Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)

Threats according to BirdLife International:

Breeding sites are threatened primarily by intensive forestry in the mountains, and by the shortage of large indigenous trees in the lowlands (e.g. illegal tree cutting affected several pairs in Russia [Karyakin et al. 2009a] and Bulgaria). Other threats are loss and alteration of feeding habitats, shortages of small and medium-sized prey species (particularly ground-squirrels Spermophilus spp.), human disturbance of breeding sites, nest robbing and illegal trade, shooting, poisoning and electrocution by powerlines. An average of c.450 Eastern Imperial Eagles were killed by powerlines during the 2009 breeding season in the Altai region – 25% of the total population of the region (Karyakin et al. 2009b). Habitat alterations associated with agricultural expansion threaten historical and potential breeding sites in former range countries. Hunting, poisoning, prey depletion and other mortality factors are also likely to pose threats along migration routes and in wintering areas. Competition for nest sites with Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga has been reported in the Altai region, Russia (Karyakin et al. 2009c).

Distribution map

: Birdlife International


LIFE-projects focusing on this species:

  • LIFE02 NAT/H/008627: Aquila heliaca - Conservation of Aquila heliaca in the Carpathian basin.
  • LIFE03 NAT/SK/000098: AQUILA HELIACA - Conservation of Aquila heliaca in the Carpathian basin.
  • LIFE07 NAT/BG/000068: BSPB LIFE+ SAVE THE RAPTORS - Conservation of imperial eagle and saker falcon in key Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria.
  • LIFE10 NAT/HU/000019: HELICON - Conservation of imperial eagles by managing human-eagle conflicts in Hungary.
  • LIFE12 NAT/BG/000572: LIFE for safe grid - Enhance conservation of the globally threatened Imperial Eagle in Bulgaria by reducing mortality caused by power lines.
  • LIFE13 NAT/HU/000183: RAPTORSPREYLIFE - Securing prey sources for endangered Falco cherrug and Aquila heliaca population in the Carpathian basin.
  • LIFE14 NAT/BG/001119: LAND for LIFE - Restoration and sustainable management of Imperial Eagle’s foraging habitats in key Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria.
  • LIFE18 NAT/AT/000048: LIFE EUROKITE - Cross-border European conservation project for the red kite and other raptor species.



Karyakin, I. V.; Nikolenko, E. G.; Bekmansurov, R. H. 2009. Imperial Eagle in the Altai Mountains. Raptors Conservation: 66-79.

Karyakin, I. V.; Nikolenko, E. G.; Bekmansurov, R. H. 2009. Results of monitoring of Greater Spotted Eagle and Imperial Eagle breeding grounds in the Altai pine forests in 2009, Russia. Raptor Research 17: 125-130.

Karyakin, I. V.; Nikolenko, E. G.; Vazhov, S. V.; Bekmansurov, R. H. 2009. Raptor electrocution in the Altai region: results of surveys in 2009, Russia. Raptors Conservation 16: 45-64.