The Adalbert's Eagle almost went into extinction because of habitat loss from deforestation and hunting. Thanks to conservation efforts, their numbers are coming back.
Body length: 82 cm
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
Most Adalbert's Eagles live in the forests of Spain, while a small population in Portugal.
They like to eat rabbits. They also attack other birds like pigeons and crows. Sometimes they eat lizards and snakes.
The Adalbert's Eagle is an adept flyer with an impressive wingspan of 2 meters. Unfortunately, young eagles often fly into electrical wires and die from electrocution.
Extermination of rabbits threatens existence of the Adalbert's Eagle?!
In the early 20th century, the Adalbert's Eagle could be seen in various places in Spain. But according to a study done in the 1960s, only 30 pairs were found. Activities such as deforestation and hunting quickly made them an endangered species. The population of rabbits increased so much that people began to exterminate them. This actually caused the population of Adalbert's Eagles to decline because rabbits are their main food.
Operation "foster parent" is a big success!
People concerned with the situation came up with an idea. The Adalbert's Eagle lays 2 to 4 eggs but not all of them grow into adults. The idea was to move the third and fourth hatchlings to a nest of Eagles without any hatchlings and have those eagles act as foster parents. This was a big success and helped their numbers to recover. Thanks to various other conservation activities, a follow-up study confirmed a population of approximately 200 pairs of Adalbert's Eagles in 2005.
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