Birds of Golden Pride Project area, Nzega District, central Tanzania: an evaluation of recolonization of rehabilitated areas

  • Chacha Werema
  • Kim M. Howell
  • Charles A. Msuya
  • Jackie Sinclair
  • Anael Macha

Abstract

In Tanzania, the success of habitat restoration in mining areas to create suitable environmental conditions for wildlife is poorly understood. Between March 2010 and December 2014 bird species were recorded at the Golden Pride Project area, a gold mine in Nzega District, central Tanzania. The aims of this study were to document bird communities in the mine area, and to assess the extent to which rehabilitated areas have been recolonised. Mist netting, point counts, timed species counts and opportunistic observations were used to document 181 species of birds at the mine area. These included two species endemic to Tanzania, the Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill Tockus ruahae (treated here as a species separate from T. erythrorhynchus, see Kemp & Delport 2002, Sinclair & Ryan 2010) and Ashy Starling Cosmopsarus unicolor. Rehabilitated areas had about half the number of species found in the unmined areas. Bird use of areas under rehabilitation suggests that habitat restoration can be used to create corridors linking fragmented landscapes. Results suggest that as the vegetation of the rehabilitated areas becomes more structurally complex, the number of bird species found there will be similar to those in unmined areas. This study provides a baseline for future monitoring, leading to a better understanding of the process of avian colonisation of rehabilitated areas. Furthermore, results imply that in mining areas it is useful to have an unmined area where vegetation is naturally allowed to regenerate, free of human activity. These unmined areas can later act as source habitats from which birds can disperse into rehabilitation areas once the vegetation structure is sufficiently complex.
Published
2016-07-18
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2313-1799
print ISSN: 0250-4162