Haliaeetus vocifer 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus vocifer
Species Authority: (Daudin, 1800)
Common Name(s):
English African Fish-eagle, African Fish-Eagle, African Fish Eagle
French Aigle pêcheur
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. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Harding, M., Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Least Concern (LC)
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Lesotho; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 18300000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 4000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Behaviour This is an afrotropical species (17°N to 35°S), common to abundant throughout its range except in waterless areas. It is generally sedentary but can be nomadic in response to resource shortages (e.g., drought, flood or prey scarcity), and has been recorded traveling up to 200km from the natal site (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Habitat The species occupies a range of aquatic habitats from sea level to 4000m, ideally areas of calm water, such as swamps, lakes, rivers, floodplains and estuaries. Juveniles that are dispersing can cross vast dry areas and will roost and feed on carcasses en-route (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001; del Hoyo et al., 1994). Diet The species’ diet consists primarily of fish, but it will also take other available taxa as well as carrion when prey is scarce. Juveniles are known to feed at large mammal carcasses alongside vultures and Tawny Eagles (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001). Breeding Site The species nests near water, in tall acacias or other suitable trees, and occasionally on rock outcrops. Nests are up to 1.5m in diameter and are composed of sticks and papyrus, lined with rush heads and occasionally, weaver nests. Breeding can occur at any time within Equatorial regions, but spans April - October in southern Africa; June - December in the east; and October – April in the west (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001).

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 16.7
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is not known to be directly persecuted by humans, even though it is very numerous and probably a direct competitor for fish.  Neither is it particularly affected by habitat loss. In some regions a build-up of organochlorine pesticides in water bodies and therefore in their fish prey, could result in eggshell thinning.  This has been recorded in South Africa (Ferguson- Lees and Christie, 2001) and Zimbabwe (del Hoyo et al., 1994) but has not yet had any significant impact on the population.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2013. Haliaeetus vocifer. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T22695115A40861043. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided