oa African Zoology - Range expansion of the hadeda ibis Bostrychia hagedash in southern Africa

Volume 21, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The southern African range of the habeda ibis Bostrychia hagedash has expanded from 530 900 km2 in 1910 to 1 323300 km2 in 1985. Major range expansions have occurred in the fynbos biome of the south-western Cape, the Karoo, the grasslands of the eastern Cape, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal highveld. Smaller expansions are documented for Lesotho, eastern Zimbabwe, central Mozambique and westwards along the Zambezi, Okavango, Limpopo and Orange rivers. The reasons for this expansion were investigated. Important factors include reduction in human persecution following the introduction of legislation in the period 1934 to 1941 and an increase of alien trees in formerly treeless areas. The increases in artificial impoundments and areas under irrigation are thought to have played a smaller role.

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