Ecological Survey of Avifaunal Resources in University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
A survey of the avifaunal resources was conducted in the three campuses (Choba, Abuja, and Delta) of the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria to ascertain their bird species composition, abundance, diversity, and affinity for different tree species. Bird census was carried out on twelve focal trees in each of the three campuses for a period of six months. Shannon-Wiener (H) and Simpson (1 – D) diversity indices were used to measure the diversity of bird species in each of the campuses, while similarity in bird species between campuses was ascertained using Sorensen’s similarity index (SI). Paleontological Statistics (PAST) software was used to obtain a hierarchical classification of the tree species in each campus based on the similarity of bird species sighted on them. A total of 5277 birds belonging to 8 species were encountered in Choba Campus; 3937 belonging to 7 species in Abuja Campus; and 3034 belonging to 8 species in Delta Campus. Choba Campus had the highest bird diversity (H = 0.6623; Simpson 1 – D = 0.3370), followed by Abuja Campus (H = 0.4415; Simpson 1 – D = 0.2217), and Delta Campus (H = 0.1656; Simpson 1 – D = 0.05804). Similarity in bird species composition was highest between Abuja Campus and Delta Campus (SI = 93%) and least between Choba Campus and Delta Campus (SI = 63%). Ploceus cucullatus was the most abundant bird species in the three campuses. In Abuja Campus, Cocus nucifera, Polyalthia longifolia and Terminalia catappa were ecologically the most distant tree species with respect to bird species composition; in Delta Campus, Cocus nucifera, Pinus caribaea, and Polyalthia longifolia, were the most ecologically distant; while Hura crepitans and Polyalthia longifolia were the most ecologically distant in Choba Park. Further investigation is required to ascertain why bird species in the various campuses showed no affinity for Cocus nucifera and Polyalthia longifolia.
Key words: University of Port Harcourt, avifauna, abundance, diversity, tree-bird interaction