Steppe eagle

The steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is a bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.[2] It was once considered to be closely related to the non-migratory tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) and the two forms have previously been treated as conspecific. They were split based on pronounced differences in morphology and anatomy;[3][4][5] two molecular studies, each based on a very small number of genes, indicate that the species are distinct but disagree over how closely related they are.[6]

Steppe eagle
Steppe Eagle Portrait
Individual at Jorbeer, Bikaner, Rajasthan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Aquila
Species:
A. nipalensis
Binomial name
Aquila nipalensis
(Hodgson, 1833)
AquilaNipalensis
Range of A. nipalensis      Breeding      Passage      Non-breeding
Synonyms

Aquila rapax nipalensis

Description

Steppe Eagle's Gape
The gape of the steppe eagle is an easy way to distinguish it from the tawny eagle. The gape extends beyond the centre of the eye as against the tawny. The oval nostril sets it apart from the spotted eagles.
Aravalli BiodivPark Gurgaon DSC9208 steppe eagle
Steppe eagle in flight, Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Gurgaon

It is about 62–81 cm (24–32 in) in length and has a wingspan of 1.65–2.15 m (5.4–7.1 ft). Females, weighing 2.3–4.9 kg (5.1–10.8 lb), are slightly larger than males, at 2–3.5 kg (4.4–7.7 lb). This is a large eagle with brown upperparts and blackish flight feathers and tail. This species is larger and darker than the tawny eagle, and it has a pale throat which is lacking in that species. Immature birds are less contrasted than adults, but both show a range of variation in plumage colour. The eastern subspecies A. n. nipalensis is larger and darker than the European and Central Asian A. n. orientalis.

The call of the steppe eagle sounds like a crow barking, but it is rather a silent bird.

Habitat and feeding

The steppe eagle breeds from Romania east through the south Russian and Central Asian steppes to Mongolia. The European and Central Asian birds winter in Africa, and the eastern birds in India. It lays 1–3 eggs in a stick nest in a tree. Throughout its range it favours open dry habitats, such as desert, semi-desert, steppes, or savannah.

Aquila nipalensis egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden
Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

It is found in south-eastern Pakistan especially in Karachi. Large numbers are seen at certain places such as Khare in Nepal during migration. As many as 15.3 birds per hour during October and November have been noted.[7]

The steppe eagle's diet is largely fresh carrion of all kinds, but it will kill rodents[8] and other small mammals up to the size of a hare, and birds up to the size of partridges. It will also steal food from other raptors. Like other species, the steppe eagle has a crop in its throat allowing it to store food for several hours before being moved to the stomach.

Concerns

The paper based on joint research conducted by the Bombay Natural History Society, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Indian Veterinary Research Institute, published in May 2014 in the journal of the Cambridge University Press, highlighted that steppe eagles are adversely affected by veterinary use of diclofenac and may fall prey to it. The research found the same signs of kidney failure as seen in the Gyps vulture killed due to diclofenac. They found extensive visceral gout, lesions and uric acid deposits in the liver, kidney and spleen, as well as deposits of diclofenac residue in tissues. Steppe eagles are opportunistic scavengers, which may expose them to the risk of diclofenac poisoning.[9]

Cultural significance

The Steppe Eagle appears on the flag of Kazakhstan. It is also the National bird (animal) of Egypt and appears on its flag.

Thumamah, KSA 1993
Aquila nipalensis 2010
At Wildpark Tripsdrill, Germany

References

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2015). "Aquila nipalensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  2. ^ Ferguson-Lees, J.; Christie, D. (2001). Raptors of the World. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0-618-12762-3.
  3. ^ Clark, W.S. (1992). "The taxonomy of Steppe and Tawny Eagles, with criteria for separation of museum specimens and live eagles". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 112: 150–157.
  4. ^ Olson, Storrs L. (1994). "Cranial osteology of Tawny and Steppe Eagles Aquila rapax and A. nipalensis". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 114: 264–267.
  5. ^ Sangster, George; Knox, Alan G.; Helbig, Andreas J.; Parkin, David T. (2002). "Taxonomic recommendations for European birds". Ibis. 144 (1): 153–159. doi:10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00026.x.
  6. ^ "Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis". globalraptors.org. Global Raptor Information Network.
  7. ^ DeCandido, R.; Allen, D.; Bildstein, K.L. (2001). "The migration of Steppe Eagles (Aquila nipalensis) and other raptors in central Nepal, autumn 1999" (PDF). Journal of Raptor Research. 35 (1): 35–39.
  8. ^ Meheretu Yonas; Leirs, H (2019). Raptor perch sites for biological control of agricultural pest rodents. In: Nyssen J., Jacob, M., Frankl, A. (Eds.). Geo-trekking in Ethiopia’s Tropical Mountains - The Dogu’a Tembien District. SpringerNature. ISBN 978-3-030-04954-6.
  9. ^ Phadnis, Mayuri (28 May 2014). "Eagles fall prey to vulture-killing chemical". Pune Mirror. Retrieved 28 May 2014.

Further reading

  • Svensson, Lars (1–8 November 1986). Underwing pattern of Steppe, Spotted and Lesser Spotted Eagles. International Bird Identification: Proceedings of the 4th International Identification Meeting. Eilat: International Birdwatching Centre Eilat. pp. 12–14.

External links

Ak Orda Presidential Palace

The Ak Orda (Kazakh: Ақорда/Aqorda, اقوردا - "the white horde") Presidential Palace is the official workplace of the President of Kazakhstan, located in the capital city of Nur-Sultan. Akorda Presidential Palace was built within three years, and officially opened in 2004. It was built by the Mabetex Group, founded by Behgjet Pacolli 3rd President of Kosovo and 1st Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo.

Situated on the left bank of the Ishim (Esil) River, it is the president’s place of work and houses the staff of the Presidential Administration; it is not the president’s place of residence. The palace includes a blue and gold dome topped with a spire. This golden statue atop the dome includes a sun with 32 rays at its apex, and also includes a steppe eagle flying beneath the sun.The building's height (including the spire) is 80 meters. The first floor includes a Grand Central Hall, the Hall of Press Conferences, the Gala Hall, and the Winter Garden. The second floor includes offices, while the third floor is used for international events, and includes various halls (Marble Hall; Golden Hall; Oval Hall; Oriental Hall, built in the form of a yurt; the Hall of Extended Negotiations). The fourth floor includes a Dome Hall, meeting hall for the Government of the Republic, and the Library.The color gold features prominently throughout the complex and twenty-one types of marble were used for the floor patterns.

Aquilinae

The Aquilinae are a subfamily of eagles of the Accipitridae family. The general common name used for members of this subfamily is "booted eagle", although this is also the common name of a member of the subfamily. At one point, this subfamily was considered inclusive with the Buteoninae (commonly known as buzzards or buteonine hawks) based probably on some shared morphological characteristics. However, research on the DNA of the booted eagles has shown that they are a monophyletic group that probably have had millions of years of separation from other extant forms of accipitrid.

Bogdo-Baskunchak Nature Reserve

Bogdinsko-Baskunchakski Nature Reserve (Russian: Богдинско-Баскунчакский) (also Bogdinsko-Baskunchaksky) is a Russian 'zapovednik' (strict nature reserve) in a semi-arid area around two notable features: Lake Baskunchak, Russia's largest undrained salt lake, and Big Bogdo Mountain, the highest point (at 147 meters) in the Caspian Depression and home to the "singing rocks". It is about halfway between Volgograd and Astrakhan, placing it about 200 km north of the Volga River Delta, where the river enters the Caspian Sea from the northwest. About 20 km east of the lake is the border with Kazakhstan. Baskunchak has been a source of salt to Russia for centuries. The reserve is an important site on the bird migration route between northern Siberia and wintering regions. The reserve is situated in the Akhtubinsky District of Astrakhan Oblast.

British Armed Forces

The British Armed Forces, also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military services responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom, its overseas territories and the Crown dependencies. They also promote Britain's wider interests, support international peacekeeping efforts and provide humanitarian aid.Since the formation of a Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 (later succeeded by the United Kingdom), the armed forces have seen action in a number of major wars involving the world's great powers, including the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, the First World War, and the Second World War. Repeatedly emerging victorious from conflicts has allowed Britain to establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers.Today, the British Armed Forces consist of: the Royal Navy, a blue-water navy with a fleet of 75 commissioned ships, together with the Royal Marines, a highly specialised amphibious light infantry force; the British Army, the UK's principal land warfare branch; and the Royal Air Force, a technologically sophisticated air force with a diverse operational fleet consisting of both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft. The British Armed Forces include standing forces, Regular Reserve, Volunteer Reserves and Sponsored Reserves.

Its Commander-in-chief is the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, to whom members of the forces swear allegiance. Long-standing constitutional convention, however, has vested de facto executive authority, by the exercise of Royal Prerogative, in the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence. The Prime Minister (acting with the Cabinet) makes the key decisions on the use of the armed forces. The Queen however, remains the supreme authority of the military. The UK Parliament approves the continued existence of the British Army by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years, as required by the Bill of Rights 1689. The Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines among with all other forces do not require this act. The armed forces are managed by the Defence Council of the Ministry of Defence, headed by the Secretary of State for Defence.

The United Kingdom is one of five recognised nuclear powers, is a permanent member on the United Nations Security Council, is a founding and leading member of the NATO military alliance, and is party to the Five Power Defence Arrangements. Overseas garrisons and facilities are maintained at Ascension Island, Bahrain, Belize, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Kenya, Montserrat, Nepal, Qatar, Singapore and the United States.

Eagle

Eagle is the common name for many large birds of prey of the family Accipitridae. Eagles belong to several groups of genera, not all of which are closely related. Most of the 60 species of eagle are from Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just 14 species can be found—2 in North America, 9 in Central and South America, and 3 in Australia.

Eastern imperial eagle

The eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) is a large bird of prey that breeds in southeastern Europe and extensively through West and Central Asia. Most populations are migratory and winter in northeastern Africa, the Middle East and South and East Asia. Like all eagles, the eastern imperial eagle is a member of the family Accipitridae. Furthermore, its well feathered legs mark it as a member of the subfamily Aquilinae. It is a large dark colored eagle, with a resemblance to other members of the genus Aquila but it is usually the darkest species in its range. This is an opportunistic predator that mostly selects smallish mammals as prey but also a fairly large proportion of birds, reptile and other prey types, including carrion. Compared to other Aquila eagles, it has a strong preference for the interface of tall woods with plains and other open, relatively flat habitats. Normally, nests are located in large, mature trees and the parents raise around one or two fledglings. The global population is small and declining due to persecution, loss of habitat and prey. It has therefore been IUCN Red Listed as Vulnerable since 1994.

Faunistic Park Le Cornelle

Faunistic Park Le Cornelle is a zoo and amusement park in Valbrembo, in the Lombardy province, northern Italy, created by Angelo Ferruccio Benedetti in 1981; extending over an area of 100,000 square metres.

Flag of Kazakhstan

The current flag of Kazakhstan or Kazakh flag (Kazakh: Қазақстан туы, Qazaqstan týy) was adopted on 4 June 1992, replacing the flag of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. The flag was designed by Shaken Niyazbekov. The color choices had preserved the blue and gold from the Soviet era flag minus the red. The color red was used in early designs of the current flag, and continues to be used in variants for the Kazakh Armed Forces.

Islamabad Zoo

Islamabad Zoo (Urdu: اسلام آباد چڑیا گھر‎), previously Marghazar Zoo, is an 82-acre (33 ha) zoo in Islamabad Capital Territory. It was opened in 1978, and is under the administration of Capital Development Authority of Pakistan.

Kazakhstan national rugby union team

The Kazakhstan national rugby union team, nicknamed "The Nomads", is controlled by the Kazakhstan Rugby Union.

Kazakhstan have been participating in international competition since 1994 after their independence from the USSR.

In 2007, the fortunes of the team greatly improved by winning all five of their matches and rising 14 places in the IRB World Rankings to 32nd. This rise was the biggest by any international team over the year. This led to the team being entered into the top division of the new Asian Five Nations in 2008.Kazakhstan are now one of the leading rugby union nations in Asia, finishing second in the 2009 and 2010 Asian Five Nations to continent heavyweights Japan on both occasions. Their second-place finish in 2010 saw them advance to the four-team playoff for a final place at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. They lost 44–7 to Uruguay in Montevideo, being eliminated but it was still their best result yet.

They have yet to qualify for a Rugby World Cup finals.

The national side is ranked 64th in the world (as of 29 July 2019).

Kazakhstan–United States relations

The United States and the Republic of Kazakhstan established diplomatic relations on December 16, 1991. The United States was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan's independence. The United States opened its embassy in Almaty in January 1992 and then relocated to Nur-Sultan in 2006.The United States was a critical player in assisting Kazakhstan to get rid of its strategic nuclear weapons stockpile and dismantle its nuclear weapons infrastructure between 1991 and 1996 through the provision of Nunn-Lugar Comprehensive Threat Reduction (CTR) assistance. In the time period between 1992 and 2008, cumulative CTR assistance to Kazakhstan has culminated to $341 million. At the "2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit" in March 2012, Presidents Obama and Nazarbayev reaffirmed bilateral cooperation in the areas of nuclear nonproliferation. President Obama went on to say, "The close relationship between our two countries extends beyond just the nuclear security issue, so this meeting will give us an opportunity to discuss the cooperation that we have built over the last several years with respect to Afghanistan and the help we've received in supplying our troops and helping to assist the Afghan government." In addition to nuclear nonproliferation, the U.S. and Kazakhstan maintain strategic economic and political relations. The U.S. oil company, Chevron, became the first major investor in Kazakhstan in 1993 with the establishment of the TengizChevroil joint venture. Through the Bolashak Program, Kazakh students study overseas. Currently, there are over 3,000 Bolashak students around the world of which 800 are studying in 42 universities throughout the United States.

Cooperation strengthened after the September 11, 2001 attacks as the United States sought strategic partners near Afghanistan, and later near Iraq, nations whose governments aided and abetted terrorism in both Kazakhstan and the United States. Counter-terrorism plays an increasingly important role in Kazakhstan's relations with the United States and the United Kingdom, which are at an all time high. Kazakhstan has taken Uzbekistan's place as the favored partner in Central Asia for both Russia and the United States in the New Great Game.The two countries closely cooperate in the energy field. In 2001, Kazakhstan and the United States established the U.S.-Kazakhstan Energy Partnership.According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 28% of Kazakhs approve of U.S. leadership, with 27% disapproving and 45% uncertain.The United States Department of State is critical of the human rights situation in Kazakhstan, highlighting significant problems and abuses in its annual country report.In 2016 Kazakhstan and the USA marked 25th anniversary of the Kazakhstan-U.S. relations. To that end, diplomatic missions of both countries launched celebratory events.Nursultan Nazabayev congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in presidential election during their phone call on November 30, 2016. The two leaders maintained that they were determined to take "friendly Kazakhstan-American relations to a new level."Kazakhstan and the United States announced in December 2016 that they reciprocally introduced 10-year business and tourism visas. The announcement was made as the U.S. and Kazakhstan marked the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

List of national animals

This is a list of national animals. In 2009, a total of 231 national animal symbols existed globally. Calculating with the assumption that there are 196 countries in the world:

142 (74%) countries have designated at least one national animal symbol;

71 (37%) countries have more than one national animal symbol.

List of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of Gujarat, India

The Gujarat state of western India has four National Parks and twenty-three wildlife sanctuaries which are managed by the Forest Department of the Government of Gujarat.

Parahawking

Parahawking is an activity that combines paragliding with falconry. Birds of prey are trained to fly with paragliders, guiding them to thermals.

Parahawking was developed by British falconer Scott Mason in 2001. Mason began a round-the-world trip in Pokhara, Nepal, where many birds of prey – such as the griffon vulture, steppe eagle and black kite – can be found. While taking a tandem paragliding flight with British paraglider Adam Hill, he had the opportunity to see raptors in flight, and realised that he could combine the sports of paragliding and falconry.The team started by training two black kites, but have since added two Egyptian vultures, Kevin and Bob, to the team. Only rescued birds are used – none of the birds have been taken from the wild.Mason and Hill documented their endeavours, with help from colleague Graham Saunders-Griffiths, in a film entitled Parahawking. In addition to being named Best Debut Film at the 2003 Festival International du Film de Vol libre in St-Hilaire, France (held as part of the Coupe Icare), and winning top prize in the 'Air' category at the 5th Hory a Mesto international festival of mountain films in Slovakia, Parahawking was a finalist in the category of 'Best Film on Mountain Sports' at the 2003 Banff Mountain Film Festival, and competed for the title of 'Best Documentary' at the 2004 Cervino International Film Festival.

Mason's work has been featured in many publications around the world, from falconry-related journals and newsletters, to paragliding publications, mainstream magazines and newspapers.

Stepnoi Nature Sanctuary

Stepnoi State Nature Sanctuary (Russian: государственный природный заказник "Степной") (also Stepnoy Nature Reserve) is a protected area located in Liman district of Astrakhan Oblast, Russia.

The sanctuary was declared in 2000 to ensure maintenance of unique natural complex of Stipa steppe providing habitat for saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica tatarica) and a number of other endangered species of animals and plants. The sanctuary covers an area of 109.4 thousands of hectares. The monitoring program started in 2004 showed that the sanctuary is an important territory for the survival of the critically endangered saiga antelope. Saigas inhabit the sanctuary and the nearby regions of Kalmykia throughout the year. Stepnoi sanctuary provides well-protected territory for both rut and calving of saigas. Several artesian wells within the sanctuary serve as waterholes and mineral licks for saiga. The role of these wells lacking human disturbance becomes especially important during the calving period when pregnant females and females with newborn calves are not able to move long distances. These waterholes are regularly visited by saiga antelopes from spring to late autumn. Stepnoi sanctuary also provides important habitat for many endangered and locally rare bird species such as steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis), eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca), demoiselle crane (Grus virgo), black-winged pratincole (Glareola nordmanni), little bustard (Tetrax tetrax), etc .

Tawny eagle

The tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) is a large, long-lived bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. It is estimated that tawny eagles can reach the age of 16 years old.It breeds in most of Africa, both north and south of the Sahara Desert, and across tropical southwestern Asia to India. It is a resident breeder which lays one to three eggs in a stick nest in a tree, crag, or on the ground. Throughout its range, it favours open dry habitats such as semideserts, deserts steppes, or savannah plains.

Ukok Plateau

Ukok Plateau is a remote and pristine grasslands area located in the heart of southwestern Siberia, the Altai Mountains region of Russia near the borders with China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The plateau is recognized as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site entitled Golden Mountains of Altai as an important environmental treasure. It provides a habitat for many of the world's endangered species including one of its least studied predatory animals: the snow leopard. Other endangered species protected there include the argali mountain sheep, the steppe eagle, and the black stork. There are several threats to the preservation of the Ukok Plateau, including overuse of the steppe by ranchers, a proposed road, and plans for a gas pipeline between China and Russia.

Wildlife of Armenia

The wildlife of Armenia includes wild boars, porcupines, various lizards, snakes and numerous species of birds. Endangered species living in Armenia are the Caucasian bear, Caucasian bearded goat, the Armenian mouflon (sheep) and the leopard.

Wildlife of Kazakhstan

The wildlife of Kazakhstan includes its flora and fauna, and their natural habitats.

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