Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo euryzona) is being split: list A. euryzona as Critically Endangered and A. peninsulae as Vulnerable?

This is part of a consultation on the Red List implications of extensive changes to BirdLife’s taxonomy for non-passerines

Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International will soon publish the HBW-BirdLife Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, building off the Handbook of the Birds of the World series, and BirdLife’s annually updated taxonomic checklist.

The new Checklist will be based on the application of criteria for recognising species limits described by Tobias et al. (2010). Full details of the specific scores and the basis of these for each new taxonomic revision will be provided in the Checklist.

Following publication, an open and transparent mechanism will be established to allow people to comment on the taxonomic revisions or suggest new ones, and provide new information of relevance in order to inform regular updates. We are also actively seeking input via a discussion topic here regarding some potential taxonomic revisions that currently lack sufficient information.

The new Checklist will form the taxonomic basis of BirdLife’s assessments of the status of the world’s birds for the IUCN Red List. The taxonomic changes that will appear in volume 1 of the checklist (for non-passerines) will begin to be incorporated into the 2014 Red List update, with the remainder, and those for passerines (which will appear in volume 2 of the checklist), to be incorporated into subsequent Red List updates.

Preliminary Red List assessments have been carried out for the newly split or lumped taxa. We are now requesting comments and feedback on these preliminary assessments.

Blue-banded Kingfisher Alcedo euryzona has been split into A. euryzona and A. peninsulae, following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al. (2010).

Prior to this taxonomic change A. euryona (BirdLife species factsheet) was listed as Vulnerable under criteria A2c+3c+4c on the basis that it was suspected to be undergoing a rapid population decline as a result of habitat loss throughout its range.

A. euryzona (as defined following the taxonomic change) is endemic to Java, where it occurs along forested streams and rivers, predominantly in lowland forest (Fry and Fry 1999, del Hoyo et al. 2001). It is suggested that it qualifies as Critically Endangered under criterion C2a(ii), on the basis that it probably has an extremely small population (likely to number fewer than 250 mature individuals) as there have been no confirmed records for several decades, probably forming a single subpopulation, and is inferred to be in decline owing to continued habitat loss and degradation.

A. peninsulae occurs in the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo, where it is found along forested streams and rivers, predominantly in lowland forest (Fry and Fry 1999, del Hoyo et al. 2001). It may qualify as Vulnerable under criteria A2c+3c+4c, on the basis that it is suspected to be undergoing a rapid population decline (30-49% over three generations [c.14 years]) owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation, as well as disturbance.

Comments on these suggested categories are invited and further information would be welcomed.


del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2001) Handbook of the birds of the world, Vol 6: Mousebirds to Hornbills. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.

Fry, C. H. and Fry, K. (1999) Kingfishers, bee-eaters & rollers. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Tobias, J. A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C. N., Pilgrim, J. D., Fishpool, L. D. C. and Collar, N. J. (2010) Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152: 724–746.

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4 Responses to Blue-banded Kingfisher (Alcedo euryzona) is being split: list A. euryzona as Critically Endangered and A. peninsulae as Vulnerable?

  1. Tun Pin ONG says:

    I have posted in 2006-2007 on a blog regarding some plumage differences between the male BBK found in central Peninsular Malaysia and male BBK in north-central Kra Isthmus in Thailand.
    According to HBW Vol.6, the male BBK of race peninsulae has variably mottled breast band. However all males that I had observed in Ampang, Selangor State, Malaysia in the span of 2006-2008 displayed broader and solid blue breast band. This features are rather more consistent with the nominate race in Java although none of the females has acquired a blue breast band as in the Javan form.
    At the same time I had noticed male BBK photographed by others in Thailand, particularly in its northern part of its range, such as Kaeng Krachan National Park and Sri Phang Nga, shows more mottled and narrower blue band, consistent with the race peninsulae as illustrated in HBW Vol 6.
    No comments on BBK found in Sumatra and Borneo as I have not encountered photographs or detailed description of plumage difference in these regions.

  2. Yong Ding Li says:

    There are reliable records of Blue-banded Kingfisher at the Gunung-Halimun National Park in west Java, where it was discovered a few years ago during intensive surveys. I suspect the species is under-recorded as there are few surveys or birdwatching effort in hill forest and lower montane areas. The species should be searched for at similar elevations from the Halimun birds at other sites across West Java where forests remain.

  3. Joe Taylor says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information and comments posted above, our preliminary proposals for the 2014 Red List would be to treat:

    A. euryzona as Critically Endangered under criterion C2a(i)

    A. peninsulae as Near Threatened under criteria A2c+3c+4c

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  4. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisations to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there have been no changes to our preliminary proposals for the 2014 Red List status of these species.

    The final categorisations will be published later in 2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by BirdLife and IUCN.

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