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

Nias Serpent Eagle
Spilornis asturinus

Status: Data Deficient

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: Nias Serpent-eagle.

Spilornis asturinus
click to enlarge
Distribution: Indomalayan. Endemic to Nias Island, 95 km southwest of SUMATRA.

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: This form has been regarded as a subspecies of the widespread Crested Serpent Eagle (S. cheela, by most authors (Stresemann and Amadon 1979, Amadon and Bull 1989, Sibley and Monroe 1990, del Hoyo et al. 1994), but Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001) treated it as a full species. They are followed here, pending a molecular genetics study of the entire genus Spilornis, and because the different insular populations formerly assigned to S. cheela may have distinct, pressing conservation problems that might be overlooked if they are treated as subspecies.

Movements: Probably sedentary.

Habitat and Habits: Found on forested slopes up to the highest parts of the island at 886 m (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001).

Food and Feeding Behavior: Probably feeds mainly snakes and lizards (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001).

Breeding: No information.

Conservation: Presumably vulnerable to habitat loss, considering that it is endemic to an island comprising only 4,772 kmē (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). This species is not classified by BirdLife International, who regard it as a subspecies of S. cheela.

Population Estimates: Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001) suggested that the global population (defined as the number of adults and immatures at the start of the breeding season) is somewhere between 11 to 1,000, while emphasizing that there are no actual population data available.

Important References: 
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. Crested Serpent-eagle. P. 133 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 1. 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.
Thiollay, J.-M. 1996. The raptor community of Nias Island, Sumatra: survey
  and conservation. Kukila 8:113-115.

Last modified: 6/11/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Nias Serpent Eagle Spilornis asturinus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 31 May. 2020

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

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