Further additions to the avifauna of the Isunkaviola Plateau, Ruaha National Park, south-central Tanzania, emphasize its ornithological importance
Isunkaviola Plateau is located in the western part of Ruaha National Park, south-central Tanzania, and is a remote and infrequently visited area. Previous ornithological work there has revealed some notable range extensions, and in this paper, we detail the results of surveys conducted in October 2019, to supplement species inventories provided by Glen et al. (2005) and Glen (2011). We provide detection probabilities for 114 species encountered during 55 census point counts, and document two species that are new for Ruaha NP; the Scaly Francolin Pternistis squamatus and Green Twinspot Mandingoa nitidula. Five additional species were also added to this list from mist netting. We categorize forest dependence for all species recorded on the plateau and indicate those with strong preference for higher altitudes. To date, a total of 148 bird species have been recorded within the Isunkaviola area, further illustrating the critical value of a small elevated and forested area within a broad savanna ecosystem. Given its unique avifauna, the Isunkaviola Plateau remains as an important birding site within Ruaha National Park, and therefore, improving accessibility and awareness will not only open the area for avitourism, but also encourage further biodiversity research.
Keywords: Avitourism, forest-dependent bird species, high altitude miombo woodland, Ruaha National Park