Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Andaman Serpent Eagle
Spilornis elgini

Status: Near Threatened

Population Trend: Declining.

Other Names: Andaman Dark Serpent-eagle, Andaman Serpent-eagle.

Spilornis elgini
click to enlarge
Distribution: Indomalayan. ANDAMAN ISLANDS (North Andaman south to Little Andaman), off INDIA.

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Formerly considered to be a race of S. cheela, but not by Stresemann and Amadon 1979. Amadon and Bull (1988) noted that it is sympatric, but not interbreeding, with S. cheela davisoni, which was apparently derived from a later recolonization of the Andaman Islands.

Movements: Probably non-migratory.

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in inland forest clearings and hillsides with scattered trees and appears to be ecologically separated from the endemic race of the Crested Serpent Eagle, S.cheela davisoni) (Davidar et al. 1996, Grimmett et al. 1998). Occurs from sea level to 700 m (Ali and Ripley 1978).

Food and Feeding Behavior: Has a varied diet, including birds, snakes, lizards, frogs, and rats. Apparently still-hunts from a perch (FErguson-Lees and Christie (2001).

Breeding: No information.

Conservation: This species is present regarded as common within its restricted range, but the human population on the larger islands is increasing rapidly, and forest habitat is under mounting pressure from agriculture, grazing, and logging (Stattersfield et al. 1998). Hunting is also common on the islands, and both factors can be expected to affect the populations of this species negatively in the future. BirdLife International categorizes this species as Near Threatened.

Population Estimates: Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001) suggested that the global population might be as high as four figures, based on a projected average density of 1 pair/13 kmē, which may be overly optimistic. BirdLife International (2009) estimated the population of mature individuals at 1,000.

Important References: 
Ali, S., and S.D. Ripley. 1978. Handbook of the birds of India and
  Pakistan. Vol. 1. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, Delhi, India.
Amadon, D. 1974. Taxonomic notes on the serpent-eagles of the genus
  Spilornis. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 94:159-163.
Clark, W.S. 1994. Andaman Serpent-eagle. Pp. 134 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Lerner, H.R., and D.P. Mindell. 2005. Phylogeny of eagles, Old World
  vultures, and other Accipitridae based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.
  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37:327-346.
Naoroji, R. 2006. Birds of prey of the Indian subcontinent. Christopher
  Helm, A&C Black Publishers Ltd., London.
Rasmussen, P.C., and J.C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: the Ripley
  guide. Vols. 1-2. Smithsonian Institution and Lynx Edicions, Washington,
  D.C. and Barcelona, Spain.

Sites of Interest:
Andaman Serpent Eagle photo.

Hathwar, Vishnupriya

Last modified: 6/11/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2022. Species account: Andaman Serpent Eagle Spilornis elgini. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 23 Jan. 2022

Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Copyright © 1999-2012 The Peregrine Fund. All Rights Reserved.