The Asahi Shinbun reports that the Japanese Golden Eagle is in trouble:
The outlook is grim for Japanese golden eagles, designated a national natural treasure. Breeding rates have plunged in the Tohoku region, home to the endangered bird of prey, according to researchers.
Loss of habitat and hunting grounds is to blame.
Raptor researchers in the volunteer Mokin-rui Chosakai group said that only 10 young inuwashi eagles left the nest among 61 breeding pairs surveyed in 2006 in the six prefectures of the Tohoku region.
Either eggs were not laid, or if laid, did not hatch. Many of those that hatched soon died, the researchers said.
In Iwate Prefecture, only two young eagles grew to adulthood and set out on their own, among 32 adult breeding pairs this year, researchers said.
The Japanese golden eagle is on Japan’s Red List as a critically endangered species–one step away from becoming extinct in the wild. The Red List was revised by the Environment Ministry in December 2006.
The majestic bird is one of the largest raptor species in Japan, with a wingspan of about 2 meters. It is protected under the Law for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Only about 500 to 650 golden eagles survive in mountainous areas across the nation, from Hokkaido to Kyushu.
For more information on the Japanese Golden Eagle, check out this article from the Japanese Society for Preservation of Birds. You can also download, print out, and create a folded paper craft eagle from this site.