Archived 2021 topic: Mountain Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus nipalensis): Revise global status?

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15 Responses to Archived 2021 topic: Mountain Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus nipalensis): Revise global status?

  1. Tom Li says:

    Decreasing population trend and continuing population decline should be “suspected” instead of “inferred”. “Inferred” is used when variables are in the same type of units e.g. population reduction and trade estimates both refer to number of individuals, while “suspected” is used when variables are in different types of units. In this case, decline in “forest cover” is used to justify population decline, and they are of different unit i.e. area and number of individual, and therefore “suspected” should be used.

  2. Paul Thompson says:

    A few recent records from the furthest SE corner of Bangladesh (not mapped) suggest it may be a very rare resident there, but are the result of increased observer effort. Limited and declining suitable habitat mean that numbers must be very small and it has been categorised as nationally Vulnerable.

  3. Tshering Tobgay says:

    Mountain-hawk Eagle bird species in Bhutan is distributed fairly. From other hawk species, the Mountain-hawk Eagle is more common in Bhutan. The species is also recorded breeding in Bhutan.

  4. Namaste All,
    Mountain Eagle has been freenquently seen in central mid-hills of Nepal like Kathmandu Valley(Phulchowki, Shivapuri, Nagarjun), Annapurna Region( Kande, Ghandruk, Chhomrong etc), Langtang National Park(Dhunche, Goljung). mostly single sighted but two or three tine seen with couple displays. I haven’t not seen any nest but seen the juvinile in Nepal.

  5. During our survey in 2013, 2014, and 2016 in Annapurna Region of Nepal, we recorded only two Mountain Hawk-eagle. According to the studies in Nepal, there is no significant changes in distribution of Mountain Hawk-eagle during pre and post 1990 (Inskipp et al 2016). Population size is still unknown. They might be facing the similar threats as other raptors such as habitat destruction due to developmental construction, extension of road network and unintentional food poisoning. No conservation measures have been carried out targeting to this species. The species has met the criteria Annex 2 a3,c1, therefore, we recommend to upgrade this species from LC to NT.

  6. Few nest are seen in dense forest near by cliff Dhorpatan Municipalaity -5 one nest, near by Thoolakharka and Pitam Deurali 2 nest on the way to Annapurna Base camp, one nest in Bhanubhakta Zoological Garden, Tanahun and another nest in Patle near by Dhading Bensi are few nesting records by me.

  7. Praveen J says:

    The south Indian population of Legge’s Hawk Eagle has been always rare – very few historical specimens but increased effort from Goa till the southern tip in recent years have come out with regular records in the last five years. Declines are hard to estimate but much of the intact wet or semi evergreen forests where it is found is undisturbed or within reserve forests and protected areas. Though it may have historically declined, recent declines (vis-a-vis declines in open habitat raptors like Indian Spotted or Tawny) may not warrent any red listing.

  8. Arend van Riessen says:

    In addition to what others have mentioned for Nepal:
    I compared maps of eBird records for each of last 15 yrs. I cannot attach the maps (call if you want it, although you can see it also on eBird), but records have increased over the years which is more an indicator about an increase of eBird users (use). The maps also show nicely where tourists and birders go. So that is not very useful, but it is possible that study of the detail records provides useful data for Birdlife. E.g. the number of MHE recorded per trip on good sites like Phulchowki or Shivapuri. My own records show only one per trip (or one pair, one family)

  9. Arend van Riessen says:

    One more comment from Nepal’s most visited site with MH Eagle presence. We visit Kathmandu’s Lower Phulchowki mountain 1-5x per year (1-2x between 2005 and 2011; 3-5x between 2012-2019). I checked for the period 2005-2019, for each year the percentage of trips that we see any MH Eagle. I cannot share the chart here, but I do not see any clear trend between 2005 and 2019. See table. (I left out the June-Aug trips as we never ever see MH Eagle then; extra stealthy because of young?). The trend might be the same for all of Hill Nepal, because the MHE habitat (Birdlife’s main worry for MHE) might be stable or even be improving/ increasing due to depopulation of the hill communities, decrease in hill cultivation area and the resulting increase in hill forest cover
    Year % of trips
    2005 50%
    2006 0%
    2007 NA
    2008 100%
    2009 NA
    2010 0%
    2011 0%
    2012 75%
    2013 0%
    2014 25%
    2015 20%
    2016 20%
    2017 100%
    2018 25%
    2019 0%

  10. Anwaruddin Choudhury says:

    Exept Arunachal Pradesh sightings elsewhere in NE India are very rare mainly due to habitat loss and also hunting. In Aruachal also both these factors are there but the forest area is still large. Considering the pace of habitat loss, especially tree forest, its upgradation is justified.

  11. Tulsi Subedi says:

    Mountain Hawk Eagle (Nisaetus nipalensis nipalensis) is considered as locally common within its distributional range of Nepal. Our observation show that this species breeds at various elevations between 900 m to 2835 m in dense primary forest and forages in a variety of habitats that include degraded forest and human settlements, more common in the western mountains of the country as compared to the east. However, no systematic population surveys/estimations have been conducted for this species in Nepal and as a result, its population status remains little known. Until today, there are few published documents on this species from Nepal except the national red list of birds of Nepal (Inskipp et al. 2016). According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Nepal lost 24.5% (1,181,000 ha) of its forests between 1990 – 2010, with an annual average loss of 1.23 % (59,050 ha), which is likely to have an impact on the habitat of the Mountain Hawk Eagle.

    To understand the species’ ecological requirements, a collaborative project led by Himalayan Nature, in partnership with The Peregrine Fund, Wageningen University and Research and Kenya Birds of Prey Trust, using GPS transmitters was initiated in 2019. Initially, three individuals (adult male, adult female and juvenile male) were deployed with GPS Transmitters in 2019, and within 16 months, all suffered mortalities as a result of anthropogenic activities. Both males died due to electrocution with the powerlines that extended over a mountain ridge inside the breeding territories, with 9 and 14 weeks after tagging. The adult female was persecuted and killed by a villager 16 months after tagging. The eagle was injured attacking a chicken and then killed”. The onus being human persecution due to poultry theft.

    Our work on this race of Mountain Hawk Eagle has revealed that its physiology indicates a large bird killing, rather than mammal killing preference and this is supported by the few predation records. Nepal’s indeginous forest Phasianidae are in general in rapid decline and as forests shrink into a patch work of isolated islands the domestic fowl predominates. These in turn become one of the few remaining prey species available to Mountain Hawk Eagles further exacterbating the potential for persecution.

    This initial high adult mortality rate demonstrated by our (admittedly still limited) sample of tracked eagles suggests that antropogenic threats/mortality may, independent of habitat loss, drive the population decline of this species in Nepal.

    Although we depend on limited data thus far, the number of birds killed each year by anthropogenic activities could potentially be significantly higher than what we can currently estimate. In addition to our tagged eagles, we reported additional cases of persecution in other parts of the country. A questionnaire survey with local people (30 households) within the breeding territories of Mountain Hawk Eagle in 2019 showed 86.7% of the respondents don’t like to have this species in their area because of predation of domestic fowl. Out of 30 respondents, 17 (57%) said they witnessed human hunting of Mountain Hawk Eagles and six respondents (20%) said they actively hunted the species. In addition to high adult mortality, the collection of eaglets from the nest is also occasionally reported.

    Apart from persecution and electrocution, loss of forest habitat following agricultural expansion and intensification is the biggest concern for the species throughout Nepal. As Nepal actively adds several new powerlines and huge network of power grids with its ambitious hydro-elecrticity generation plans and supplying electricity with 11-32 Kv particularly lethal design 3 phase powerlines to rural areas, these schemes add grave threats of electrocution to these eagles and perhaps all the large-sized birds of prey. These hazardous power grid does not avoid protected areas, buffer zones or forests. The future population of this species does not look promising if these threats are not addressed on time. Considering such widespread threats and especially the high mortality rate of tagged birds, we believe the species should be uplisted to Near-Threatened or Threatened and further research is warranted to accurately evaluate the species’ conservation status in Nepal.

    Prepared and Submitted by: Mountain Hawk Working Group of Nepal: Dr. Tulsi Ram Subedi, Sandesh Gurung, Dr. Hem Sagar Baral, Simon Thomsett, Dr. Ralph Buij and Dr. Munir Virani

  12. Abidur Rahman says:

    Mountain Hawk Eagle is fairly common throughout the Hills of NE India. In peak winter it has been recorded from the low land such as Nameri and Kaziranga on few occasions. Need better evaluation after the report from the rest of Asia.

  13. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this discussion. We greatly appreciate the time and effort invested by so many people in commenting. The window for consultation is now closed. We will analyse and interpret the new information and post a preliminary decision on this species’s Red List status on this page in early July.

    Thank you once again,
    BirdLife Red List Team

  14. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Preliminary proposal

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2021 Red List would be to adopt the proposed classifications outlined in the initial forum discussion.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline in mid-July, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final 2021 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December 2021, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  15. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    The final categorisation for this species has not changed. Mountain Hawk-eagle is recommended to be listed as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for listing as threatened under Criteria A3cd+4cd.

    Many thanks for everyone who contributed to the 2021 GTB Forum process. The final 2021 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December 2021, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

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