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Aquila chrysaetos

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

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Lior Kislev

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 World Assessment

Habitats Desert Cliffs
Presence In Israel Resident
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Resident
Zoography Zones Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian
Landscape Formations Mountainous, Cliffs
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Tree, Cliffs
Diet Types Vertebrate
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Large (over 1000g)
Threat Factors Nest Harvesting, Powerline Interactions, Human Settlements in Gorges, Hiking & Climbing, Overgrazing, Pesticide Poisoning, Aircraft Activity, Direct Persecution

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

Distribution maps

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

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

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% of protected sites

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