|Habitats||Desert Cliffs, Mediterranean Cliffs|
|Presence In Israel||Resident|
|Nesting In Israel||Breeder|
|Zoography Zones||Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian|
|Landscape Formations||Mountainous, Cliffs|
|Vegetation Formations||Mediterranean Garrigue, Steppe|
|Vegetation Densities||Low, Medium|
|Foraging Grounds||Aerial, Ground|
|Body Sizes||Large (over 1000g)|
|Threat Factors||Nest Harvesting, Powerline Interactions, Human Settlements in Gorges, Hiking & Climbing, Pesticide Poisoning, Lead Poisoning, Aircraft Activity, Direct Persecution|
Bonelli’s Eagle is a medium-sized, fast and aggressive eagle. Adult plumage is contrasting – the breast, belly and lower parts are white with black streaking, contrasting with dark brown upper parts, except for a white patch in the center of its back. Immature birds have a more uniform light brown rusty plumage. It resembles hawks in many features – the white streaked plumage, the long legs, yellow eyes, rounded long tail and its habit of hunting doves and other birds in the air.
A very rare resident species in the Golan Heights, eastern Samaria, the Judean Desert and the Negev. The Mediterranean population comprises only a few pairs and in the desert region less than ten pairs remain. It once nested in all the mountainous and cliff areas, from the Upper Galilee to Eilat. The population in northern Israel was seriously affected in the 1960s and 1970s from excessive use of agricultural pesticides, which led to the disappearance of all the pairs that bred in the Galilee, the Carmel and the Judean Mountains. During the 1980s and 1990s, most of the pairs that nested in Samaria were adversely affected by nest robbers, and nesting in the Eilat Mountains ceased as well. Dispersing juveniles are frequently harmed by electrocution on medium-voltage distribution lines.
According to the quantitative analysis conducted (population viability analysis, PVA), at the current reproductive rate the probability of extinction for the species in Israel approaches 100% and the mean extinction time is 51 years (Mayrose & Hatsofe 2017).
The major threat to the Bonelli’s Eagle population is electrocution. Every year a number of juvenile eagles are electrocuted in their post fledging dispersal areas.
During recent decades, extensive efforts have been made to preserve the Bonelli’s Eagle population in Israel. All the known nesting sites are continuously monitored, and some of them are guarded against robbers. Moreover, rock climbing and aerial activities in the vicinity of nesting sites is restricted. Efforts have been made to insulate electrical poles in the juvenile dispersal areas. In addition, a number of immature birds from the captive breeding nucleus in the "Hai-Bar Carmel" are released into the wild every year.
Bonelli’s Eagle is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) and its future is completely dependent on specific management actions taken to ensure its preservation. If no solution is found to the electrocution issue, the population in Israel is not viable in the long-term.
It is necessary to minimize the danger to Bonelli’s Eagle from overhead power lines. Until a complete or partial solution to the problem is found, the continuous release of captive bred individuals is essential. At the same time, monitoring and nest guarding actions should be implemented to maximize the population reproductive potential.
- 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.
- 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.
- פרידמן, ג. 2010. סיכום סקר דורסי יום במחוז צפון. דו"ח עבור רשות הטבע והגנים והחברה להגנת הטבע.
- Mendelssohn, H. 1972. The impact of pesticides on bird life in Israel. ICBP 11:75-104.
- Shirihai, H., 1996. The Birds of Israel. Academic Press, London.
- Symes, A. 2013. Species generation lengths. Unpublished, BirdLife International.
- Species page at Birdlife International
Current Occupancy Map
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.