Greener Journal of Biological Sciences Vol. 3 (9), pp. 336-341, November 2013.
© 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 111213952
Abundance and Distribution of African Fish Eagles along Major Rivers in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe
Patience Zisadza-Gandiwa1,2, Samuel Chiganze3,
Paul Chirombe3, Clayton Mashapa4,
Never Muboko5 and Edson Gandiwa2,5*
1Transfrontier Conservation Areas Office, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority,
P.O. Box CY 140, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe.
2Scientific Services, Gonarezhou National Park, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority,
Private Bag 7003, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe.
3Mushandike College of Wildlife Management, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority,
Private Bag 9036, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
4Tropical Resource Ecology Programme, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe,
P. O. Box MP 167, Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.
5Department of Wildlife and Safari Management, Chinhoyi University of Technology,
Private Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.
*Corresponding Author’s Email: edson.gandiwa @ gmail. com; Tel: +263 773 490202
African fish eagles (Haliaeetus vocifer) are important birds of prey and indicator of ecosystem integrity in aquatic environments. We assessed the population abundance and spatial distribution of African fish eagles along three major rivers in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. Data were collected using walked transect surveys along Mwenezi, Runde and Save rivers in Gonarezhou between March and April 2011. A total of 54 African fish eagles were recorded with an average density of 0.62 individuals per km. African fish eagles were mostly distributed in areas with large water pools along Gonarezhou’s three major rivers. The results suggest that large pools along perennial rivers are important in the distribution and density of African fish eagles in Gonarezhou. Future studies should aim at establishing the long-term population trends of birds of prey in Gonarezhou.
Keywords: African fish eagle, population, savanna, riparian vegetation, perennial river.