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    Rights statement: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bird-conservation-international/article/drivers-of-bird-diversity-in-an-understudied-african-centre-of-endemism-the-angolan-central-escarpment-forest/5B5A049D805D600400909E0F939F2BC7 The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Bird Conservation International, 27, pp 256-268 2017, © 2017 Cambridge University Press.

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Drivers of bird diversity in an understudied African centre of endemism: The Angolan Central Escarpment Forest

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
  • Aimy Caceres
  • Martim Melo
  • Jos Barlow
  • Ricardo Faustino De Lima
  • Michael S. L. Mills
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Bird Conservation International
Issue number2
Volume27
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)256-268
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date27/02/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Natural habitats are being rapidly lost due to human activities. It is therefore vital to understand how these activities influence biodiversity so that suitable guidelines can be established for conservation. This is particularly important in understudied, high biodiversity, areas such as the Angolan Escarpment. Here we examine which habitat characteristics drive bird diversity and endemic species presence at Kumbira Forest, a key site in the Central Escarpment Forest. Bird diversity was sampled by 10 min bird point counts, whereas habitat characteristics were measured by a combination of ground-based vegetation surveys and remotely sensed data modelling of Landsat images. GLM, multi-model inference and model averaging were used to determine the most important variables driving species richness and the presence of endemics. The remote sensing variables performed poorly in predicting presence of Red-crested Turaco Tauraco erythrolophus and Gabela Bushshrike Laniarius amboimensis but they contributed significantly to explain species richness and Gabela Akalat Sheppardia gabela presence, both of which were associated with greater canopy cover. Liana density and elevation were also important explanatory variables in certain cases. Conservation actions at Kumbira should focus on increasing canopy cover and maintaining forest integrity (as measured by liana density), as these actions are likely to have the most positive outcomes for the avifauna.

Bibliographic note

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bird-conservation-international/article/drivers-of-bird-diversity-in-an-understudied-african-centre-of-endemism-the-angolan-central-escarpment-forest/5B5A049D805D600400909E0F939F2BC7 The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Bird Conservation International, 27, pp 256-268 2017, © 2017 Cambridge University Press.