oa Journal of East African Natural History - Some recent changes in our knowledge of bird distribution in East Africa

Volume 1976, Issue 157
  • ISSN : 0012-8317



It occurred to me during discussions with other East African ornithologists in the last few years that there was a real need for an annual bird report structured along the lines of the county bird reports of Great Britain. Many distributional records are being denied public access because the observer lacks a medium for communication (vide M6). The Bulletin of the East Africa Natural History Society partly serves this need in that first records and other rarities can be put into print. The now defunct Uganda Bird Newsletter of the Uganda Society was also useful whilst it lasted. It was the suggestion of J. S. S. Beesley (in litt.) that before such a regular report could be at all meaningful, the standard work on the distribution of East African birds, i.e. C. W. Mackworth-Praed & C. H. B. Grant 1957, 1960, African Handbook of Birds, Series 1, vol. 1 & 2, Birds of Eastern and North Eastern Africa1 (subsequently referred to as M1) should be brought up to date. Since the publication of that work our knowledge of the distribution of a considerable number of species has been radically changed. In some cases this is due to an actual change of range, but in most cases it is due to an increase in knowledge. One hundred species are now recorded from Kenya which were not recorded in M1, 42 from Tanzania, and 110 from Uganda. Also, two new species and nine subspecies have been descriptionbed from Kenya, nine subspecies from Tanzania, and three subspecies from Uganda. Most of these records are scattered widely throughout the literature and not of easy access to the layman, particularly those published in the United States. The purpose of this paper is to bring all this information together. It includes all extensions of forms across international boundaries, or from one major geographical area to another, or from one area to another ca.150 km distant or more.

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