Bird species richness in three fragmented coastal forests, Kwale District-Kenya
Musila, Nganda Simon
MetadataShow full item record
This research work was conducted in between October 2007-August 2008 in Kaya Gandini Important Bird Area, Kaya Mtswakara and Mwache Forest Reserve, mainly to investigate bird species richness in the three adjacent coastal forests. Three ringing sites harked 200-500m from each other, each with two net lines (60111 (18m x 2, 12m x 2) and (54m (18m x 3) placed at 60111 from one another were used to survey understorey birds in each forest. Canopy birds were surveyed using 22 Timed Species Counts (TSCs) in each forest. Vegetation data was collected within l0m2 plots marked at intervals of 50m from one another and located at 10m perpendicularly away from the footpaths around the ringing sites and TSCs survey routes. 141 bird species were recorded in all sites, with 93, 88 and 91 species respectively recorded in Gandini, Mtswakara and Mwache. 41 bird species types (29% out of 141) were common in each of the three fragments, which represented 44%. 47% and 45% of all species recorded in Gandini, Mwache and Mtswakara respectively. A total of 38 forest birds were recorded in all forests (17 recorded common/overlapping in all sites). with 34 in Gandini and 2 5 in both Mtswakara and Mwache. Four globally threatened birds and 14 East African Coastal Biome Bird Species (EACBs) were recorded in all forests. There was no bird species observed dispersed from one forest to another even though the three sites were connected to each other. 'The habitat structure of three sites was similar even though Gandini and Mtswakara were more similar. Firewood collection, extraction of building poles (5-10cm DBH) for domestic and commercial use in all three forests and quarrying activities in Mwache threatened the survival of birds. Compared to other two forests, Kaya Gandini was the most important site for avifauna conservation because it Was richer in Forest Specialist (FF), Forest Generalist (F), under-storey, globally threatened birds and EACBs species. The three forests were very important sites for avifauna conservation. and due to proximity to each and high number of overlapping forest birds and globally threatened bird species, they should be protected or managed as a single Forest block, because habitat destruction in one fragment will affect bird species richness in the other neighboring forests.