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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Crested Eagle Morphnus guianensis

Jedediah W. Smith
Version: 1.0 — Published August 16, 2012


The Crested Eagle is listed as a CITES Appendix II species (UNEP-WCMC 2012), Near Threatened by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2012), and as a species of high concern to Partners in Flight (Berlanga et al. 2010). In Mexico, this species is listed as Endangered (NOM-059 SEMARNAT 2001). Based on determinations of habitat loss, Berlanga et al. (2010) estimated that 50% or more of the population has been lost in Mexico during the last century. This species is likely to be declining throughout its range (Wetmore 1965, Sick 1993). It has an estimated world breeding population of only 1,000-10,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2012).

Effects of human activity on populations

The primary threats to Crested Eagle are logging of mature forest and habitat conversion for agriculture and livestock production (see Historical Changes), resulting in both habitat loss and fragmentation. As this species lives in one of the fastest declining forests in the world, habitat loss will be a key factor in future planning. Also, its large size, slow reproductive rate and low population density make it vulnerable to hunting or shooting, especially due to perceived threats to livestock (Bierregaard 1994). Crested Eagles may be able to withstand human-induced environmental changes better than the Harpy Eagle, but they are still sensitive to all but very low levels of disturbance (Bierregaard 1994). It is clear that like many large raptors, Crested Eagle requires a large home to obtain sufficient food resources.

Recommended Citation

Smith, J. W. (2012). Crested Eagle (Morphnus guianensis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.creeag1.01