- Clanga clanga (Pallas, 1811)
Greater Spotted Eagle, Spotted Eagle
IUCN: VU; Be (II); Bo (II); EUBD (I); CITES (II); RDBUkr: Рідкісні
Value of species
Clanga clanga (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Aquila.
Clanga clanga occupies a fragmented range, breeding in Estonia (Lõhmus 1998), Poland, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, mainland China and Mongolia (Meyburg et al. 1999), and apparently regularly in tiny numbers in Pakistan and north-west India (BirdLife International 2001), with some individuals possibly still breeding in Finland, Latvia and Lithuania (Database of the Lithuanian Ornithological Society 1999), although this has not been confirmed recently. Passage or wintering birds occur in small numbers over a vast area, including central and eastern Europe, North Africa, East Africa, the Middle East, the Arabian peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent, south Asia and South-East Asia. Wintering birds have also been reported in Hong Kong (China). The population probably numbers fewer than 10,000 mature individuals with Russia holding 2,800-3,000 pairs. The European population is probably no more than 900 pairs (with c.150 pairs in Belarus). Numbers appear to have declined in the western half of its range and in some parts of its Asian range. However, long-term trends are difficult to assess owing to identification problems.
n Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 810-1,100 breeding pairs, equating to 2,430-3,300 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 25-49% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 5,000-13,200 individuals in total, roughly equating to 3,300-8,800 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. National population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs, c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China; < c.50 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in Taiwan and c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Trend Justification: This species is suspected to have undergone at least a moderately rapid decline over the last three generations as a result of habitat loss and degradation throughout its breeding and wintering ranges, together with the effects of disturbance, persecution and competition with other predators.
It occurs in lowland forests near wetlands, nesting in different types of (generally tall) trees, depending on local conditions. It feeds on unretrieved quarry, small mammals, waterbirds, frogs and snakes, hunting over swamps, wet meadows and, in Europe, over extensively managed agricultural land (A. Lõhmus in litt. 1999); birds soar to c.100 m high when hunting. It is a migratory species, with birds leaving their breeding grounds in October and November to winter in southern Europe, southern Asia and north-east Africa (del Hoyo et al. 1994). They tend to return in February and March. Birds migrate on a broad front, tending to pass in singles, twos and threes with the occasional larger group (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). They do not concentrate at bottleneck sites to the extent of many other raptors such as Clanga pomarina (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
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