Crowned Eagle Monitoring
A pair of Crowned Eagles (Stephanoaetus coronatus) has been observed in the granite mountainous area between Rocky Drift and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mpumalanga, South Africa since 1996. Their nest was only discovered in 2014 and the pair has successfully fledged three chicks in six years, which appears to be the standard breeding cycle for these large eagles. The nest is constructed in a large Matumi tree (Breonadia salicifolia) in a secluded drainage line nestled between remote granite inselbergs.
The Crowned Eagle has recently being reclassified as a “Red Data” species due to range restrictions throughout Africa
The forested Drakensberg Escarpment and granite inselbergs around Mbombela/Nelspruit in South Africa provide an ideal natural habitat for a population of Crowned Eagles. This habitat is being transformed rapidly but there are still pairs of the endangered Crowned Eagle in patches of suitable habitat.
Crowned Eagle Study
A study of the Crowned Eagles around Mbombela/Nelspruit was started by the Mpumalanga Crowned Eagle Working Group in 2007 and is ongoing. The focus of the study has been on determining the population size and density and whether the population is a source or a sink. In other words, is their population a stable one producing a surplus of chicks or is the population shrinking.
To-date the information obtained from monitoring the nests tends to indicate that the population is healthy producing a surplus of chicks. The known nests are used regularly every alternative year unless they collapse which they can do after storms or after being disturbed and then being abandoned.
This Crowned Eagle Monitoring Project (with the nest camera EagleCam2) is a collaborative project of AgriStar Holdings (Pty) Ltd and the Mpumalanga Crowned Eagle Working Group.