Spilornis kinabaluensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Spilornis kinabaluensis
Species Authority: Sclater, 1919
Common Name(s):
English Kinabalu Serpent-eagle, Mountain Serpent Eagle, Kinabalu Serpent-eagle, Mountain Serpent-Eagle
Spanish Culebrera del Kinabalu

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Davison, G., Mann, C. & van Balen, B.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Taylor, J., Tobias, J.
Given the small range and relative mobility of this species, it is judged to comprise a single small population which is likely to be decreasing as a result of continuing habitat loss and degradation creeping up hill-slopes into its altitudinal range. For these reasons it qualifies as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Spizaetus kinabaluensis is confined to the mountains of central and northern Borneo in Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia, and Kalimantan, Indonesia (BirdLife International 2001). From observations in the 1980s and 1990s, it appears to be a genuinely scarce species, with a small total population. However, much of its range is infrequently visited and it may prove to be more widespread than current indications suggest. It is likely to occur more or less continuously along the Crocker Range from Mount Kinabalu to Ulu Padas, G. Mulu and the border mountains of Brunei, and Gunung Murud (Pulong Tau National Park) (G. Davison in litt. 2007). The southern and western limits of its distribution are poorly known and need to be investigated, e.g., its occurrence in the Kelabit Highlands and Usun Apau, Kayan Mentarang and central montane parts of Kalimantan (G. Davison in litt. 2007).

Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia; Malaysia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is apparently sedentary in submontane and montane evergreen rainforest where it tends to prefer ridge-top forest at 750-2,900 m. In areas where it occurs alongside S. cheela it is separated vertically by a few hundred metres.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation are the primary threats to the species, particularly towards the lower altitudinal limits of its distribution, where the extent of forest is diminishing fairly rapidly in the face of agricultural expansion and intensification, although forest at higher altitudes is also threatened, for example by small-holder agriculture (G. Davison in litt. 2007, 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It occurs within Kinabalu and Mulu National Parks and Temburong/Kuala Belalong (Brunei) (G. Davison in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct fieldwork to determine the range (particularly the southern and western limits) and population size of this species along with the degree of threat it faces from habitat destruction. Propose further sites for establishment as protected areas in the Bornean highlands. Ensure effective management of key protected areas for the species, including lending support to the 'Heart of Borneo' initiative.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Spilornis kinabaluensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 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