Table of Contents
Advances in Zoology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 864219, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/864219
Research Article

Composition and Functional Diversity in Bird Communities in a Protected Humid Coastal Savanna

Department of Wildlife Management, Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3073, Chuo Kikuu, Morogoro, Tanzania

Received 8 August 2015; Revised 2 November 2015; Accepted 16 November 2015

Academic Editor: Mauro Fasola

Copyright © 2015 Alfan A. Rija et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Our current understanding of the vertebrate communities of a newly gazetted Tanzanian coastal national park is limited and strongly taxonomically biased towards large mammals. We conducted bird assessments in three sites in Saadani National Park using species lists to analyze some parameters to inform biodiversity conservation in the area. We recorded 3112 individuals in 268 species falling in 66 families, including 2 endangered, 2 vulnerable, and 6 near threatened species. Both species richness and species diversity varied between sites. Species relative abundances were not different between the sites although some functional groups, especially granivores, were more abundant than others. Bird assemblages included 21 forest specialists (FF-species), 35 forest generalists (F-species), and 68 forest visitors (f-species) overlapping among bushland, wooded grassland, grassland, and thickets suggesting presence of important microhabitats for the forest-associated species in this ecosystem. Bird species richness in a feeding guild also showed marked overlap between habitats suggesting availability of rich food resources for the birds. This paper highlights the importance of maintaining a structurally heterogeneous landscape to sustain diverse bird communities in the area.