The Crowned Eagle’s Remarkable Lifespan: 14-16 Years in the Wild


The Crowned Eagle’s Remarkable Lifespan: 14-16 Years in the Wild

The Crowned Eagle, a majestic raptor found in sub-Saharan Africa, is known for its impressive size, powerful build, and striking appearance. But what truly sets this species apart is its remarkable lifespan, which can reach up to 16 years in the wild and even exceed 30 years in captivity.

The Average Lifespan of Crowned Eagles

According to the available research, the average lifespan of Crowned Eagles in the wild is 14 to 16 years. This is a testament to the species’ resilience and adaptability, as they face numerous challenges in their natural habitat.

Breeding and Nesting Habits

crowned eagle lifespanImage source: crowned eagle

Crowned Eagles are monogamous and mate for life. They breed once every two years, with egg-laying typically peaking from July to November. The pair builds a massive nest in the fork of a large forest tree, usually 12-45 m (39-148 ft) above the ground. The female lays 1 or 2 eggs, which are incubated for around 49 days, primarily by the female. The male plays a crucial role by bringing food to the incubating female every 3 to 5 days.

Feeding and Hunting Strategies

As carnivores, Crowned Eagles’ diet consists mainly of small ungulates, rock hyrax, and small primates such as monkeys. They also occasionally prey on birds and large lizards. These eagles are known for their still-hunting technique, where they drop or stoop onto their prey from a branch perch.

Conservation Status and Threats

The Crowned Eagle population is currently decreasing due to the destruction of its native tropical African forest habitat, which is a target for various industries, including timber companies, agriculturists, palm oil and biofuel plantations, miners, and slash and burn farmers. Additionally, the species suffers from persecution due to its size, reputation, and potential for taking small livestock. The IUCN Red List currently classifies the Crowned Eagle as Near Threatened (NT), with a population size estimated between 5,000 and 50,000 mature individuals.

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Remarkable Incidents and Statistics

There have been documented cases of monkeys killing adult Crowned Eagles. In one extraordinary incident, an adult male Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei) attacked and killed an adult female Crowned Eagle that was attempting to hunt his troop, by jumping onto her back during mid-flight and delivering a fatal bite.

In conclusion, the Crowned Eagle’s remarkable lifespan of 14 to 16 years in the wild, and the potential for even longer lifespans in captivity, is a testament to the species’ resilience and adaptability. However, the ongoing threats to its habitat and persecution pose significant challenges to the Crowned Eagle’s long-term survival. Conservation efforts and habitat protection will be crucial in ensuring the continued presence of this majestic raptor in the African skies.

Crowned eagle / Lifespan: 14 years
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