The martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus) is a large eagle native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is the only member of the genus Polemaetus. A species of the booted eagle subfamily (Aquillinae), it has feathering over its tarsus. One of the largest and most powerful species of booted eagle, it is a fairly opportunistic predator that varies its prey selection between mammals, birds and reptiles. Its hunting technique is unique as it is one of few eagle species known to hunt primarily from a high soar, by stooping on its quarry. An inhabitant of wooded belts of otherwise open savanna, this species has shown a precipitous decline in the last few centuries due to a variety of factors. The martial eagle is one of the most persecuted bird species in the world. Due to its habit of taking livestock and regionally valuable game, local farmers and game wardens frequently seek to eliminate martial eagles, although the effect of eagles on this prey is almost certainly considerably exaggerated. Currently, the martial eagle is classified with the status of Vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN.