Pallas's Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus), also known as Pallas's Sea Eagle or Band-Tailed Fish Eagle, is a large, brownish sea-eagle. It breeds in Central Asia, between the Caspian Sea and the Yellow Sea, from Kazakhstan and Mongolia to the Himalayas, Bangladesh and northern India. It is partially migratory, with central Asian birds wintering among the southern Asian birds in northern India, and also further west to the Persian Gulf.
Pallas' fish eagle has pale brownish hood and black-and-white tail. Adult are easily recognised with its dark brown, warm buffish to whitish head, neck and upper mantle and blackish tail with broad, white central band. Juveniles are more uniformly dark, with all-dark tail, but in flight shows strongly patterned underwing, with whitish band across coverts and prominent, whitish primary flashes. Its diet consists primarily of large freshwater fish. They also regularly predate water birds, including adult Greylag Geese, by assaulting them on the surface of the water and then flying off with the kill. Since that goose species is slightly heavier than the eagle, this is one of the greatest weight-lifting feats ever recorded for a flying bird.
The global population is said to have dwindled down based on detailed analysis of available records. This species has a small, declining population as a result of the widespread loss, degradation and disturbance of wetlands and breeding sites throughout its range. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable. Key threats are habitat loss, degradation and disturbance. Across the Indian subcontinent, and probably most of its range, wetlands have been drained or converted for agriculture and human settlements. The felling of large trees near wetlands has reduced the availability of nest and roost sites. The spread of water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes is a problem in India, as is the siltation of lakes due to catchment deforestation. Pollution of wetlands with pesticides and industrial effluents reduces breeding success. Habitat loss and degradation are compounded by disturbance of wetlands. Reductions in the prey base, primarily through hunting and over-fishing, are further consequences of increasing human pressure.
In Myanmar, the development of oil and gas fields is a threat and, in China, hunting is a localised problem. In Mongolia, during surveys in summer 2009, it was noted that two recently completed hydroelectric dams were severely disrupting water levels in the affected drainage basins and could potentially affect all sites where the species occurs in the Great Lake Basin (Gilbert and Gombobataar 2009). Over-fishing was also noted at several sites and low rainfall was leading to falling water levels in some areas (Gilbert and Gombobataar 2009).
Source: Wikipedia & birdlife.org
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