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Spanish Imperial Eagle
Aquila adalberti

Map of the common names

Description

The species is very similar to Aquila heliaca, either in size (L 80 cm) as in coloration. Nevertheless, Spanish Imperial Eagle has conspicuous white scapular patches and white leading edge to wing. The species inhabits Mediterranean sclerophyllous forests where rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), the main prey, are abundants. Resident.

Watercolour by Serge Nicolle

Reasons for the need for protection/inclusion in annex I

The species is endemic of the EU. The breeding population is unlikely to exceed 160 pairs.Shooting, poisoning, trapping, electrocution by electricity pylons, breeding failure due to chemical contaminants from intensive agriculture and disturbance at the nest-site all adversely affect the species. Electrocution is the commonest cause of non-natural death and affects mainly juveniles and inmatures. The decline in rabbit populations, caused by mixomatosis and viral haemorrahagic pneumonia, has also affected eagle numbers adversely.

Distribution map

yellow = summer visitor
green = resident
blue = winter visitor

Population : 150 / 160 pairs

Drawing by Manuel Manolos


back to list of threatened species