SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science

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Species composition, relative abundance and habitat association of the bird fauna of the montane forest of Zegie Peninsula and nearby islands, Lake Tana, Ethiopia

Shimelis Aynalem, Afework Bekele


The present study was carried out in Zegie Peninsula and Kibran Gebriel and Entos Iyesus Islands of Lake Tana from August 2006 to March 2007. Sampling sites were stratified based on the vegetation type and area cover. Point count technique and chi-square test were employed to see the association of birds with the different vegetation strata. A total of 101 bird species were recorded, out of which 91 were residents (three endemics) and 10 were Palaearctic migrants. The Zegie Peninsula had high species diversity and evenness (0.96 and 0.86, respectively). The relative abundance of birds during the wet and dry seasons was variable. A total of 54 and 68 species were recorded during the wet and dry seasons in the Zegie Peninsula, respectively. The islands possessed 24 species each season. Habitat association of birds within the vegetation strata of Zegie Peninsula during the wet season was: highest at the shore (4.50), followed by gardens (4.00), bushes and shrubs (3.33) and trees (2.17). During the dry season, the highest mean number of birds occurred in the garden vegetation (4.86), followed by trees (3.23), fringe type of vegetation (3.22), and bush and shrub vegetation (2.60). During the wet season, the association of birds with the vegetation stratum was not statistically significant (p > 0.05, chi-square =13, df =7, n = 32). However, this was significant during the dry season (p < 0.05, chi-square = 66.238, df =9, n = 84). Conservation action to minimize the anthropogenic effect at Zegie should be the order of the day.

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