Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis breeds widely from Eastern Europe through Central Asia to the steppes of Mongolia. It winters in Africa and western Asia and is currently considered Least Concern on the IUCN Red List because of its large range and population; population trends are not well understood but it is not thought to be declining by >30% over three generations (50 years based on a generation time of 16.6 years).
While population trends have not been assessed for the global population, anecdotal sources suggest it is declining. A large proportion of the global population passes through several migration bottlenecks during spring. Trends in numbers passing through Eilat, Israel in spring reported in the 3rd Symposium on Asian Raptors suggest the average count of absolute numbers of Steppe Eagles has declined from c. 35,000 pre 1987 to c. 9,000 post 1989 (Yosef 2003). Populations in European Russia and Turkey are in decline (BirdLife International 2004), but these constitute <5% of the global population. In Africa in winter (Dowsett et al. 2008) report no apparent change in the number of wintering birds from Zambia.
To ascertain global trends data are needed from the Asian breeding grounds and African wintering grounds. Comments on likely population trends are invited.
BirdLife International (2004) Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status. Cambridge, U.K.: BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series 12).
Dowsett, R.J., D.R. Aspinwall, and F. Dowsett-Lemaire. 2008. The birds of Zambia. Tauraco Press and Aves, Liége, Belgium.
Yosef, R. (2003) Raptor visible-migration monitoring, banding and conservation at Eilat on the westernmost Asiatic flyway. Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network. 3rd Symposium on Asian Raptors, Kenting, Taiwan, 2003.
(This discussion was first started as part of the 2010 Red List update)