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New Guinea Harpy Eagle
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Harpyopsis
Species: H. novaeguineae
Binomial name
Harpyopsis novaeguineae
Salvadori, 1875

The New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Harpyopsis novaeguineae, also known as the Kapul Eagle, is a huge (up to 90cm long) greyish brown raptor with a short full crest, broad three-banded wings, powerful beak, large iris, long rounded tail and white underparts. It has long and powerful unfeathered legs with sharp claws. The sexes are similar, and the female is slightly larger than the male. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Harpyopsis.

The New Guinea Harpy Eagle is endemic to undisturbed tropical rainforests of New Guinea, where it became the top predator of the island. The diet consists mainly of phalangers or Kapul in a local language, hence its alternative name. It also feeds on other mammals, birds and snakes.

One of a group of four large eagles, the others being the Crested and Harpy Eagle of South America and the Philippine Eagle of the Philippines, the New Guinea Harpy Eagle is essentially a mountain bird that nests in high forest trees.

Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size, and hunting for its feathers which are used on ceremonial occasions, the New Guinea Harpy Eagle is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

References

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