Southern Banded Snake-eagle Circaetus fasciolatus


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
- - D1

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Near Threatened A2c+3c+4c; D1
2016 Near Threatened C1+2a(i)
2012 Near Threatened C1+2a(i)
2008 Near Threatened B1a+b(ii,iii,v); C1; C2a(i)
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Near Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 2,130,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 670-2000 medium suspected 2001
Population trend Decreasing inferred -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 6-29 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 6-29 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8.07 - - -

Population justification: There are no robust population estimates for this species (Brink and Whitecross in prep. 2021). However, the species has a limited range (del Hoyo et al. 1994) and usually occurs at low densities (Seddon et al. 1999). The population is therefore suspected to fall into the band of 1,000-3,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 670-2,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The population is inferred to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction (Global Forest Watch 2021; Brink and Whitecross in prep. 2021). 

Modelling by Brink and Whitecross (in prep. 2021) estimated that habitat loss since 2000 ranged from 5.3% in areas with a probability of occurrence of >10%, to 19.3% loss in areas with a probability of occurrence of >80%. Assuming that the population declines at a similar rate to habitat loss, this is equivalent to a rate of decline of 6.4-23% over three generations (24.21 years [Bird et al. 2020]). The models used by Brink and Whitecross (in prep. 2021) did not account for land-use, and therefore may include suboptimal habitats such as plantations. The resulting calculations of percentage habitat loss are therefore likely to be underestimated, however there is currently no evidence suggesting that habitat loss or the consequent population decline is exceeding 30% over three generations. The rate of decline is therefore placed in the band 6-29% over three generations, and based on the current threats, it is suspected to continue at the same rate into the future.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Kenya N Extant Yes
Mozambique N Extant Yes
Somalia N Extant Yes
South Africa N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Kenya Arabuko-Sokoke Forest
Kenya Dakatcha Woodland
Kenya Diani Forest
Kenya Gede Ruins National Monument
Kenya Kaya Gandini
Kenya Shimba Hills
Kenya Taita Hills Forests
Kenya Tana River Delta
Kenya Lower Tana River Forests
Mozambique Maputo Special Reserve
Mozambique Chimanimani Mountains (Mozambique)
Mozambique Zambezi River Delta
Mozambique Primeiras and Segundas Environmental Protection Area (APAIPS)
Somalia Far Waamo
Tanzania Mikumi National Park
Tanzania Udzungwa National Park
Tanzania Selous Game Reserve
Tanzania Kilombero Valley
Tanzania Bagamoyo District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Kisarawe District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Rufiji District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Pande Game Reserve and Dondwe Coastal Forests
Tanzania Kilwa District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Lindi District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Mtwara District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Newala District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Handeni District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Muheza District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Pangani District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Nguu Mountains
Tanzania Udzungwa Mountains
Tanzania Uluguru Mountains
Tanzania East Usambara Mountains
Tanzania West Usambara Mountains
South Africa Ndumo Game Reserve
South Africa Kosi Bay system
South Africa Mkuzi Game Reserve
South Africa Lake St Lucia and Mkuze Swamps
South Africa Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park
South Africa Umlalazi Nature Reserve
Zimbabwe Chimanimani Mountains (Zimbabwe)
Zimbabwe Haroni - Rusitu junction and Botanical Reserves
Zimbabwe Save - Runde junction
Tanzania Bagamoyo
Kenya Mwingi/Kitui/Makueni hilltops and River Valley Landscapes
Tanzania Udzungwa Mountain Range
Mozambique Mount Mabu
Kenya Boni and Dodori National Reserves
Kenya Mumoni Hill Forest Reserve

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Altitude 0 - 1500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Circaetus fasciolatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/07/2022.