 1996) in its European range has led to positive results – a well-documented increase in the entire Carpathian population between 2001 and 2010 (Wichmann 2011, Horal 2011, Danko et al. 2011, Horváth et al. 2011) and stabilisation of the population in the Balkans (Anon. 2008, Barov and Derhé 2011). The population in Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan is now considered relatively stable, particularly in the European part (Karyakin et al. 2011), as well as now being encouragingly large and much better studied than before (Anon. 2008). A detailed study in European Turkey during 2008-2010 reported a stable, well-distributed population of 30-50 pairs (Demerdzhiev et al. 2008). A population decline has been recorded in Greece, Macedonia and Serbia, although these populations represent a very small proportion of the global population (c.20-35 pairs [Demerdzhiev et al. 2011]).

Russia and Kazakhstan hold the largest populations of the species, with 3,000-3,500 pairs in Russia and 3,500-4,000 pairs in Kazakhstan (Karyakin et al. 2008) – a large increase from previous estimates of 900-1,000 pairs in Russia (Belik et al. 2002) and 750-800 pairs in Kazakhstan (Bragin 1999). In both cases, these populations are stable or increasing overall (Karyakin et al. 2011). However, some populations outside Europe are still declining. In recent years, numbers in the area surrounding Lake Baikal have declined dramatically (>40% during 1983-1998) and this population is now extremely small, fragmented and vulnerable. From c.300 pairs in the 1960s (Ryabtsev 2000), the population in the west of the Baikal region declined to 40 pairs in 1999 (Ryabtsev 1999) and to 25-30 pairs in 2005-2007 (Ryabtsev 2006; Ryabtsev and Miller 2008).

The Mongolian population decreased from 40-50 pairs in 2000 to possible extinction by 2010 (Bukreev et al. 2010). It is suspected that this abrupt decrease could have been due to a combination of extensive bromadiolone rodenticide use in Mongolia in 2002 (Karyakin pers. comm. to Bukreev et al. 2010), along with unfavourable changes in migration and wintering grounds in China (direct extermination, use of pesticides and deterioration of food potential) (Ryabstev 1999, 2000). In mainland China, the species is an uncommon breeder in the north-west and a scarce passage migrant and winter visitor in the south (BirdLife International 2001). Very few data are available for the Chinese population, and so comments or information on current population sizes and trends there would be welcomed.

In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 1,800-2,200 breeding pairs (Demerdzhiev et al. 2011), up from the previous estimate of 850-1,400 breeding pairs, or 2,550-4,200 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Combining this current estimate from European with recent data from regional surveys in non-European Russia and Kazakhstan puts the global population at 6,900-8,050 pairs, or 13,800-16,100 mature individuals, a considerable increase from the previous estimate of 5,200-16,800 individuals (BirdLife International 2008).

Overall, between 2000 and 2010, a sevenfold increase was documented in the number of known breeding pairs in Europe (Demerdzhiev et al. 2011). It should be noted that this considerable difference is mainly due to increased survey effort, rather than a genuine and large population increase. However, based on the results of regional surveys in range countries, the species can be considered to be at least stable and probably increasing in Europe (Demerdzhiev et al. 2011). The population outside Europe can be considered likely to be stable or increasing (Anon. 2008), since the population trend in Kazakhstan and Russia is generally positive overall (Karyakin et al. 2011). Globally therefore, the species is thought to be stable or possibly increasing.

This suggests that the species’s global status ought to be revised to Near Threatened under criterion C2a(ii), on the basis that it has a moderately small population, which may approach the threshold for classification as Vulnerable, but which is not currently thought to be undergoing a continuing decline. Comments on this proposal and any relevant information (including recent information on breeding and wintering population trends from any other parts of its global range) are invited.

References:

Anon. (2008) The 6th International Conference on the Conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle. Resolution, 4-7 September 2008, Topolovgrad, Bulgaria. Raptors Conserv.14: 14-16.

Barov, B. and Derhé, M. (2011) Review of the implementation of species action plans of threatened birds in the European Union (2004-2010) Final Report. BirdLife International for the European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/conservation/wildbirds/action_plans/docs/Final%20report%20BirdLife%20review%20SAPs.pdf

Belik, V., Galushin, V. and Bogomolov, D. (2002) Results of the Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) Project in Russia during 1996 and 1997. Aquila 107-108: 177-181.

BirdLife International (2001) Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.

BirdLife International (2004) Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/userfiles/file/Species/BirdsInEuropeII/BiE2004Sp3535.pdf

BirdLife International (2008) Species factsheet: Aquila heliaca. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/11/2011.

Bragin, E. A. (1999) Status of the Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) in Kazakhstan. – In: 3rd Eurasian Conference of the Raptor Research Foundation, Mikulov, Czech Republic. 21-26 September 1999. – Buteo, supplement.

Bukreev, S. A., Boldbataar, S. and Zvonov, B. M. (2010) The Imperial Eagle in Mongolia. Raptors Conserv. 20: 186-194.

Danko, Š., Chavko, J., Demeter, G., Mihók, J., Izakovič, J., Latková, H., Siryová, S., Noga, M. and Nemček, V. (2011) Conservation of Imperial Eagle in the Slovak part of the Carpathian basin – Results of the EU LIFE – Nature project (2003-2007). Acta Zoologica Bulgarica. Suppl. 3: 71-78.

Demerdzhiev, D., Horváth, M., Kovács, A., Stoychev, S. and Karyakin, I. (2011) Status and population trend of the Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) in Europe in the period 2000-2010. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica. Suppl. 3: 5-14.

Demerdzhiev, D., Stoychev, S., Angelov, I., Terziev, N., Chetin, T. (2008) Distribution, numbers and habitats of Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) in the European part of Turkey. 6th International Conference on the Conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) 5-7 September 2008, Topolovgrad, Bulgaria.

Heredia, B. (1996) International action plan for the Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca). In: Heredia, B., Rose, L., Painter, M. (eds.) Globally threatened birds in Europe: action plans, pp. 159-174. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, and BirdLife International.

Horal, D. (2011) Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) in the Czech Republic. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica, Suppl. 3: 55-59.

Horváth, M., Demeter, I., Fatér, I., Firmánszky, G.,  Kleszó, A., Kovács, A., Szitta, T., Tóth, I., Zalai, T. and Bagyura, J. (2011) Population dynamics of the Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) in Hungary between 2001 and 2009. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica, Suppl. 3: 61-70.

Karyakin, I., Niklenko, E., Levin, A. and Kovalenko, A. (2008) Imperial Eagle in Russia and Kazakhstan: Population status and trends. Raptor Conservation 14: 18-27.

Karyakin, I., Niklenko, E., Levin, A. and Kovalenko, A. (2011) Imperial Eagle in Russia and Kazakhstan: Population status and trends. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica. Suppl. 3: 95-104.

Ryabtsev, V. V. (1999) Imperial Eagle in Siberia. – Imperial Eagle: distribution, status of populations and prospects for Imperial Eagle protection (Aquila heliaca) in Russia. Rare birds series, 1: 54-61. (In Russian).

Ryabtsev, V. V. (2000) Eagles of Baikal. Irkutsk: Taltsy Press. 174 pp. (In Russian).

Ryabtsev, V. V. (2006) The Pribaikalskii population of the Imperial Eagle: the last ditch/ Ornithological research in northern Eurasia: Theses XII International Ornithological Conference of northern Eurasia. Stavropol: SGU Publishers: pp 460-461. (In Russian).

Ryabtsev, V. V. and Miller, S. (2008) Results of surveys of birds of prey carried out in the summer of 2007 in forest-steppe areas of western Pribaikalye/ Study and protection of birds of prey of northern Eurasia: Materials of the V International Conference on Birds of Prey of northern Eurasia. Ivanovo, 4-7 February 2008. – Ivanovo: Ivan. State Univ., pp 295-296. (In Russian).

Wichmann, G. (2011) The situation of the Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca Savigny 1809 in Austria. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica. Suppl. 3: 37-40.

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10 Responses to Archived 2011-2012 topics: Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca): downlist to Near Threatened?

  1. In Ukraine all population of Eastern Imperial Eagle is estimated about 120 pairs: 15 pairs – in Crimean mountains, 87 pair – in Dniper-Don interrivers, 5 – 10 pairs – in steppe plains of Crimea and 10 – 20 pairs – in western part if Ukraine (to the west fdom Dniper). More that 20 immatures occur in the east of Ukraine. About 31% of all individuals inside the Dniper-Don interrivers belong to immatures in pairs with adult or solitary. (All data from: P.D. manuscript “Distribution and biology of Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca Sav.) and White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla L.) in Dniper-Don interrivers”, Viter Stanislav, Zoological institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint-Petersburg)

  2. David Horal says:

    The recent increase of Carpathian population (HU, SK, A, CZ…) was connected with intensive active conservation measures (LIFE projects etc…) so the population trend can easily turn back as threats such as direct persecution (mainly poisoning), electrocution etc still exist. The data from other areas, mainly Russia and Kazakhstan (+ Mongolia, China etc) are much less detailed. The question is whether the described increase in Asian part of the range was a real increase or only underestimating of the previous estimates. Therefor, in my opinion, it is rather early to suggest the delisting at this moment.

  3. Macedonian population is estimated to 30-40 pairs, and it has been mostly stable in the last decade (with local losses and reappearances), following depletion in the period of 1980ties to 2000. Presently main threats include poisoning and habitat loss, the latter is expected to increase due to infrastructural development and agriculture intensification. Several planned windfarms will be built in or around core areas of distribution, and are expected to negatively impact the population. Legal protection of the breeding territories is not existing.

  4. Concerning the Imperial Eagle

    The easternmost population of the Imperial Eagle is really threatened. It inhabits the south of the Lake Baikal region of Russia (Irkutsk Oblast, Buryatia, and in the 1990s a small number of pairs nested in Chitinskaya Oblast), and northern Mongolia.

    I roughly estimated their numbers in the mid-20th century to have been up to 300 pairs in Irkutsk Oblast(Ryabtsev 2000), but already by the beginning of the 1980s (the results of counts gave) 150-200 pairs; in 1999 – 40 pairs (Ryabtsev 1999); while in 2007 there were no more than 25-30 pairs (Ryabtsev 2006; Ryabtsev and Miller 2008).

    The main reason for the decline in the eagle is their death during wintering in south-east Asia. Since 2000, the situation in Siberia has also worsened as a result of widespread forest fires, illegal logging and increased hunting. Here the eagles’ nests are being destroyed.

    On the situation in China. Three young Imperial Eagles equipped with sputnik radio transmitters in 1998-1999 wintered in the Chinese Province of Yunan (26°14’–26 °20’ latitude north, 103°40’ longitude east), (Ueta, Ryabtsev, 2001).
    Apart from Yunan, the Imperial Eagle winters also winters in other provinces (Guizhou, Guangdong) and even east China (Jiangsu). In a personal communication, the Chinese ornithologist, Lianxian, informs that he observed this eagle during the winter seasons over 2001-2010. Of 14 sightings (17 individual birds registered), 6 were in the Hong Kong area (the Maipu nature reserve), 6 were at lakes: Lashi in Yunan P., Jinniu in Jiangsu P., and Caihai in Guizhou P. 4 sightings were made in latter (Caihai) (including 3 eagles in December 2008, and 2 in February 2005), one was a sighting of an eagle eating a duck (16.11.2009). The Caihai nature reserve (26° 48′ latitude south, 104 °10′ longitude east), is at a height of 2172-2234 m above sea level. It protects lake Caihai (2500 hectares), and is surrounded by agricultural lands. In Lianxian’s opinion, the eagle’s main prey here are wild ducks. Some 100 thousand waterfowl winter on the lake. He sighted another single eagle (16.12.2010) in a reserve for the protection of the Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) in the north-east of the Yunan plateau. The reserve is a small wetland surrounded by agricultural lands at the top of a mountain. Of the 17 Imperial Eagles observed by Lianxian, 16 kept close to wetlands. It would appear that these are important winter habitats for the Imperial Eagle in China, and its main prey is waterfowl and Charadrii (waders) (it would seem there are very few rodents here).

    Respectfully yours,

    Vitalii Ryabtsev

  5. The aggregate number of Imperial eagles on nesting in the central part of the Privolzhsky elevation (the right coast of the Average Volga region) is estimated in 150 steams. Throughout last decades number remains stable. However degradation of populations of steppe marmot Marmota bobac and speckled gopher Spermophilus suslicus – the basic forage Aquila heliaca in the region, and also the destruction of birds on electric lines cause anxiety for the future condition of a species.
    (Data from: manuscript «The distribution and number of Imperial eagles (Aquila heliaca, Falconiformes, Accipitridae) in the central part of the Privolzhsky elevation», M. V. Korepov, Zoologicheskii zhurnal, in print).

  6. We have been involved in study and conservation of Imperial eagle in Bulgaria for the past 20 years. Based on our experience our opinion is that downlisting of the species is not appropriate and here are the reasons for that:
    1. Though number of nesting pairs is going up in Bulgaria these are mainly newly formed pairs by immature and subadult birds. These are not experienced and in most cases breeding is unsuccessful. Very rare at least one adult bird is part of these new pairs.
    2. These pairs are not stable and either do not nest every year or get lost, change territory every 1-2 years.
    3. Often change of partners within these pairs occur and usually the new birds are also immature or subadult.
    4. Newly formed pairs occupy new territories in the internal part of the country (further inland from Turkish border) in areas quite different from the “core” area of the Imperial eagle population in Bulgaria. These new territories are more intensively farmed lands with probably not so good quality and quantity of food.
    5. In the “core” are there are no newly occupied territories and cases of unsuccessful breeding or loss of offspring (partial or full) are not rare in otherwise stable and mature pairs.

    Plenty of threats are present:
    - ploughing of pastures and change of land use at foraging areas. The trend in land use is in transition from extensive grazing of livestock and keeping of plenty of open areas towards rather intensive agriculture of crops.
    - depopulation of villages and change of traditional livelihood of local people providing food for the Imperial eagles (dead livestock).
    - investment proposal for large scale projects in the important areas for the Imperial eagles, mostly alternative energy sources: wind farms; solar power stations; small and large hydro power plants; rock quarries, etc.
    - power lines and electrocution are important threats;
    - trees used by the Imperial eagle for nesting are still being exploited as free or cheap source of fire wood and timber thus defining another major threat.

  7. Imperial Eagle in Tatarstan Republic, Russia

    Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) is brought in the Red book of the Russian Federation and the Red book of Tatarstan Republic. According to the Red Book of TR on the territory of Republic there are about 30-50 nested pairs of Imperial Eagle. According to other researchers (Bekmansurov R. H., Karyakin I. V., Pazhenkov A.S., Nikolenko E. G., 2010) probable number of the given type can reach 130 nesting pairs.
    It is considered that for the given type it is early to move it up into lower category of IUCN because according to our researches in conditions of Tatarstan Imperial Eagle is in critical conditions of dwelling. It is connected with a number of factors. Here some of them:
    1. The majority of nested sites of eagles are in immediate proximity of electric lines 6-10 KB, on which young birds die after the flight from nests. The work of fitting electric lines 6-10 KB out with birds protective equipment gust begins, the whole length of electric lines 6-10 KB in Tatarstan is about 40 000 km and the work will be continued for about several years.
    2. The most part of nested sites is located outside protected natural territories and consequently their protection practically is not carried out.
    3. In conditions of conducting the forestry the cases of destructions of nested sites are often especially during felling.
    4. There is evident deficiency of large old trees good for nesting. Only one case of nesting on electric lines in Tatarstan is known. But in case of choice of some pairs such kind of nesting, we have to discuss the questions of birds protection on electric lines with their owners.
    5. The basic food allowance of Imperial Eagle is Spermophilus major and for his dwelling there is slight territory. Disappearance of ground squirrel in Predkamye brought to sharp reduction of Imperial Eagle. Now the big ground squirrel is kept on the territory of Zakamye.
    6. 68,7 % of the territory of Tatarstan Republik are the agricultural grounds, the portion of pasture and haymaking is 15,5 %. At that time on a boundary of 20 and 21 centuries the portion of traditional pasturable animal industry was reduced in Tatarstan and that leads to variation of pasturable ecosystem. It also will have an effect on the dwelling of Imperial Eagle and nested sites. Now on the territory of Tatarstan the animal industry develops due to universal creation of large cattle-breeding complexes with stabling and this fact can also lead to reduction of pasturable ecosystem, necessary for dwelling of Imperial Eagle.

  8. Despite the strong efforts (including raising public awareness) in Hungary for conserving the species, the 49 and 50. poisoned Imperial Eagle have just been found recently. It was a known adult pair and now their eyrie is empty.
    It is just to point out that in recent economic conditions nature conservation receives less attention and less funding, which is now becoming critical in certain cases, while economic aspects (intensive agriculture, industry, mining, game management, etc.) are strengthening again. All around the world, the tide seems to be turning in favour of those economic interests having negative impacts on nature (including the IE). This shift of weight of aspects is leaving less and less room and funding for conservation efforts, which can easily turn back the positive developments in IE conservation in the last decades.
    Unfortunately, there are not many barriers to stop that economy-ruled ‘tide’. IUCN categories are one of them as they are clear signals about the ‘importance’ of a species that is well known, understood and accepted by most stakeholders (especially because they themselves are thinking in terms of priorities). This aspect of this debate should be considered as well. Even though I am aware of the fact that there are strict rules of IUCN Red List categorisation, I suggest that the consideration above should be integrated in the criteria and thus it should be a part of the base of the decision.

  9. I think there is a single question which should be answered for the evaluation:
    Are the new Russian and Kazakh population size and trend estimations justified sufficiently to change the IUCN threat category of the eastern imperial eagle?

    Outside these two countries the quite well surveyed European populations of the species consist of 368-579 pairs (Demerdzhiev et al. 2011). If we consider the unknown, but probably small peripheral populations in Asia (Turkey, Mongolia, China, Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan etc.), we could roughly estimate that the world population of the species outside Russia and Kazakhstan could be between 500 and 1000 pairs.

    Therefore we could conclude that if the Russian and Kazakh populations together (1) consist definitely more than 4500 pairs (>80-90% of the world population), and (2) their trends are definitely stable or increasing, than the species do not fulfil the criteria for Vulnerable, independently from the population data of all other range countries.

    I would not go into details for any other population, out of which some seem to be in favourable (e.g. Pannonian), some in unknown (e.g. Turkey and Balkan) and some definitely in unfavourable (e.g. Mongolia and China) conservation status. I would only add a short comment on the status of the largest well-known Pannonian population (Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Rep. and Austria), where the number of breeding pairs is increasing slowly but continuously since the 1980’s. Anyway during the last six years the occurrence of persecution incidents increased exponentially (Horváth et al. 2011) and by now more than 50 imperial eagles were found poisoned only in Hungary, and of course an even larger proportion of the affected specimens were not found. It was shown for several raptor species that the number of breeding pairs is not always the best indicator for monitoring the status of a population, as the decrease of non-breeders could have serious and sudden effects on the population, if it goes under a critical level. Therefore we could not be sure that even the Pannonian population is in absolutely favourable status.

    Russia and Kazakhstan

    I absolutely respect the extreme amount of high quality raptor surveys, which were undertaken by Karyakin and his colleagues in Russia and Kazakhstan during the last decade. These studies, which are usually published in the high quality Raptors Conservation journal, opened an absolutely new world in our understanding of the populations of several rare or poorly known raptor species at these amazing continent-sized habitats. E.g. their team have located 1,534 imperial eagle territories during the last decade, therefore this dataset became absolutely the largest available on this species.

    Anyhow the population size and trend estimation methods used by Karyakin et al. (2011) are not well described, although the whole evaluation process is depending on the accuracy of these methods. Karyakin et al. (2011) describes that they have conducted field surveys on 88 study plots, covering 22,300 sq km, which comprises 40% of the imperial eagle habitats. They found 1347 nests and they estimated the population to be between 6500-7500 pairs in this two countries. These data raise several questions.
    • The distribution area of the imperial eagle in these region covers several hundred thousand sq km, therefore the 22,300 sq km or the 40% does not seems to be realistic.
    • They do not describe how large were these 88 study plots (if they are comparable), how they were selected (if they are representative) and how often they were surveyed (if they can be used for estimating trend data).
    • It is visible that they have conducted a comprehensive GIS based extrapolation in order to estimate population sizes on un-surveyed regions, but the statistical background of the applied models is not clear.
    • At one section of the paper they describe that the observed territorial structure at the study plots was extrapolated for the whole potential nesting area, which would mean a maximum estimation of the potential population size. At another section they describe that their estimation may be treated as a minimum figure, which is definitely not the case if an extrapolation was used for the whole continent-sized territory.
    • The authors themselves conclude that the population structure of eastern imperial eagle’s is extremely non-homogeneous. This fact, which is observable in all regions of the species range, makes any large-scale extrapolation very questionable. E.g. if someone would make a transect survey in the Northern section of the Hungarian Plain, he could find 55 pairs in a 4,000 sq km area. If he would extrapolate these density for the whole 44,000 sq km of the Hungarian Plain, where absolutely similar habitats, infrastructural network and prey densities are available, he would get an estimation of 550 pairs, although thorough long-term surveys detected the existence of only 120 pairs there.
    • It is not described how they estimated the interval of the minimum and maximum population. It is very possible that those relatively precise data (i.e. 6,500-7,500 pairs), which were produced by the five times multiplication of the available data could be only given with a very low confidentiality. If we would like to use high confidence intervals probably only much wider estimations could be given (e.g. 3,000-10,000 pairs.)
    • They do not describe any details about the methods applied for trend estimations.

    Apart from these questions the given numbers and trends could be absolutely realistic for this very large area, and probably this is the best estimations of the species population ever made. Anyway according to my opinion until these serious methodological questions are not answered the downlisting of the species is not appropriately supported by the available data.

    • Alex Moshkin says:

      Márton Horváth has announced the real problem associated with the estimates of population numbers of the Imperial Eagle in Russia and Kazakhstan. And the problem is not in the methods of I. Karyakia with colleagues and other ornithologists working in Russia and Kazakhstan, but the fact that the Imperial Eagle breeding range in Russia and Kazakhstan is of ​​more than 5 000 0000 sq. km (more than a hundred of Hungary), and only 11 ornithologists carry out surveys of the eagles in such huge territory. Márton Horváth notes the lack of statistics in the reports of Russian ornithologists. There is no point in it. Considering an article of I. Karyakina et al., 2011 you can see that the authors examined 22,300 sq. km and discovered 1534 breeding territories of the Imperial Eagle, as a result they estimated the population number as 6500-7500 breeding pairs for for the area of ​​55,750 sq. km. Those territories are outlined in figure 6. These areas cover 1.1% of the Imperial Eagle breeding range in Russia and Kazakhstan. And what about the other 98.9% of the species range in Russia and Kazakhstan? No one knows about it, because these areas are either not surveyed or examined too fast and the population of the species is not evaluated or the eagle nests there sporadically and there is no chance to make reliable extrapolation. So there is no point in using the estimates of the Imperial Eagle population number in Russia and Kazhastane to suggest changes in the conservation status of the Imperial Eagle.
      It is obvious for all researchers that Imperial Eagle is a vulnerable species and should has a high conservation status. All Russian and Kazakh researchers understand that, regardless the Imperial Eagle breeding in their countries or funding of studies and conservation of the species, they do not get any benefits from the fact that the Imperial Eagle has a high conservation status . So the Red List of IUCN is a fun only for the Europeans, and there is no sense to consider the number or status of the Imperial Eagle outside of Europe. While the species is vulnerable in Europe, let’s focus on it. If you do not like such approach, we should seriously think about the spending pattern for the species with high conservation status in that part of its range, where its population is still remains in sufficient large and the efforts of scientific and conservation community should be directed in those territories.

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