VU
Steller's Sea-eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus



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
- - A3bce

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Vulnerable A3bce
2016 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2013 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2012 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2008 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2007 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass 7757 g
Distribution

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 2,940,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 3,770,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 3600-4670 medium estimated 2014
Population trend Decreasing poor 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) 20-30 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 15.49 - - -

Population justification: M. McGrady et al. (in litt. 2012) estimated the global population to number c.4,600-5,100 individuals, including c.1,830-1,900 breeding pairs, assumed to be equivalent to c.3,600-3,800 mature individuals. However, Masterov and Romanov (2014) estimate the global population to be 6,000-7,000, which roughly equates to 4,000-4,670 mature individuals. It is placed in the band 4,600-7,000 individuals, and 3,600-4,670 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The species is suspected to be in moderate decline, owing to displacement following habitat conversion in its breeding grounds, mortality caused by lead poisoning in inland Japan, reduced breeding rate in the Magadan District caused by climate change, and reduced breeding success predominantly due to predation of nestlings by brown bears on Sakhalin Island. 

Surveys of territorial pairs along the coastline and rivers of the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk during 1991-1998 found a significant decline (from 70% to 35%) in the percentage of pairs taking part in breeding and in the number of chicks fledged per territorial pair (Potapov et al. 2000). More recent surveys in the same area have also found a decline in the number of chicks fledged per successful pair over the last 10 years (Potapov et al. 2018). The declining breeding rate of eagles nesting along rivers is associated with increasing frequency and intensity of spring floods, which impede successful hunting and therefore reduce breeding output (Potapov et al. 2018). Reduced breeding rate in coastal pairs is associated with reduced ice cover in spring (Potapov et al. 2018). 

Simulation modelling of the population of H. pelagicus wintering in Hokkaido, northern Japan, predicted a population decline from 1,500 individuals to a mean of 934.6 individuals over 100 years (Ueta & Masterov 2000), equating to a decline of 20% over three generations, caused predominantly by adult mortality due to lead poisoning. 

Surveys on Sakhalin Island have revealed a decrease in breeding productivity in recent decades from 0.8-1.4 fledglings per occupied territory per year in the 1980s and 1990s (Masterov et al. 2000; Masterov 1995, cited in Romanov & Masterov 2020) to 0.54 fledglings per occupied territory per year in recent years (Masterov et al. 2018, cited in Romanov & Masterov 2020), with a similar trend in the Amur region, Russia (Romanov & Masterov 2020). The species remains abundant in both areas, however the proportion of immature to adult individuals has decreased (Masterov et al. 2018, cited in Romanov & Masterov 2020). Romanov & Masterov (2020) carried out modelling showing that if current fecundity does not change, the populations on Sakharov and in the Amur region will decline by 0.6% and 0.95% per year respectively, equating to a declines of 24% and 36% over three generations (although actual rates may be lower than this due to recruitment of "floater" individuals into the breeding population as the population declines).

The decline of this species is complex - a long generation time combined with declining reproductive output may cause a time-lag in overall population decline (Romanov & Masterov 2020). As there is evidence of a decline in breeding productivity in several parts of the range, and significant threats to both adult survival and breeding productivity are ongoing, with some predicted to worsen in the future (e.g. extreme weather conditions brought about by climate change), it is precautionarily suspected to have declined at a rate of 15-25% in the past, and to decline at a rate of 20-30% in the future.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Japan N Extant Yes
North Korea N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes Yes Yes
South Korea N Extant Yes
Taiwan, China V Extant
USA V Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
China (mainland) Xianghai Nature Reserve
China (mainland) Tumen River at Jingxin-Fangchuan
China (mainland) Laotieshan
Japan Shiretoko, Mount Syari-dake
Japan Notsuke, Odaitou
Japan Lake Furen, On-netou
Japan Kiritappu marsh, Biwase bay
Japan Lake Akkeshi, Bekanbeushi marsh
Japan Yakumo
North Korea Taedong River estuary
North Korea Kumya Bay
Russia (Asian) Chelomdzha valley and Kava-Chelomdzha interfluve
Russia (Asian) Talan Island
Russia (Asian) Kievka and Chernaya river basins
Russia (Asian) Tyk and Viakhtu bays
Russia (Asian) Shantarskiye Islands
Russia (Asian) Konstantin and Tugur bays
Russia (Asian) Udyl' lake
Russia (Asian) Kuril islands (between Urup and Paramushir)
Russia (Asian) Aniva bay
Russia (Asian) Inya valley
Russia (Asian) Malakchan bay
Russia (Asian) Babushkina bay
Russia (Asian) Lower Tumen river
Russia (Asian) Lesser Kuril Ridge and Kunashir Island
Russia (Asian) Tyuleniy Island
Russia (Asian) Dal'dzi lake
Russia (Asian) Mukhtel' lake
Russia (Asian) Nikolaya bay
Russia (Asian) Schast'ya Gulf
Russia (Asian) Lopatka peninsula
Russia (Asian) Kuril'skoye lake
Russia (Asian) Utashud Island
Russia (Asian) Makovetskoye lake
Russia (Asian) Nevskoye Lake
Russia (Asian) Bol'shaya River Estuary
Russia (Asian) Starichkov island
Russia (Asian) Avacha bay (Khlamovitskiy Wildlife Reserve)
Russia (Asian) Zhupanovskiy lagoon
Russia (Asian) Kronotskiy Gulf
Russia (Asian) Aldoma bay
Russia (Asian) Kharchinskoye lake
Russia (Asian) Lower Kamchatka river
Russia (Asian) Stolbovoy island
Russia (Asian) Moroshechnaya River
Russia (Asian) Malamvayam lagoon
Russia (Asian) Karaginskiy Island
South Korea Songji-ho lake
South Korea Hwajinpo-ho lake
Russia (Asian) Vakhil' river mouth
Russia (Asian) Amur river mouth
China (mainland) Xingkai Hu Nature Reserve
Russia (Asian) Kekurny bay
Russia (Asian) Perevolochny bay
Russia (Asian) Odyan bay
Japan Akan, Kussharo
Russia (Asian) Avachinskaya Bay and Starichkov Island
Russia (Asian) Lopatka Peninsula and First Kuril Strait
Russia (Asian) Babushkina and Kekurnyy Gulfs

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Temperate suitable resident
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable resident
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable resident
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable resident
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable resident
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable resident
Marine Neritic Estuaries major resident
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 100 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success
Energy production & mining Oil & gas drilling Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Ursus arctos Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality

Utilisation
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: Haliaeetus pelagicus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2022.