Status of Restricted-Range Bird Species of East African Coastal Forests in Five South Coast Forest of Kenya
Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International,
Aims: The aim of this study was to determine the status of restricted-range bird species of East African coastal biome, particularly within the Southern coastal forests of Kenya and as a proxy of the conservation value of the current existing fragmented forests.
Study Design: Ecological survey design, using point counts method.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in south-coast forests of Kenya within Kwale County between July 2007 and February, 2008.
Methodology: Five forests out of more than 10 forest fragments differing in sizes were randomly selected in the coastal area between the coastline and about 60 km inland within Kwale County, Kenya. Point counts were systematically placed at each forest, spaced at least 200 m from each other hence three forests namely Marenje, Nzombo and Mrima had 50 point counts each owing to their large size, while Diani and Kaya Waa had 15 and 7 point counts respectively.
Results: The findings showed that nearly half (48%) of the restricted-range bird species of East African Coastal Biome are found in the south coast forests of Kenya, 78% of which are truly forest birds. Some specific forest species such as Anthus sokokensis has been lost here while the occupancy range of Anthreptes reichenowi seems to have shrank from earlier records. Though all forests are found to be important, larger forests are particularly critical for the conservation of these birds. This means forests are the only refuge remaining for the restricted-range bird species in coastal Kenya.
Conclusion: The south coast forest fragments should be conserved irrespective of size, but the management should mainly aim at maintaining larger forests as the only way of ensuring persistent occupancy of East African Coastal biome restricted-range species.
- East African coastal biome
- restricted-range species
- South coast forests of Kenya
- avifaunal species
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