Bird distribution dynamics 4 - Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland
Les G Underhill
MarÃa LÃ³pez GÃ³mez
Overall, the conclusion has to be that the Glossy Ibis certainly seems to have increased in both range and abundance over the Western Cape in the two-decade period between SABAP1 and SABAP2. Its fortunes appear to be mixed over the remainder of South Africa, with some clear regions of increase and some clear regions of decrease. The atlas database does not provide reasons for the changes, it only highlights the patterns, which then need further and more detailed investigation. This is clearly an interesting and enigmatic species. Yet, there seems to be no full-length paper devoted to any aspect of the biology of the Glossy Ibis in southern Africa. Genetic analyses would probably reveal whether the species did indeed only start breeding in South Africa in the middle of the 20th century. We still do not know if any of the Glossy Ibises occurring in South Africa are migrants from Eurasia.
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