Archive for the ‘Spanish imperial eagle’ Category

The recovery of the Imperial eagle

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

The Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) has recovered “spectacularly” over the past 30 years, and is one of the success stories of conservation in Spain, increasing from 38 pairs in 1974 to 253 in 2008. The latest figures are from a study published recently in the journal Oryx and in this interview from Science Daily.

“This study shows that the species has recovered and has responded well to conservation initiatives. Although it has been known for a long time, the study shows once again that this species is highly affected by changes in adult survival rates”, Santi Mañosa, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at the University of Barcelona, tells SINC. Some of the most important reasons behind the failure of the Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) to increase its numbers have been premature adult deaths resulting from electrocution on electricity lines and the consumption of poisons used to control predators.lthough the major threat to the birds differs from region to region in Spain, Mañosa says that habitat conservation is essential in order for the bird to be able to nest and hunt. For this reason “it is essential to manage the rabbit population well, because this is what makes up its diet during the breeding season in all areas”, adds the researcher.


“Things have gone well over these past decades, but this could all be lost within five or ten years if things start to go wrong. It is a question of making improvements – electricity lines continue to pose a serious threat to this species, and efforts to resolve this problem are going very slowly,”

Read complete story in Science Daily

See also: Una red para proteger al águila imperial (El Mundo). “Una hembra de águila imperial ibérica (‘Aquila adalberti’) ya está incubando en el nido que puede verse, en directo en Internet, gracias a una cámara instalada por SEO/Birdlife en el Parque Nacional de Cabañeros. El macho está buscando la comida. Es una de las 253 parejas reproductoras contabilizadas en la Península Ibérica, un número que se quiere aumentar ahora con una Red de Custodia para que esta majestuosa ave deje de estar en la Lista Roja de especies vulnerables.”

  • Photo above from SEO/Birdlife

Last imperial eagle shot in Portugal

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Portuguese environmentalists have denounced the deliberate shooting of the country’s only nesting male Iberian Imperial eagle.The incident took place in February in the Vale do Guadiana natural park, close to the country’s southeastern border with Spain.

Miguel Rodrigues, spokesperson for SOS Lynx, said, “Irrational attitudes constitute one of the main barriers to predator conservation in Spain and Portugal. If predator persecution cannot be adequately controlled, the future recovery of many important predator species will be in doubt.” The species was once widespread across the Iberian Peninsula, but is now confined to small parts of central and southern Spain, and areas close to the Spanish border in Portugal.

Dan Ward on his new lynxblog comments on this shooting that:

“Irrational attitudes constitute one of the main barriers to predator conservation in Spain and Portugal, and if predator persecution cannot be adequately controlled, the future recovery of many important predator species will be in doubt”.

The Spanish (or Iberian) imperial eagle is one of the three rarest birds of prey in the world. Spain currently (2007) is home to all 234 pairs of imperial eagles, with a slight rise in recent years (see news archive on iberianature.

Success for Imperial Eagle in Doñana

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Doñana has managed to halt the mortality of the Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberto). The annual number of chicks has tripled in the last three years from 3.5 to 10.5 chicks a year according to an article by scientists from CSIC in the ‘Journal of Applied Ecology’, thanks to a reduction in the use of poison in the areas surrounding Doñana. Between 1992 and 2004 there was a dramatic increase in annual adult mortality due to an increase in poisoning in hunting areas surrounding the park. “The use of poison against generalist predators accounted for more than 54% of the total number of breeding eagles found dead since 1990, increasing annual adult mortality from 6·07 to 12·01%.”

Spanish imperial eagle webcam

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Here’s another great live webcam, this time on a Spanish imperial eagle’s nest in Cabañeros National Park (Ciudad Real). At the moment of posting this the chick is less one month old. The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of the conservation of the Spanish imperial eagle.

Spain currently has 234 pairs of imperial eagles, 34 more than in 2006, of which 73 are found in Castilla-La Mancha. The bird’s principal threats are poison and power lines; between 1990 and 2007 at least 95 birds were poisoned and a further 130 were electrocuted. The lack of rabbits is also a problem. More information from

See also Bonelli’s eagle webcam in El Garraf

Imperial Eagle population up in Doñana

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Good news for the Imperial Eagles in Doñana, which have raised all 10 of the chicks hatched this year. 70% of the chicks fledged since 2006 are female, thanks to a project of invention to revert the proportion of sexes.El Mundo. I’m a little confused as I had previously reported that only 9 had been hatched this year – more here Success for Imperial Eagle in Doñana

Storms cut imperial eagle chick numbers

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

The Junta de Andalucía have recorded 47 imperial eagle chicks this year, compared with 70 for the previous year. Agustín Madero, head of the conservation programme of the imperial eagle in Andalusia believes the reason lies in the spring storms, and despite the negative news says that the bird’s recovery is clear. A total of 210 pairs of imperial eagle were recorded in Spain in 2007, with 54 in the Sierra Morena in Andalucia. El Mundo

imperial eagle chick

Imperial eagle chick being tagged in Doñana

imperial eagle chicks in Spain

Success for Imperial Eagle in Doñana

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Nine Spanish imperial eagle chicks have hatched this year in Doñana, following the nine of 2006. Only three chicks were born in 2005 due to the severe drought of that year, In the 1990s, an average of just three chicks were born a year. In addition to the 18 born in the last two years, five female chicks have been introduced by hacking. As with the lynx, work is being done on increasing Doñana’s rabbit population, the principal food source for the imperial eagle, with the aim of increasing the number of pairs (8 at present).