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Göttert, T., Mensing, N., Petersen, H. and Zeller, U. 2011. Observations on bird species occurrence in combination with rhino monitoring on former livestock farmland: implications for developing a buffer zone at the south-western border of the Etosha National Park in Namibia. Lanioturdus, 44(5): 27-35


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Observations on bird species occurrence in combination with rhino monitoring on former livestock farmland: implications for developing a buffer zone at the south-western border of the Etosha National Park in Namibia.

Summary / Notes:

Our study describes a 16 months (Nov 2005 – Feb 2007) continuous bird species monitoring conducted in a 368 km2 area in directrnadjacency to the Etosha National Park (ENP). In order to discuss the suitability of the studied area to serve as an effective buffer zone for the ENP, we used birds as bioindicators for an indirect assessment of the habitat's quality and structural complexity. We developed the method in combination with a rhino tracking procedure (regularly driven tours between the camp site and rhino activity areas). We validated our findings using therncumulative species curve method, which also highlights the importance of the time scale for such a habitat assessment. We found a clear seasonal effect, not in terms of the relativernproportion of different ecological groups – but with regards to the beta diversity (Sørensen index: 0.6). We discuss the bird species range in view of seasonality (availability of water)rnand additional habitat-related features. Based on the study area's proximity to the ENP and the occurrence of two geological formations (with distinct vegetation types), the number of bird species (n = 148) indicates a remarkable proportion (21.5 %) of all bird species occurring within Namibia present in the studyrnarea. Although this area has been used for intensive livestock farming over several decades in the past, we can assume itsrnnotable level of structural complexity and suitability to possibly become an effective buffer zone for the ENP in the future.

Year: 2011

Type: Journal Article

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