Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Terathopius ecaudatus
Species Authority: (Daudin, 1800)
Common Name(s):
English Bateleur
French Aigle bateleur
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.
Identification information: 55-70 cm. Mid-sized, oddly-proportioned eagle, with very long pointed wings, 'tailless' appearance and bushy head. Wings held in a deep 'V' and flight fast with distinctive side to side tilting action. Males generally black but with chestnut from mantle to tail, brownish-grey shoulders, white underwing linings and bare red face and legs. Females have more extensive white underwings and grey secondaries. Juveniles are all brown with blue-grey cere, face and legs and longer tail. Similar spp Jackal and Augur Buzzards share a combination of black, white and chestnut plumage but shape of Bateleur renders it unmistakeable.

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): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Ajama, A., Baker, N., Brewster, C., Brown, C., Cordeiro, N., Daniel, O., Dowsett, R., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Hall, P., Kitaba, K., Leonard, P., Thomsett, S., Tyler, S. & Wolstencroft, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Martin, R, Pilgrim, J., Symes, A.
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it is suspected to have undergone moderately rapid declines during the past three generations (41 years) owing to habitat loss and incidental poisoning and pollution, and is consequently believed to approach the threshold for classification as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Near Threatened (NT)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2006 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]

Range Description: Terathopius ecaudatus has an extensive range across much of sub-Saharan Africa (from southern Mauritania, Senegal, southern Mali and Guinea east to southern Sudan, northern South Sudan, Ethiopia and west Somalia and south to Namibia, Botswana and northern and north-eastern South Africa), and also occurs in south-west Arabia (south-west Saudi Arabia and Yemen). Its global population is estimated to be 10,000-100,000 individuals (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). There have been significant population declines and/or range contractions suspected in many regions, including Botswana (S. Tyler in litt. 2009), Côte d'Ivoire (del Hoyo et al. 1994), Kenya (N. Baker in litt. 2005, Ogada 2009), Namibia (del Hoyo et al. 1994), Nigeria (an estimated decline of at least 50 % in 30 years and now essentially confined to protected areas) (P. Hall in litt. 2005, 2009, O. J. Daniel in litt. 2009), Somalia (A. Ajama in litt. 2009), South Africa (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, S. Thomsett in litt. 2005), Sudan (del Hoyo et al. 1994), parts of Zambia (P. Leonard in litt. 2005), Zimbabwe (del Hoyo et al. 1994), and possibly parts of Tanzania (J. Wolstencroft in litt. 2005), in some areas, however, the species is not declining and remains widespread and common (N. Baker in litt. 2005, N. Cordeiro in litt. 2005, F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 2005).

Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Iraq; Israel; Lesotho; Liberia; Tunisia
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 28000000
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): 3000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number in the tens of thousands.

Trend Justification:  Declines have taken place across much of this species's range owing to habitat loss and incidental poisoning/pollution; the overall rate of decline is difficult to quantify but is suspected to have been moderately rapid over the past three generations (41 years).

Current Population Trend: Decreasing
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: It inhabits open country, including grasslands, savanna and subdesert thornbush from sea level to 4,500 m but generally below 3,000 m (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). It is generally considered resident but some adults as well as immatures are nomadic (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). It takes both live and dead food, mostly mammals and birds but also some reptiles, carrion, insects and occasionally birds' eggs and crabs, foraging over a huge range (55-200 km2) (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The nest is built in the canopy of a large tree, and breeding is chiefly September-May in West Africa, throughout the year in East Africa and December-August in southern Africa (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 13.70
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Putative reasons for declines vary, but include poisoned baits, pesticides, trapping for international trade, nest disturbance from spreading human settlements, and increased intensification and degradation of agricultural land (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, N. Baker in litt. 2005, S. Thomsett in litt. 2005). The major cause of the decline seems to be almost entirely poisoning by a few large-scale commercial farmers, but poisoning is also a problem in tribal small-stock farming communities.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Implement education and awareness campaigns across its range to reduce the use of poisoned baits. Carry out regular population monitoring across its range.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Terathopius ecaudatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22695289A38232906. . Downloaded on 07 October 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