Drivers of bird diversity in an understudied African centre of endemism : The Angolan Central Escarpment Forest

Caceres, Aimy and Melo, Martim and Barlow, Jos and De Lima, Ricardo Faustino and Mills, Michael S. L. (2017) Drivers of bird diversity in an understudied African centre of endemism : The Angolan Central Escarpment Forest. Bird Conservation International, 27 (2). pp. 256-268. ISSN 0959-2709

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Natural habitats are being rapidly lost due to human activities. It is therefore vital to understand how these activities influence biodiversity so that suitable guidelines can be established for conservation. This is particularly important in understudied, high biodiversity, areas such as the Angolan Escarpment. Here we examine which habitat characteristics drive bird diversity and endemic species presence at Kumbira Forest, a key site in the Central Escarpment Forest. Bird diversity was sampled by 10 min bird point counts, whereas habitat characteristics were measured by a combination of ground-based vegetation surveys and remotely sensed data modelling of Landsat images. GLM, multi-model inference and model averaging were used to determine the most important variables driving species richness and the presence of endemics. The remote sensing variables performed poorly in predicting presence of Red-crested Turaco Tauraco erythrolophus and Gabela Bushshrike Laniarius amboimensis but they contributed significantly to explain species richness and Gabela Akalat Sheppardia gabela presence, both of which were associated with greater canopy cover. Liana density and elevation were also important explanatory variables in certain cases. Conservation actions at Kumbira should focus on increasing canopy cover and maintaining forest integrity (as measured by liana density), as these actions are likely to have the most positive outcomes for the avifauna.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Bird Conservation International
Additional Information: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Bird Conservation International, 27, pp 256-268 2017, © 2017 Cambridge University Press.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? human-modified worldconservation prioritiesbiodiversity hotspotstropical biodiversitythreatened birdskumbira forestecologyresponsesmodelsareaecologynature and landscape conservationanimal science and zoology ??
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Deposited On:
03 Jan 2018 09:34
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:53