VU
Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - A2acde+3cde+4acde

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Vulnerable A2acde+3cde+4acde
2016 Vulnerable A2acde+3cde
2013 Vulnerable A2acde+3cde+4acde
2012 Near Threatened A2acde
2009 Near Threatened A2(a,c,d,e)
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 26,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor not applicable 0
Population trend Decreasing poor suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 30-49 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 30-49 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 18.5 - - -

Population justification: The global population has not been quantified, but was estimated as probably 'in tens of thousands' by Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001). The population in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland is believed to be c.800 pairs (Taylor 2015); the population in Namibia is estimated at <350 pairs (Simmons 2015)

Trend justification: Declines have taken place across much of this species's range owing to habitat loss, deliberate and incidental poisoning, collisions with power lines, and pollution. Comparison of South African Bird Atlas Project data suggests that the species's range there may have reduced by >50%, and decreases in reporting rates could represent a >40% decrease there (Taylor 2015). The rate of decline between 1987-1993 and 2007-2012 in protected areas in South Africa was 42% over this period, including declines of 54% in Kruger National Park and 45% in the Kalahari National Park (Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park) (D. Cloete per R. van Eeden in litt. 2013), although the species is still five times more likely to be seen in protected areas than non-protected areas (Cloete 2013). Rapid declines have almost certainly taken place in Kenya, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, and road counts in Tsavo National Park since the 1970s indicate a 50% decline, although the data have not yet been analysed (S. Thomsett in litt. 2013). The overall rate of decline is difficult to quantify but is suspected to have been rapid or possibly even very rapid over the past three generations (56 years). It is consequently placed in the band 30-49%, but better data may show that declines are even more severe.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Angola N Extant Yes
Benin N Extant Yes
Botswana N Extant Yes
Burkina Faso N Extant Yes
Burundi N Extant Yes
Cameroon N Extant Yes
Central African Republic N Extant Yes
Chad N Extant Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant Yes
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant Yes
Eritrea N Extant Yes
Eswatini N Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant Yes
Gambia N Extant Yes
Ghana N Extant Yes
Guinea N Extant Yes
Guinea-Bissau N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes
Liberia V Extant Yes
Malawi N Extant Yes
Mali N Extant Yes
Mauritania N Extant Yes
Mozambique N Extant Yes
Namibia N Extant Yes
Niger N Extant Yes
Nigeria N Extant Yes
Rwanda N Extant Yes
Senegal N Extant Yes
Sierra Leone N Extant Yes
Somalia N Extant Yes
South Africa N Extant Yes
South Sudan N Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Togo N Extant Yes
Uganda N Extant Yes
Zambia N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Kenya Mumoni Hill Forest Reserve
Kenya Mutitu Forest
Kenya Nairobi National Park
Kenya Ol Ari Nyiro
South Africa Dronfield
South Africa KwaZulu-Natal Mistbelt Grasslands

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Savanna Dry major resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 3000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Dams (size unknown) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Polemaetus bellicosus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2019.