Avian diversity and density in protected and unprotected areas of the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, Nigeria

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University of Dar es Salaam
Protected Areas (PAs) are designed for biodiversity conservation, and as refuge for bird species. Despite the significant importance of the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands as Ramsar site and an Important Bird Area, little is known about the bird diversity and density. Bird diversity and density were examined and compared between PAs and Unprotected Areas (UPAs) from October to December, 2015. Using point count method, a total of 99 census points spaced 400 m apart with radius of 100 m were surveyed from 14 wetlands (seven in PAs and seven in UPAs). A total of 42, 255 bird individuals of 148 species belonging to 23 orders and 50 families were recorded. These species include resident, intra-African and Palearctic migrants including two globally threatened species; the Vulnerable European turtle dove Streptopelia turtur and Near Threatened Pallid harrier Circus macrourus. Bird species diversity was significantly higher in UPAs than PAs (t = -15.33, df = 40073, p <0.001) responding to a diverse of habitats including farmland areas. However, the two areas were similar in species composition by 85%. Bird density between PAs (7.2±3.2 individuals/ha) and UPAs (5.3±2.2 individuals/ha) did not differ significantly (t = 0.3813, df = 264, p = 0.7032). Furthermore, vegetation diversity/density and bird diversity/density showed no correlation in both areas (p >0.05), suggesting that there could be other factors that influence the bird diversity and density in both areas. PAs and UPAs of the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands harbour rich avifaunal species including the threatened ones, and therefore deserve equal conservation attention. For the sustainability of wetland resources, wetland management authorities are encouraged to implement the wise use of the wetland in accordance to the Ramsar Convention.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QL692.N6R56)
Birds, Geographical distribution, Conservation, Variation, Protected areas, Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, Nigeria
Ringim, A. S. (2016) Avian diversity and density in protected and unprotected areas of the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, Nigeria,Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.