Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Icthyophaga humilis
Species Authority: (Müller & Schlegel, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Lesser Fish-eagle, Lesser Fish-Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle, Lesser Fishing Eagle
Spanish Pigarguillo Menor
Ichthyophaga humilis
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: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Davidson, P. & Naoroji, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Mahood, S. & Taylor, J.
This species depends on forest-fringed waterbodies with good stocks of fish. It is thought to be undergoing a moderately rapid population reduction owing to forest degradation, over-fishing and perhaps especially, pollution, and may already have a moderately small population. It is consequently classified as Near Threatened

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)
2000 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Ichthyophaga humilis occurs in India (restricted to Himalayan foothills and north-east, with an additional small population in Karnataka state in the south [Lethaby 2005]; declining in range and population), Bangladesh, Nepal (rare and local in lowlands), Bhutan (very rare at lower altitudes), China (rare visitor to Hainan), Myanmar (widespread, scarce to locally fairly common), Thailand (rare in west and south), Cambodia (recently recorded - status unclear [P. Davidson in litt. 2003]), Laos (small numbers persist in several catchments, although fragmentation of populations and their small size renders them vulnerable to local extinction), Vietnam (rare to locally fairly common in west Tonkin and south Annam), Peninsular Malaysia (previously common; now scarce to locally fairly common but declining) and east Malaysia, Brunei (scarce), Indonesia (uncommon in Sumatra and Borneo; locally common in south-east Sulawesi, uncommon to rare elsewhere, and in the Sula islands and Buru) (BirdLife International 2001).

Countries occurrence:
Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand; Viet Nam
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 2920000
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
Lower elevation limit (metres): 200
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population is preliminarily estimated to number 10,000-50,000 mature individuals, pending further research. This is roughly equivalent to 15,000-75,000 individuals in total.

Trend Justification:  A moderately rapid and on-going population decline is suspected on the basis of rates of habitat loss and degradation.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 10000-50000 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: It frequents large forested rivers and wetlands in the lowlands and foothills up to 2,400 m, but usually below 1,000 m.

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 17.3
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Loss of forest habitat along rivers, siltation, over-fishing and increasing human disturbance of waterways are causing widespread declines. It is also declining in Uttar Pradesh, India, partly because of pesticide use and this is presumably relevant throughout much of its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to reveal important areas and regularly monitor at various sites throughout its range. Protect forest in areas known to be important to the species. Research the link between pesticide use and the decline.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Icthyophaga humilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22695156A37841635. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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