Impacts of Human Activities on Biodiversity of the Simiyu Wetland, Tanzania
Human activities such as intensive agriculture, grazing and settlements have degraded the ecological integrity of biotic communities in the Simiyu wetland by altering niche in terms of quality and quantity leading to a loss of biodiversity. Monitoring of vegetation types, game animals and bird species was carried out to determine the impact of human activities in the wetland. Biodiversity monitoring of Simiyu wetland showed an increase of species richness, abundance and diversity. Granivorous bird species increased by 18% while waterbirds decreased by 6% between 2010 and 2016. Similarly, invasive plant species increased by 42%, heavy feeders by 55% and shallow feeders by 26% between 2010 and 2016. The increase in granivorous bird species, invasive and heavy feeders indicate degradation of the wetland. Restoration of ecological character and management measures to Simiyu wetland are required in order to restore the values and functions of the wetland.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Birds, Habitat, Human activities, Vegetation