project news

Yet another world class research paper from Frontier

News item submitted by Frontier
News item dated 28 Aug 2008


Building upon our long standing reputation for world class scientific research papers, we are pleased to announce the publication of a new paper entitled "The habitat preference of four kingfisher species along a branch of the Kilombero River, southern Tanzania". This will be published in the September issue of the African Journal of Ecology, Vol 46, issue 3, pp 424-427, published by Blackwell Publishing.


The banks of the Kilombero River in southern Tanzania consist of heavy vegetation, home to many bird populations including the four species of kingfisher studied here. The vegetation surrounding the river is prone to damage by human activities such as agriculture and livestock grazing. By evaluating individual species habitat preferences, it has been suggested that damage to vegetation along the Kilombero River would result in the loss of suitable perches within the tree canopy for all four species studied.

Different species of kingfisher demonstrate a preference for different types of habitat based on their foraging strategies. The Giant kingfisher (Ceryle maxima) and the Pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) prefer higher perches and deeper and wider stretches of river whilst the Half-collared kingfisher (Alcedo semitorquata) and the Malachite kingfisher (Alcedo cristata) prefer lower perches and shallower, narrower stretches of river. These habitat preferences are thought to be related to the kingfisher’s chance of catching prey in the river and also to reducing the chance of injury when plunging into the water from their perches.

Read the full paper

Read more about the Kilombero Valley project