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Aquila chrysaetos

warning Critically Endangered
CR (A2c,C1,D1,A2a)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Lior Kislev
Update Time: Jan. 1, 2011, 7:39 a.m.

The Golden Eagle is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) based on the decline in its population size and range (exceeding 80% over three generations), its extremely small population (less than 50 mature individuals) and the quantitative analysis (PVA) according to which, the probability of extinction for the species is 100% and the average extinction time is 37 years. In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Endangered (EN). The change in its threat category reflects the deterioration in the population status and the decrease from about 20 breeding pairs in the early 2000s to less than ten pairs today.
CR Current Regional Assessment | EN Previous Regional Assessment | LC Global Assessment

Habitats Desert Cliffs
Presence In Israel Resident
Breeding In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Resident
Zoographical Zones Saharo-Arabian, Irano-Turanian
Landscape Types Mountainous, Cliffs
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Cliffs, Tree
Diet Types Terrestrial Vertebrates
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Large (over 1000g)
Threat Factors Nest Harvesting, Electrocution and collision with transmission wires, Human Settlements in Gorges, Hikers and rock climbers, Overgrazing, Pesticide Poisoning, Helicopter and aircraft activity in breeding areas, Hunting and trapping

The Golden Eagle is a very large and imposing eagle. Its golden nape and raised wings in flight give it a royal appearance (in Arabic, it is termed accordingly the “king of the raptors”). An eagle with an almost cosmopolitan range that feeds on a wide variety of prey that it hunts using diverse methods, from catching tortoises and hurling them on rock surfaces, catching birds in flight, stooping on mammals in vertical dives and rolling ibexes and goats from cliffs. In Israel, it usually nests on cliffs, hunting and foraging near its nest as well as in locales ten or more kilometers away from its nesting cliff.

In Israel, the Golden Eagle now only nests on cliffs in the desert. In the past, it also nested on trees and electrical poles and occupied extensive areas in the Mediterranean and steppe region. Forages over extensive areas that include varied habitats in the desert and desert transition area.

In recent years, there have been extensive efforts to preserve the Golden Eagle population in Israel. The breeding territories are constantly monitored and data are gathered on nesting success and threat factors. In addition, nests with a high risk of being robbed are guarded.

The Golden Eagle is in real and immediate danger of extinction, and without active management and intensive efforts to rehabilitate its population, it could become extinct as a breeder in Israel within a few years.

Regular monitoring and protecting nests from disturbance should be continued. The possibility of supplementary feeding of the nesting pairs to improve breeding success should be investigated. A breeding nucleus should be established in order to release birds into the wild and rehabilitate the Negev population, as it is not clear why it has declined so sharply.

  • מירוז, א. והצופה, א. 2014. סיכום סקר קינון עופות דורסים במדבר יהודה. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים.
  • מירוז, א. והצופה, א. 2017. על מצב אוכלוסיות העיט הניצי והעיט הזהוב בישראל - סיכום נתונים והיערכות לעתיד. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים, חטיבת מדע.
  • סלע, י. 1975. סקר העופות הדורסים 1970–1975. אוניברסיטת תל-אביב: המכון לחקר שמירת הטבע.
  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
  • פרומקין, ר., מן ש., 1984 .קנון דורסים בחבל המדברי של ישראל 1984-1980. העזניה גליון 11. הוצאת החברה להגנת הטבע.
Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Lior Kislev

Current Occupancy Map

Current occupancy map by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
0 0 0 0 0

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel from the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and breeding density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values in the current decade as determined from experts' opinion and observations from databases.

Relative Abundance 2010-2020 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
8 12 12 21 19

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Density values based primarily on the book The Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Relative Abundance 1980-1990 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
5 14 14 17 22

Occupancy 1990-2020

The map shows differences in the species breeding distribution between the 1980's breeding map and the current weighted breeding evaluation. Negative value - species previously bred in the grid and is not presently breeding; positive value - species has not previously bred in the grid and is currently breeding.

Occupancy 1990-2020
Data Missing No Change Occupancy Increase Occupancy Decrease
6 35 1 9

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020

The map shows the changes in the relative abundance of a species in each of the distribution grids between the breeding map of the 1980s and the weighted current breeding evaluation. Negative values - decline in abundance; positive values - increase in abundance; zero - no change in abundance.

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020
80 to 100 50 20 to 30 No Change 30- to 20- 50- 100- to 80- Data Missing
0 4 2 22 12 14 11 16

Red number
IUCN category
Threat Definition according to the red book
() districts
% of protected sites

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