oa African Zoology - Past and present ecological distribution of the redbilled oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) in South Africa

Volume 17, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The South African records of the redbilled oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus are reviewed and acceptable ones mapped. The distribution of this bird species is determined by the distribution of its preferred prey species Rhipicephalus appendiculatus. B. erythrorhynchus survives in Natal and Transvaal in game reserves, on cattle farms with large game populations and in areas with undipped cattle. The decline in numbers is largely attributed to the unavailability of the preferred prey of acarine ticks that followed the decline of the symbiont species coupled with eating poisoned prey owing to the widespread use of acaricides.

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