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Changes in Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) Feeding Related to Endosulfan Pollution from Tsetse Fly Control Operations in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
R. J. Douthwaite
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 19, No. 1 (Apr., 1982), pp. 133-141
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2402997
Page Count: 9
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(1) Diet, feeding behaviour and number of pied kingfishers were monitored on the Mochaba river in Botswana when the area was treated with aerosols of endosulfan (6-12 g ha-1) to kill tsetse flies. (2) The diet comprised fish of 28-112 mm (mean 62 mm) total length and 0.2-19.1 g (mean 4.1 g) weight. Cichlids predominated, selectivity increasing with length. (3) Kingfishers were attracted to fish kills where they fed faster, eating debilitated fish. The local fish population was substantially reduced by leaking endosulfan at one spray; kingfisher feeding rates feel and some birds left the area. (4) The total concentration of endosulfan in the brains of three birds shot 2 weeks after the final spray was 0.2 μ g g-1 wet weight, similar to levels found in fish. (5) When spraying ended feeding rates had fallen from about 13 g ha-1 to about 6 g ha-1, possibly because the availability of fishing perches and open water were reduced. The kingfisher population in the study area had apparently survived and numbers at a communal roost were steady.
Journal of Applied Ecology © 1982 British Ecological Society