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Blyth's Kingfisher Alcedo hercules
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species exists at naturally low numbers, as a result of its narrow habitat requirements, thus it may have a moderately small population, and is likely to be declining as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation throughout its range. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Distribution and population
Alcedo hercules occurs in southern China (rare), eastern Nepal (vagrant), Bhutan (rare), north-east India (rare), Bangladesh (vagrant), Myanmar (scarce to fairly common in the north, west and south), north-west Thailand (very rare visitor), Laos (uncommon to locally common in the north and Annamite mountains, scarce further south) and Vietnam (locally fairly common in west Tonkin and Annam). Given its linear distribution along rivers, and thus restricted Extent of Occurrence, the total population size is possibly moderately small.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, although the population in China has been estimated at fewer than 100 breeding pairs (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
Precise data on trends are lacking, but slow to moderate declines are suspected to have occurred owing to a variety of human pressures.

This species is found along streams in evergreen forest and adjacent open country at 200-1,200 m, mainly 400-1,000 m.

This species is still widespread at low densities within its historical range, although deforestation is reducing and fragmenting its habitat, and human disturbance and river pollution are possibly also threats.

Conservation Actions Underway
None are known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys throughout its range to clarify its current population status, as well as assess population trends and rates of range contraction. Conduct ecological studies to identify habitat associations and potential threats. Grant protection to areas of suitable habitat. Enforce laws against river pollution where applicable. Strengthen legislation against aquatic pollution throughout the species's range.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Alcedo hercules. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Blyth's kingfisher (Alcedo hercules) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
Species name author Laubmann, 1917
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 855,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species