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Climate response surface

Very close to being endemic to Europe, the Spanish Imperial Eagle breeds mostly in Spain, with occasional records from Portugal and, beyond Europe, from Morocco. For confidentiality reasons, Portuguese locations are not identified in the EBCC data and were excluded from our study. It occurs mainly in forested areas with low levels of human land-use, favouring evergreen oak, especially Quercus suber (Cork Oak), stands but also using Pinus spp. (pines). It nests in trees, usually in areas with a tall understorey of various Mediterranean shrubs (Cistus spp, Erica spp., Phillyrea spp.). Its principal prey species is Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit), but it also takes other mammals, as well as birds and reptiles. It hunts by soaring or perching on a point of vantage. Increased extent of irrigated agriculture and human presence in the landscape have been associated with declines in extent of the Spanish breeding range over the past century. Electrocution on power lines is now a major cause of mortality and may also have contributed to population decline. Breeding adults are sedentary but young birds disperse as far as north-west Africa.

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