Spizaetus ornatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Spizaetus ornatus
Species Authority: (Daudin, 1800)
Common Name(s):
English Ornate Hawk-eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle

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. & Taylor, J.
Contributor(s): Lees, A. & Panjabi, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N. & Symes, A.

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, and habitat loss and persecution elsewhere within its extremely large range, it is suspected that the population of this species will decline by 25-30% over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Near Threatened.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Spizaetus ornatus ranges through most of the Neotropics. Subspecies vicarius occurs from south-east Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama to northern South America. It is rare in west Colombia, and is also known to reach west Ecuador, but there have been very few records there (del Hoyo et al. 1994). The nominate subspecies ornatus occurs from east Colombia east through Venezuela, where it is slightly more frequent but still uncommon (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Hilty 2003, Restall et al. 2006). It is uncommon to rare in Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and Trinidad and Tobago (Restall et al. 2006). The taxon's range extends south through east Ecuador, north-east Peru and north-east Bolivia. It reaches south Brazil, where it has declined in areas of heavy deforestation, and further south to Paraguay. In north Argentina it is also known to have declined (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
Argentina; Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Ferguson-Lees et al. (2001) estimated the population to number in the tens of thousands. Partners in Flight estimated the population to number fewer than 50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species mainly occurs in humid forest, although it is also known to occur near open areas in Venezuela's "llanos" (plains) and in low swamp forest at Petén, Guatemala. In Colombia it mainly occurs up to 1,200 m, but has been recorded as high as 1,800 m, and elsewhere it is known rarely to reach 3,000 m. It mainly hunts large prey, especially birds and mammals. It appears to have an extended breeding season, with laying occurring in the dry season and fledging at the beginning of the rainy season (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon basin, through which it is projected to lose up to 40% of its habitat (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is also susceptible to hunting and persecution, but is comfortable traversing fragmented landscapes and has a huge range (A. Lees in litt. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Spizaetus ornatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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