Known and predicted African winter distributions and habitat use of the endangered Basra reed warbler (Acrocephalus griseldis) and the near-threatened cinereous bunting (Emberiza cineracea)

Bruno A. Walther, Mary S. Wisz, Carsten Rahbek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Basra reed warbler (Acrocephalus griseldis) and the cinereous bunting (Emberiza cineracea) are the only two Western Palearctic passerine bird species that overwinter in East Africa and are classified by BirdLife International as endangered and near-threatened, respectively. To refine the African wintering ranges of these two species, we made an effort to collect as much distributional data as possible. We then used the available point-locality data to predict the wintering distributions using a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based inductive modelling technique called BIOCLIM. For this purpose, we developed four environmental GIS layers that are presumed to reflect the environmental preferences of migrant birds. Our data showed that the known winter distribution of the Basra reed warbler was concentrated in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique, where it was usually found in dense vegetation growing in coastal scrub, woodland thickets, swamps, marshes, flooded pools and grasslands, and along ditches and edges of rivers, ponds, lagoons and lakes. The predicted winter distribution of this species includes most of East Africa but, given the habitat preferences of this species, is probably limited to low-lying areas near the coastline. The known winter distribution of the cinereous bunting is so far limited to Eritrea, where the species has been observed in October, November, February and March, in sparsely vegetated, sandy or rocky habitats on coastal plains and deserts. The predicted winter distribution of this species includes the plains and hills along the Red Sea coasts in southern Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as a few inland areas in Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-299
Number of pages13
JournalJournal fur Ornithologie
Volume145
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Sudan
Eritrea
winter
habitats
Eastern Africa
Ethiopia
geographic information systems
Kenya
biogeography
coasts
Mozambique
Malawi
birds
Red Sea
coastal plains
swamps
habitat preferences
Tanzania
Egypt
shrublands

Keywords

  • Acrocephalus griseldis
  • BIOCLIM
  • Emberiza cineracea
  • Migration
  • Wintering distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Known and predicted African winter distributions and habitat use of the endangered Basra reed warbler (Acrocephalus griseldis) and the near-threatened cinereous bunting (Emberiza cineracea). / Walther, Bruno A.; Wisz, Mary S.; Rahbek, Carsten.

In: Journal fur Ornithologie, Vol. 145, No. 4, 10.2004, p. 287-299.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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