Scaly-breasted Kingfisher Actenoides princeps


Justification of Red List Category
It is suspected that the population of this newly-split kingfisher will undergo moderately rapid declines as habitat loss and degradation increases in its hill and montane forest habitat. It is therefore classified as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be uncommon (del Hoyo et al. 2001).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction (del Hoyo et al. 2001).

Distribution and population

Actenoides princeps (including A. p. erythrorhamphus) inhabits central and south-western Sulawesi, Indonesia (Fry and Fry 1999, del Hoyo et al. 2001). Likely to be under-recorded due to its inconspicuous habits (Fry and Fry 1999).


Found in the interior of undisturbed montane forest, perching in the understorey and is an inconspicuous bird (Fry and Fry 1999). Recorded as low as 250 m, though most frequently encountered between 900 and 2,000 m (White and Bruce 1986, Fry and Fry 1999).


Forest destruction on Sulawesi has been extensive in recent decades; Miettinen et al. (2011) estimate the rate of forest loss on Sulawesi to be 10.8% between 2000 and 2010, however, the rate of forest loss in the lowlands and foothills is likely to be higher than the overall rate. Losses are being driven by clearance for transmigration settlements, agricultural and infrastructural development and large-scale logging. Most primary forest below 1,000 m (mostly lower than the elevational range of this species) has been reduced to remnant patches, supplanted by secondary, disturbed and commercially utilised forest, and such losses are likely to now be extending higher into hill and montane forest.

Conservation actions

Conservation and research actions underway
No targeted actions are known. Presumably occurs in several protected areas.

Conservation and research actions proposed

Conduct repeated surveys of known and potential sites across Sulawesi in order to determine abundance and population trends. Conduct ecological studies to determine levels of tolerance of secondary habitats, particularly in areas where primary forests have been extirpated. Ensure the protection of existing forest reserves.


24-25 cm. A medium-sized forest kingfisher with a dark blue head, brownish upperparts heavily scalloped with buff and finely barred pale underparts. The female has buff supercilium and moustacial stripes. Similar species. A. princeps has an all dark-blue head and extensive buffy barring on the upperparts.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Martin, R, Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Actenoides princeps. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/08/2022.