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Kinabalu Serpent Eagle
Spilornis kinabaluensis

Status: Vulnerable

Population Trend: Declining.

Other Names: Kimabalu Serpent-eagle, Mountain Serpent Eagle, Mountain Serpent-eagle.

Spilornis kinabaluensis
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Distribution: Indomalayan. Endemic to central and northern BORNEO (mountains of SABAH, SARAWAK, BRUNEI, and KALIMANTAN). more....

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Formerly considered to be a race of S. cheela (Brown and Amadon 1968, Stresemann and Amadon 1979), but elevated to species status by Amadon and Bull (1988).

Movements: Non-migratory (Bildstein 2006).

Habitat and Habits: Restricted to montane forest (Sheldon et al. 2001). According to BirdLife International (2007), it prefers ridge-top submontane and montane evergreen forest between 1,000-2,000 m, or up to 2,900 m (Thiollay 1983). The range of this species is sympatric with that of the lowland S. cheela pallidus at Trus Madi, Sabah (Sheldon and Francis 1985), but at Gunung Mulu in Sarawak (Smythies and Davison 1999) and in Brunei (Bennett et al. BirdLife International 2007), the two species are separated vertically by a few hundred meters. Van Balen (1998) also noticed that this species is restricted to ridgetops within submontane evergreen forest in Kalimantan. Generally occurs singly, although adults were seen with two flying young at ca. 900 m in the Crocker Range (Phillips 1970). more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on snakes and lizards (Smythies 1981, Sheldon et al. 2001), including the Anglehead Lizard (Gonycephalus) (Smythies and Davison 1999).

Breeding: There is apparently no information on nests and eggs. Two adults were observed flying with two noticeably smaller young on 9 November 1968 in the Crocker Range (Phillipps 1970).

Conservation: Regarded as Vulnerable because of its restricted range, which is constantly subject to habitat loss at the lower edges, and the population is very likely declining. However, a thorough survey might reveal that the population is more stable than feared, especially since much of its montane habitat is within Kinabalu and Mulu National Parks. Categorized as Vulnerable by BirdLife International. more....

Population Estimates: Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001) estimated the global population, including all adults and immature birds at the start of the breeding season, as between 101 to 1,000 individuals, but acknowledged that knowledge of this species is meager. BirdLife International (2009) estimated the total population of mature birds at between 2,500 to 9,999 individuals, based on reasonable assumptions about the probable density of territorial pairs and the extent of remaining montane habitat.

Important References: 
Amadon, D. 1974. Taxonomic notes on the serpent-eagles of the genus
  Spilornis. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 94:159-163.
BirdLife International. 2000. Threatened birds of the world. Lynx
  Edicions, Barcelona, Spain, and BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
Clark, W.S. 1994. Kinabalu Serpent-eagle. P. 133 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.
Sheldon, F.H., R.G. Moyle, and J. Kennard. 2001. Ornithology of Sabah:
  history, gazetteer, annotated checklist, and bibliography. Ornithological
  Monographs no. 52. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Sites of Interest:
Red Data Book Threatened Birds of Asia
Detailed information on status, threats, and conservation measures.

Last modified: 11/7/2010

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

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