State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Aquila rapax (Temminck, 1828)

  • Falco rapax Temminck, 1828
  • Aquila nipalensis (Hodgson, 1833)
Vernacular Name
Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle
Conservation status
Be (II); Bo (II); CITES (II); RDBUkr: Зникаючі
Value of species
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 is very large, and hence does not 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. Trend Justification: In Africa the population is suspected to be decreasing. Declines have been reported from northern, western and southern Africa (Global Raptors Information Network 2015). In Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger the population outside protected areas decreased by over 87% between 1969-1973 and 2000-2004, declines were also found inside protected areas (Thiollay 2007). A similar pattern was found in Cameroon (Thiollay 2007). In the Masai Mara ecosystem, Kenya, the population decreased by 28% between 1976-1988 and 2003-2005 (Virani et al. 2011). Behaviour The species is resident across the Afrotropical, Indomalayan and fringing Palearctic regions (34°N to 31°S) but occurs in discrete populations. It is common across its range, and generally sedentary, although individuals are nomadic and will occasionally wander long distances. In West Africa individuals will make short distance seasonal movements south into the damper woodlands during October – November and return in April (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Habitat The species occupies dry open habitats from sea level to 3000m, and will occupy both woodland and wooded savannah. In India it can be found near cultivated areas, settlements and slaughterhouses (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Diet The species has a wide prey base, taking mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and occasionally fish and amphibians. It will also regularly consume carrion and pirate other raptors’ prey (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Breeding Site Nesting occurs on a large stick platform that may also incorporate animal bones, and is located on top of tall isolated trees or occasionally on top of a pylon. The breeding season in Africa spans March to August in the north, October to June in the West, April to January in central and southern areas, and year-round (but mainly May-November) in Kenya. In India the season spans November to August (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001).
Book reference
  • Котенко Т.И., Ардамацкая Т.Б., Дубина Д.В. и др. Биоразнообразие Джарылгача: современное состояние и пути сохранения // Вісник зоології. – 2000. – Спец. випуск. – 240 с.
  • Проект організації території Чорноморського біосферного заповідника НАН України та охорони його природних комплексів. Ч. 1. К.- 2016. 300 с.

Taxonomic branch