Original Research

Range Expansion of the Yellowbilled Oxpecker Buphagus africanus into the Kruger National Park, South Africa

A.J. Hall-Martin
Koedoe | Vol 30, No 1 | a505 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v30i1.505 | © 1987 A.J. Hall-Martin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 October 1987 | Published: 21 October 1987

About the author(s)

A.J. Hall-Martin, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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Abstract

The Yellowbilled Oxpecker, long believed extinct as a breeding species in the Republic of South Africa has been recorded regularly in the Kruger National Park since 1979. The first definite indication of breeding was recorded in January 1984, and final confirmation of breeding was observed in December 1985. The recovery of the ungulate populations of the park, in particular buffalo, from overhunting and rinderpest during the long period of absolute protection stretching from 1902, has ensured a suitable habitat for the immigrant Yellowbilled Oxpeckers. Circumstantial evidence indicates that the birds have colonised in the park from the population of the Gonarezhou National Park in south-eastern Zimbabwe. The movement of the birds across the 50 km Sengwe area separating the two parks is explained by the cessation of cattle dipping and the movement of buffalo out of Gonarezhou from 1977 onwards. These events were a direct consequence of the hostilities in Zimbabwe at that time.

Keywords

Yellowbilled Oxpecker, Buphagus africanus, Kruger National Park, range expansion.

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Crossref Citations

1. Breeding biology of Red‐billed oxpeckers Buphagus erythrorhynchus at the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
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