Changes in the species composition of a Karoo avifauna over time: a case study from Deelfontein, South Africa
AbstractA collection of almost 830 specimens of birds and their eggs was made at Deelfontein, Northern Cape province, South Africa, in 1901 and 1902, by two soldiers who had enlisted in the Yeomanry during the South African (Boer) War. A total of 151 bird species has been recorded in the Deelfontein area in two periods, 1901–1902 and 1987–1992. There has been no apparent change in occurrence in 82 species, but 40 species were recorded only in 1901–1902, and 29 species were recorded only by observers who completed field cards for the area for the SABAP surveys in 1987–1992. It is suggested that the differences in bird species composition are most likely associated with anthropogenic influences including land-use changes and overutilisation of shrublands as grazing for domestic livestock.
Ostrich 2008, 79(2): 227–234