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Recovery of bird communities after selective logging and clear-cutting in Kibale National Park, Uganda

Pirita Latja
Geoffrey M. Malinga
Anu Valtonen
Heikki Roininen


In the face of the continuing destruction of tropical rainforests, a major challenge is to understand the consequences of these habitat changes for biodiversity and the time scale at which biodiversity can recover after such disturbances. In this study, we assessed the patterns in communities of birds among forests of varying age consisting of clear-cuts of former coniferous plantations, selectively logged compartments and primary forests in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Birds were surveyed by 10-minute point counts at 174 randomly located points in nine forest areas during September–October 2011. A total of 2 688 birds representing 115 species were recorded. The species density, diversity and dominance of all birds, and dominance of forest specialists showed no differences between forest areas, whereas the species density and diversity of forest specialists differed significantly between forest areas. The composition of communities of all birds and of forest specialists varied significantly among the forest areas. Our results show that even after 19 and 43 years, respectively, communities of birds in clear-cuts of former coniferous plantations and selectively logged forests have not fully recovered from the disturbances of logging, highlighting the need to preserve primary forests for conservation of birds.

Keywords: biodiversity, human-induced disturbances, Kibale National Park, recovery, Uganda

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525