Diversity and Density of Avifauna in Areas with Different Protection Status: A Case Study in Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands, North-eastern Nigeria

Abubakar S. Ringim, F. J. Magige, J. M. John


Diversity and density are critical variables in determining the functioning of an ecosystem. Wetlands are among the ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity. However, in many Ramsar wetlands, such information is lacking. Bird species were assessed  in Protected Areas (PAs) and Unprotected Areas (UPAs) of the Hadejia-Nguru Ramsar site between October and December, 2015 using point count method. Ninety nine point count stations spaced 400 m apart with radius of 100 m were surveyed. A total of 42,255 individuals of birds belonging to 148 species, 50 families and 23 avian order were observed.  Two globally threatened species, the European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur and Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus were observed. The former was categorized as Vulnerable while the latter as Near Threatened based on IUCN Red List categories version 3. There was higher species diversity in the UPAs than in the PAs (t = -15.34, df = 40073, p <0.001). The two areas were similar in their species composition by 81% indicating that these areas share a number of species. A relatively higher bird density was recorded in the PAs (7 individuals ha-1) than in the UPAs (5 individuals ha-1).. Both habitats are rich in avifauna and therefore deserve equal conservation attention, , especially the Unprotected wetlands and the globally threatened species.


Bird Diversity; Density; Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands; Protected and Unprotected Areas


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