This kingfisher is largely restricted to rivers in lowland forest and, as such, is suspected to be undergoing a rapid and continuing population decline as a result of significant losses in the extent of this habitat throughout its range.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Distribution and populationAlcedo euryzona
20 cm. Medium-sized river kingfisher. Male has dark blackish upperparts with silvery-azure streak from mantle to rump. Long, white neck-flash with rufous tip. White throat, rest of underparts mostly pale rufous-buff with bold blue band across chest. Female with rich rufous underparts, lacking breast-band. Similar spp. Common Kingfisher A. atthis smaller, greenish-blue above, lacking breast-band. Voice High-pitched squeaks in flight, harsher than A. atthis.
ranges from southern Myanmar
(Tenasserim), through peninsular Thailand
(including Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo), Brunei
, Kalimantan, Sumatra and Java (where apparently the only record since the 1930s is a report of one seen in Gunung Halimun National Park in June 2009 [B. Cox in litt
. 2009]) (Indonesia
) (BirdLife International 2001). It is generally thinly distributed, being locally fairly common in Peninsular Malaysia and on Borneo, rare in Myanmar and Java (with apparently no records for over 70 years), and uncommon in Thailand and Sumatra. It may be under-recorded owing to its shy behaviour and often remote habitat (B. van Balen in litt
. 2012).Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 mature individuals. This equates to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 15,000-30,000 individuals.Trend justification
Rates of forest loss in South-East Asia have been rapid and are continuing, hence the population is suspected to be declining rapidly as a result.Ecology
It is generally sedentary on rocky or slow-flowing streams and larger rivers running through forest (usually humid evergreen, but also back-mangroves and mixed dipterocarp-dominated forest), most commonly in the lowlands, but ascending locally to at least 1,250 m (820 in Peninsular Malaysia). It is predominantly piscivorous, also consuming crustaceans, insects and small reptiles. Breeding has been recorded in February-June. Threats
Huge areas of lowland forest were removed from the range of this species during the 20th century. For example, rates of forest loss in the Sundaic lowlands have been extremely rapid (Kalimantan lost nearly 25% of its evergreen forest during 1985-1997, and Sumatra lost almost 30% of its 1985 cover), owing to a variety of factors, including the escalation of illegal logging and land conversion, with deliberate targeting of all remaining stands of valuable timber including those inside protected areas, plus forest fires (particularly in 1997-1998). A similar scenario (or indeed worse in the case of Thailand and Java) faces all other range states and islands. Its occupation of hill streams, however, provides some hope that it will survive in this relatively secure habitat. Conservation Actions Underway
The species has been recorded within various protected areas within its range, including Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra, Gunung Palung and Kutai National Parks, Kalimantan, Similajau National Park, Sarawak, Endau-Rompin and Taman Negara National Parks, Malaysia, and was recently reported from Gunung Halimun National Park, Java (B. Cox in litt
. 2009). Conservation Actions Proposed
Address the species as a key target during surveys, and research its range and ecological requirements, perhaps targeting the species through mist-netting above forest streams (B. van Balen in litt
. 2012). Formulate a management strategy for this species and a suite of other Sundaic birds largely reliant on lowland forest. Lobby for effective management of existing protected areas in the Sundaic region and for the expansion of the protected area network.
BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).
View photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Taylor, J., Tobias, J.
Aik, Y., Davison, G., Cox, B., van Balen, B.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Alcedo euryzona. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 10/12/2013.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2013) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 10/12/2013.
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