Birds and mammals in some protected and community forests in Central Nigeria
Nigeria is losing so fast its forest resources with high deforestation and decline in both flora and fauna. Some protected and community forest areas in Plateau State were visited to carry out survey of birds and mammals. The protected sites include the Jos Wildlife Park, Amurum Forest Reserve, and the Pandam Game Reserves while the community forests were Naraguta Mountain Forest, Lugor Community Forest and the Janta Community Forest all in Plateau State, Nigeria. Three transects of five hundred metres (500 m) were placed in each protected and community forest reserve randomly to generate data. Control for effort was carried out to make adjustment for size of forests. The commonest mammals recorded were Tantalus Monkey Chlorocebus tantalus, and Ground Squirrel Xerus spp. The least recorded was Redflanked Duiker Cephalopus rufilatus. More bird species abundance was recorded in the community forests compared with the protected forests. Higher bird species richness was recorded in the protected forests compared with the community forests. Base on the outcome of this study, the protected forests are still serving the role of an ecological laboratory for the protection of the typical Jos Plateau flora and fauna. The community forests have shown complementarity to the protected forests especially the Lugor Community Forest and the Naraguta Mountain Forest which are rich sites for indigenous species of plants and animals.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Forests, Reserves, Woody Plants, Mammals, Birds and Insects