The impact of participatory forest management (PFM) on forest integrity and biodiversity in Arabuko-Sokoke forest, Kenya
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Bird communities composed of habitat specialists suffer considerable loss of species following disturbance (Ecol. Monogr. 41, 1971, 207–233). Participatory forest management (PFM) aims to ensure local ownership and support for forest conservation. This study determined if forest birds and forest quality in places under PFM is significantly higher than areas without PFM in Arabuko-Sokoke forest. Forest quality data were collected in the PFM and no PFM zones in the Mixed forest (MF) and Cynometra Woodland (CW). Plot-based approach was used to collect vegetation data along 1 km transects at intervals of 1 km sampling twenty transects and 200 plots in each of the study zones. Birds’ data were collected using 10-min point-counts along 88, 1 km long transects placed 1-km apart sampling in 30 m radius-plots at intervals of 100 m. Data were collected in 2008 and 2009. The results showed higher measures of forest quality in PFM zones than no PFM zones which showed higher measures of forest disturbance. The results did not show statistical differences in birds’ diversity indexes between PFM and no PFM zones indicating that the human-induced disturbance has not reached critical ecological thresholds to affect birds’ species diversity. It can be deduced that PFM investment is leading to improved forest management.