Species Composition, Relative Abundance and Distribution of the Avian Fauna of Entoto Natural Park and Escarpment, Addis Ababa
A study on avian species composition, relative abundance, diversity and distribution at Entoto Natural Park and escarpment was carried out during July 2009 -March 2010. The study area was stratified based on vegetation composition. Four habitat types: forest (rehabilitation and nursery areas), farmland, church compound (St. Mary’s and St. Raguel Churches) and eucalyptus plantation were considered. Point count method was employed for forest habitat and eucalyptus plantation, line-transect method for farmland and total count method was used for the church compound. T-test and ANOVA were applied for analysis of the effect of season and habitats on abundance of species. As a result, 124 avian species belonging to 14 orders and 44 families were identified in the study area during the wet (July, 2009 toOctober, 2009) and dry season (December, 2009 to March, 2010) surveys. The average temperature and rainfall for wet and dry seasons were 7.5°C and 315 mm and 20.5°C and 9 mm, respectively. During the dry season, highest avian diversity was observed in the farmland habitat (H’=3.73), followed by the forest (H’=2.92), whereas during the wet season, highest avian diversity was observed in the forest habitat (H’=3.98), followed by church compound (H’=3.25). Highest number of species was recorded on farmland and forest habitats during the dry and wet seasons. Simpson’s Similarity Index showed the highest species similarity between forest and farmland during both wet and dry seasons. There was no significant difference between seasons and habitats in the abundance of birds in these habitats. However, wet season had an effect on the avian abundance in eucalyptus plantation (t=2.952, P <0.05). Eucalyptus plantation, soil erosion, deforestation, habitat fragmentation, settlement and land degradation were the main threats for the distribution of birds in the present study area.