22 Nov 2015

Steppe Eagles in Tabuk – Records by Viv Wilson

Viv Wilson sent me an e-mail saying he had seen Hundreds of eagles along the road to Jordan, and mentioned he had never seen so many there before. Viv also said how glorious it was to see and watch so many, including one that was quite friendly that allowed close contact. This is very good news as Steppe Eagle has just been reclassified as Endangered as it has undergone extremely rapid population decline within its European range. The majority of its range lies outside Europe where it was not thought to be declining at a sufficiently rapid rate to approach the threshold for Vulnerable. However recent information suggests that the population outside Europe may be exposed to greater threats than was previously thought and has also undergone very rapid recent declines across much of the range. It has therefore been classified as Endangered. The population is declining owing to habitat destruction (especially conversion of steppe into agricultural land), persecution, and collisions with power lines. Locally populations are declining owing to heavy predation of chicks. In Europe the population size is estimated to be decreasing by 80% or more in 49.8 years (three generations) however the European population represents only a small proportion of the global population. Combined totals from across the species range suggest a decline of 58.6% between 1997-2011 and 2013-2015. I thank Viv for sending me and allowing me to use two of his photos that are shown below.
Steppe Eagle

Steppe Eagle

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