- Location :France
- Species status :Low Concern
- Period :August 2010 - December 2012
The eagle is represented in France by several species
Such as the Golden eagle, Bonelli’s eagle, the Booted eagle and the Short-toed eagle, etc. With low reproductive potential, these species are unfortunately excessively hunted and poisoned by pesticides or these endangered species are legally protected.
The Golden eagle is present in France across the Alps, in the Jura and the Mediterranean islands (Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily) as well as in the central and southern Massif Central. On a more general basis, this species can be found throughout the northern hemisphere, the sub-Sahara desert and the southern regions of the Arctic.
The Golden Eagle is found more often in open and semi-open habitats of mountainous areas. It seems to prefer heterogeneous landscapes away from any type of human activity. Golden Eagles capture a wide variety of prey especially small mammals weighing 1-15 kg.
Nest sites are often very difficult to access. Eagles are generally very sensitive to disturbance during the breeding season and may abandon their breeding activities in the case of any human intervention.
The availability of food resources is a determining factor in Golden eagle population dynamics. Therefore, the reproductive behavior and success of eagles are considerably dependent on the availability of a regular energetic uptake.
The breeding territories of golden eagles vary in size from between 30 km2 to 50 km2. Individuals of this species tend to protect their nests and their young from other members of the same species and other species. Curiously enough, golden eagles do not defend their hunting grounds so several breeding pairs may hunt in the same area.
Golden eagles build their nests with branches, roots, plants and other materials. The interior is lined with greenery. The start of the egg laying period usually takes place in March, but may vary depending on the latitude of the regions, and start at a later date. The number of eggs varies between three and four. The eggs hatch after 43-45 days of incubation and the young remain around 77 to 81 days in the nest. After their first flight in July, the young eagles remain in the vicinity of their parent’s nest.
Young eagles reach their sexual maturity around the age of 4 or 5. It is also at this stage that the immature eagles begin to search for a partner. The young birds do not stray too far away from the parental territory during this period. They are however sometimes forced to leave the latter and consequently confronted with the aggressiveness of other territorial couples. The young eagles are therefore pushed to less attractive territories with less resources.
The longevity records of golden eagles in the wild is of about 32 years in the wild while that of individuals in captivity is of 46 years.
The Golden eagle population in Europe is not very large and made up of about 8,500 couples. The species has a wide although discontinuous distribution. In the IUCN world list it is considered to be of “Least Concern”. It is also listed as “vulnerable” in the French endangered species Red List. All of this makes us come to the conclusion that this species is in urgent need of appropriate conservation measures in certain regions of Europe.