Lesser Spotted Eagle Clanga pomarina, Малый подорлик, Փոքր ենթաարծիվ
Distribution and biological peculiarities in Armenia: The species breeds in Central and Eastern Europe including Caucasus, Transcaucasia and Northern Iran. In Armenia it is distributed in almost all the forests of the country including the small residual forest patches with area of 4-5 sq km. In Armenia it is complete migrant, the known wintering area is Africa. The species breeds on the trees, having from 1 to 3 eggs in the clutch; however usually only one nestling survives. The fledglings are observed in July and August. The food of the species in Armenia is diverse: usually those are rodents, however hunting on the frogs, lizards, snakes, birds, and insects was also observed. For hunting the Lesser Spotted Eagles mostly chose open lands, where they search for the prey from perch or soaring at 50-100 m above the ground. Population dynamics: According to the last estimation, population of the species makes from 48 to 52 breeding pairs. Population trend during last ten years demonstrates relative stability with some minor fluctuations. It appears that the adaptable hunting behavior of the species allows it to switch between prey species in the years of rodents' decline. The observed fluctuations are mainly related to intentional poaching aimed at trophy hunting, which temporally eliminates some breeding pairs. In some areas use of pesticides in agriculture or in forestry might also have the negative effect. Human disturbance during the breeding period can potentially affect the breeding success of the species, especially in the areas with small forest patches, where the height of nesting trees is rather low.
Conservation Measures: Lesser Spotted Eagle is evaluated in IUCN Red List as Least Concern species. However it is included in the Appendix II of the Bern Convention and Appendix II of CITEC. In the Red Book of Animals of Armenia (2010) it is evaluated as Vulnerable (VU D1). At current the breeding populations of the species are protected in Lake Arpi, Dilijan, and Lake Sevan National Parks, Khosrov Forest State Reserve, Zangezur Biosphere Complex. Many of breeding pairs are not covered by National Protected Areas. That is why number of the breeding sites have been included in the Emerald Network (2016), protected under Bern Convention. The proposed conservation measures include: (1) further increase of Emerald Sites for protection of the species; (2) development of management plans for the recognized Emerald Sites; (3) raising the penalty for poaching; (4) education and awareness rising among hunters; and (5) continuous monitoring of the species.