Recent News about the Collared Kingfisher, UAE.

The following is an article published by the newspaper, The National.…
Rare kingfisher threatened by demise of mangroves

While it does not receive the same attention as the Arabian oryx, dugong or marine turtle, the straits that the collared kingfisher finds itself in are no less dire. Put simply, if the mangroves it calls home completely vanish, so does this beautiful bird. Vesela Todorova reports

It hides in mangrove forests, weighs less than 100 grams and is considered an essential part of the UAE’s natural heritage.

But the blue-and-white collared kingfisher, which does not have the conservation status of marine turtles and Arabian oryx, is endangered.

Kingfishers are found in many regions, from the Red Sea all the way to Australia. But the subspecies kalbaensis can be found nowhere but in Kalba, on the UAE’s east coast, and two small sites in Oman.

If the coastal mangrove forests of Kalba, an enclave in Sharjah, are destroyed the birds will be, too.

A new study of Kalba’s kingfisher population showed the birds were still in the swamps but their numbers have fallen since 1995, the first time the population was studied.

That first survey was carried out by the late Simon Aspinall, an environmentalist and bird specialist who estimated between 44 and 55 breeding pairs lived in the Kalba mangroves.

This spring, a survey of the area carried out by the preservationists Oscar Campbell, Ahmed Al Ali and Neil Tovey estimated the number of pairs was between 26 and 35. The research was supported by a grant from the Emirates Natural History Group.

“The true figure, I suspect, is probably close to 35,” said Mr Campbell, as he presented the findings last week at a lecture organised by the group.

The team had been very conservative in their estimates, he said.

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