Effect of habitat fragmentation on diversity and abundance of nesting birds in an urban landscape: the case of Mwalimu Nyerere Campus thickets, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Little is known of the nesting bird species in most of urban areas of East Africa. An investigation was made of the occurrence of breeding bird species in the fragmented thickets found in the Mwalimu Nyerere Campus of the University of Dar es Salaam, in the City of Dar es Salaam. The study examined how habitat fragmentation affects nesting bird species richness and diversity in the thickets. Systematic physical nest searches of breeding birds were conducted in the fragmented thickets. Searches were conducted in transects and they included inspecting vegetation, bare ground, cavities, stream (river) banks and other suitable nesting locations for the presence of active nests. Numbers and diversity of nesting bird species increased with fragment size which suggest that most nesting birds avoid smaller fragments and that reductions in size of habitat might negatively affect majority of the nesting bird species. For continued conservation of birds, protection of the remaining thicket fragments on the campus is recommended.
Keywords: fragmentation, nesting birds, thickets, campus of the University of Dar es Salaam, nest species diversity