Weaver news

First Tanganyika Masked Weaver PHOWN record

2012-02-06 (184)

The first Tanganyika Masked WeaverPloceus reichardi record has been added to PHOWN. This was submitted by Paul Oliver, safari guide. This species has a restricted range in Tanzania, with records in Zambia. Paul found the species in 3 locations in or around Katavi NP (where it had not been recorded previously, but was thought to occur). Two of the 3 sites were sites with active nests. The first nesting site was inside Katavi NP near the South East corner of Chada just along the Kavuu river (-6.98581,31.266832). Paul says: "The nests were in reeds overhanging a river. This site was impossible to get close to as overhanging the slow moving River with a croc infested shallow wetland between myself and the track!"

The second nesting site was in-between the two villages of Kibaoni and Lalangulu at the roadside drainage (PHOWN record VM 1900). At the third site (-6.980869,31.267948), Paul saw birds feeding.

Neil Baker, who runs the Tanzania bird atlas, explains about the name: this weaver was named after the Lake Tanganyika, not the country Tanzania, so the name stays as Tanganyika Masked Weaver. It is most likely that Katavi NP is the single most important site for this species.