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Mentawai Serpent Eagle
Spilornis sipora

Status: Data Deficient

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: Mentawai Serpent-eagle.


Spilornis sipora
click to enlarge
Distribution: Indomalayan. Endemic to Mentawai island group, SUMATRA.

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Originally described as a race of S. elgini of the Andaman Islands (Chasen 1926), 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: Occurs in forest, all of which is below 450 m on these islands (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001).

Food and Feeding Behavior: Probably feeds mainly on tree snakes and other reptiles (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001).

Breeding: No information.

Conservation: Probably at some risk from habitat loss, as the entire Mentawai islands group comprise only 6,000 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) placed the global population (defined as the number of adults and immatures at the start of the breeding season) in the hundreds of individuals, although there are no actual population data.

Important References: 
Amadon, D. 1974. Taxonomic notes on the serpent-eagles of the genus
  Spilornis. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 94:159-163.
Andrew, P. 1992. The birds of Indonesia: a checklist (Peter's sequence).
  Kukila Checklist no. 1. Indonesian Ornithological Society, Jakarta,
  Indonesia.
Chasen, F.N., and C. Boden Kloss. Spolia Mentawiensis.-Birds. Ibis
  68:269-306.
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. 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.
Riley, J.H. 1929. A review of the birds of the islands Siberut and Sipora
  (Mentawi group) (Spolia Mentawiensis). Proceedings of the U.S. National
  Museum 75:1-45.


Last modified: 6/11/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2014. Species account: Mentawai Serpent Eagle Spilornis sipora. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 18 Apr. 2014








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