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Tasmanian Azure Kingfisher


Ceyx azureus subsp. diemenensisTasmanian Azure Kingfisher

Group:Chordata (vertebrates), Aves (birds), Coraciiformes (kingfishers and bee-eaters), Alcedinidae
Status:Threatened Species Protection Act 1995: endangered
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: Endangered
Found only in Tasmania
Click to enlarge
​​​​​​The Tasmanian Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus subsp. diemenensis) is a small brightly coloured bird which occurs only in Tasmania. The subspecies is found in shady and overhanging forest vegetation along the forested margins of major rivers on the south, west, north and northwest coasts, with other occurrences in the northeast, east, centre and Bass Strait islands. The Tasmanian Azure Kingfisher catches prey by plunging from perches overhanging the water. It feeds on small fish, freshwater crayfish, aquatic insects, and occasionally frogs. The number of birds is thought to be fewer than 250 mature individuals. The main threat to the Tasmanian Azure Kingfisher is clearing and modification of river-side vegetation.​

A complete species management profile is not currently available for this species. Check for further information on this page and any relevant Activity Advice.

Key Points

  • Important: Is this species in your area? Do you need a permit? Ensure you’ve covered all the issues by checking the Planning Ahead page.
  • Important: Different threatened species may have different requirements. For any activity you are considering, read the Activity Advice pages for background information and important advice about managing around the needs of multiple threatened species.


  • ‘Habitat’ refers to both known habitat for the species (i.e. in or near habitat where the species has been recorded) and potential habitat (i.e. areas of habitat with appropriate characteristics for the species and within the species potential range which have not yet been surveyed).
  • If in doubt about whether a site represents potential habitat for this species, contact the Threatened Species Section for further advice.
  • The known range of the Tasmanian Azure Kingfisher includes river systems on the south, west, north and northwest coasts with other occurrences in the northeast, east, centre and Bass Strait islands. Beyond the “core” breeding range of southern, western and north-western Tasmania, there are also sightings from the Cressy area in the northern Midlands, the Bridport area in the northeast, and the Central Plateau (e.g. Dee Lagoon, Woods Lake area, Junction Lake). Reports of the species from Flinders Island, Bass Pyramid and King Island are likely to be vagrant birds from Tasmania or Victoria.
  • Habitat for the Azure Kingfisher includes the following elements: forested margins of major river systems; usually in shady and often overhanging vegetation of riverine forests dominated by wet sclerophyll and mixed forest.

What to avoid

  • Clearing of riverine habitat​
  • Dam construction



Key Survey reliability more info
M Peak survey period
M Potential survey period
M Non-survey period

To ensure you follow the law - check whether your survey requires a permit. Always report any new records to the Natural Values Atlas, or send the information direct to the Threatened Species Section. Refer to the Activity Advice: Surveying page for background information.

Ceyx azureus subsp.
Spring Summer Autumn Winter
Tasmanian Azure Kingfisher S S O O N N D D J J F F M M A A M M J J J J A A


  • ​The Tasmanian Azure Kingfisher can be observed year-round. Most sightings of the species are made opportunistically (e.g. by kayakers, rafters, from river cruises, from bridges, river walks, weirs, etc.).

Helping the species


  • In order to recognise the species if it occurs on your property, learn to identify the Tasmanian Azure Kingfisher. If in doubt, seek expert assistance with identification.
  • If you live or work in the area where the species occurs (see distribution map, above), look out for and record any observations of the species. All records of this species can provide important information on distribution and abundance.
  • If you are interested in knowing for certain whether the species occurs on your land, organise a formal survey. You may need to employ an ecological consultant to do this. Your local Bushcare or Field Naturalist club may be able to assist you with a survey.
  • Important! Always report any observations of the species to the NRE Natural Values Atlas, or else provide the data direct to the Threatened Species Section. Records stored on the NVA are a permanent record and are accessible to other people interested in this species. Consider the needs of the whole habitat.
  • Preserving a threatened species' habitat is the best way to manage both the species and the environment in which it lives.
  • For long-term protection of localities on private land – consider protection of habitat through a vegetation management agreement or conservation covenant. See the NRE Private Land Conservation Program for more details.
  • See the 'What is Needed' section in the Azure Kingfisher Listing Statement for a full list of conservation management actions for this species.

Cutting or clearing trees or vegetation

  • ​Removal of streamside vegetation is the most serious threat to this species.
  • To protect breeding and foraging habitat – do not remove streamside forest habitat.



  • ​Riparian wet forest vegetation is intolerant of burning.
  • To protect breeding and foraging habitat – do not burn riparian habitat and manage habitat and surrounding vegetation to reduce the chance of uncontrolled wildfire.





  • ​Dam construction which inundates riparian wet forest can result in the complete loss of breeding and foraging habitat.
  • This species nests in holes drilled low in the banks of large streams, and fluctuating water levels as a result of retention and controlled release of water can flood nest tunnels downstream of the dam site.
  • To protect breeding and foraging habitat – ensure appropriate surveys are undertaken during the planning stage for dam/water storage construction in areas of habitat.
  • To protect breeding and foraging habitat – avoid construction of dams which inundate habitat above the dam site, and which have the potential for downstream impacts on nest sites.
  • Note that small in-stream barriers such as weirs may enhance localised feeding opportunities for the Tasmanian Azure Kingfisher taking advantage of backed up schools of small fish.




Changing water flow / quality


Use of chemicals




Further information

​Check also for listing statement or notesheet pdf above (below the species image).

​​Cite as: Threatened Species Section (). (): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link. ​ ​Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. Accessed on .

Contact details: Threatened Species Section, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania​, GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7001. Phone (1300 368 550).

Permit: A permit is required under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 to 'take' (which includes kill, injure, catch, damage, destroy and collect), keep, trade in or process any specimen or products of a listed species. Additional permits may also be required under other Acts or regulations to take, disturb or interfere with any form of wildlife or its products, (e.g. dens, nests, bones). This may also depend on the tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management. ​​​​​