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Assessment of Bird Species Composition, Relative Abundance, and Distributions in East Gojjam Wetland Habitats, Ethiopia

Assessment of Bird Species Composition, Relative Abundance, and Distributions in East Gojjam... Hindawi International Journal of Zoology Volume 2022, Article ID 2802998, 9 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/2802998 Research Article Assessment of Bird Species Composition, Relative Abundance, and Distributions in East Gojjam Wetland Habitats, Ethiopia Amare Gibru and Yihew Biru Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, P.O. Box 30726, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Correspondence should be addressed to Amare Gibru; agibru64@gmail.com Received 2 April 2022; Revised 12 May 2022; Accepted 27 May 2022; Published 15 June 2022 Academic Editor: Joao Pedro Barreiros Copyright © 2022 Amare Gibru and Yihew Biru. �is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Many bird species depend on wetlands and the surrounding habitats. However, the status of these wetlands, as well as their biodiversity, is poorly understood and maintained. From January to February 2021, we assessed the compositions, relative abundances, and distributions of bird species throughout ˆve wetland habitats in the East Gojjam zone. In each study site, systematic random sampling techniques were applied at a 4 km interval along the wetland habitats. Bray–Curtis cluster analysis was conducted using PAST software. During the study period, Simpson’s Index and Shannon–Wiener Index were also used to assess the diversity of bird species at various study sites. As a result, a total of 55 bird species from 20 families and 9 orders were identiˆed. During the study period, 49 species were classiˆed as least concern, two were critically endangered species, two were vulnerable species, two were endangered species, and one was an endemic species. During the study, overgrazing and agricultural expansion were identiˆed as threats to biodiversity. To conserve the biological richness of these ecosystems, a wetland con- servation strategy and a sustainable usage system are required. population continues to put a strain on wetlands, and rates 1. Introduction of degradation have accelerated across the world [13, 14]. Wetlands are well-known as the world’s most productive Wetland disturbances, degradation, and loss result in the environments [1, 2]. �ey are important stores of plant extinction of native plant species, the invasion of exotic genetic material and habitats for a wide range of species species, and the decline of wetlands’ ecological and eco- [3–6]. Wetlands provide food, breeding, nesting, and raising nomic importance [15, 16]. opportunities for a wide range of amphibians, birds, and Many African bird species, including Ethiopian ones, mammals [3]. Wetland microhabitats ožer avifauna pop- depend on wetlands and their surroundings for foraging, ulations with abundant and high-quality shelter and food all breeding, resting, and mate-ˆnding [17–19]. Because most year [7]. Wetlands also provide important ecological and birds are able to immediately respond to any change in habitat or climatic condition, the presence or absence of economic functions, such as water supply and pollution control [8, 9]. birds reveals the ecological conditions of wetlands and the Mammals, birds (including migratory species), reptiles, link between the food web and the nutrient cycle [20, 21]. As amphibians, ˆsh, and macro and micro invertebrate species wetland habitat structures and adjacent land use change, so all thrive in dižerent wetland types. �ey also mitigate do the composition and diversity of bird species. Infor- climate change and global warming by sequestering carbon mation about a wetland’s biodiversity is extremely useful in [4]. Wetland environments in many areas have a lot of determining the habitat’s status and developing appropriate promise for biodiversity conservation [10]. On the contrary, conservation measures for long-term biodiversity conser- mounting problems are threatening the wetlands’ contri- vation. However, the state of these wetlands, as well as their biodiversity, is poorly documented and maintained in these bution to biodiversity protection [11, 12]. �e rising 2 International Journal of Zoology wetland areas. Despite the fact that the wetlands in East 2.3. Data Collection Methods. Ornithological data was col- Gojjam have a higher bird species composition and abun- lected in each study site from January to February 2021, with dance, no scientific data has been collected in the study areas. four consecutive day surveys in a week. *e start and end To fill the gaps in existing knowledge, the current study was geographical coordinates of each transect were saved in a done to analyze the composition of bird species, relative Garmin GPS 72 during the bird counting, and the bird abundance, and distributions throughout the five wetland species, number, and survey site were recorded. Bird species habitats in the East Gojjam zone to show the potential of the were kept at a safe distance from each other throughout the areas for biodiversity conservation. count to reduce disruption [24]. Bird species were identified based on the shape and color of their feathers, beaks, eye colors, legs, and body size. At each transect line, the number, 2. Material and Methods type, and location of birds were recorded for a set amount of time. 2.1. Study Area Description. *e research was carried out in *e study was conducted in good weather from 6:30 a.m. five wetland habitats (Chemoga, Sentera, Yewula, Yeba- to 10:00 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., when bird san/Des, and Dechekes/Yejube woreda) in part of Blue activity is high [24]. Bird identification was based on Nile basin, East Gojjam zone, Ethiopia’s Amhara Regional morphological characteristics such as feather pattern, size, State (Figure 1). Debre Markos, the zone’s administrative shape, color, sounds, and field guides [25], with Nikon town, is located 290 kilometers northwest of Addis Ababa binoculars assisting in observations. Photographs were also (the country’s capital city) and 265 kilometers from Bahir taken to help with the identification of the inconspicuous Dar, the Amhara Region’s capital city. *e East Gojjam species. zone encompasses a variety of geographic features, and the highest mountain, Choke, with an elevation of 4100 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l) is found in this zone [22]. 2.4. Data Analysis. *e information gathered in the field was *e current study sites are located in this zone, and first compiled in an Excel spreadsheet, and descriptive and Gozamin woreda covers the majority of the studied inferential statistics were analyzed. Biodiversity indices and wetlands, accounting for nearly 90% of the total research 2 Bray–Curtis cluster analysis were conducted using Paleon- area. *e woreda, which covers 1217.8 km [23], is bor- tological Statistics (PAST) software version 4.6b. It is a free dered on the east by Aneded and Debay Telatgen woredas, statistical software tool for analyzing paleontological data on the west by Machakel and Debre Elias woredas, on the that allows you to construct diversity measures [26]. During north by Sinan woreda, and on the south by Baso Liben the study period, Simpson’s Index (Simpson, 1949) and woreda (Abay River) (Figure 1). Chemoga, Sentera, Shannon–Wiener Index (Shannon and Wiener, 1949) were Yebasan, and Des are found in the Gozamin woreda employed to assess the diversity of bird species at various administration, whereas Yewula and Dechekes/Yejube are study sites. found in the Baso Liben woreda. *e wetlands under study can be found in a variety of landscape places and settings, H′ � − 􏽘 P ln P , i i such as floodplain channels used as lower catchment i�1 (1) regions, springs, rivers, ponds, open shallow water bodies, and open grazing land plains. All of these wetlands are 2 D � 1 − 􏽘 P , located between 5 and 20 kilometers from Debre Markos. i�1 *e current study sites in the East Gojjam zone are ° ° where H′ is the Shannon–Wiener Index, S is the number geographically located between 10 10′-10 25′N and ° ° of species observed, P is the proportion of the total 37 35′-37 45′E, with an altitude ranging from 1159 to 2600 sample, ln is the natural logarithm, and D is Simpson’s meters above sea level (m.a.s.l) (GPS reading during field Index. work). *e rainfall pattern is primarily unimodal, with Relative abundance of avian species was determined annual rainfall ranging from 900 to 1800 mm on average. using encounter rates following [24]. Encounter rate was *e zone’s average temperature ranges from minus 7.5 C ° calculated for each species by dividing the number of birds to plus 27 C [22]. recorded by the number of hours spent searching, in order to get a figure of birds per hour for each species. It was cal- culated as follows: 2.2. Sampling Design. According to [24], a systematic ran- dom selection approach was applied to choose the actual Encounter rate sampling locations from a total of five study sites. A total of (2) 15 line transects (35 percent) of the study sites (100 km ) Total number of individual birds observerd � × 100. were sampled. *en, at every 4 km interval, a line transect Period of observation in hours method was used to count birds in open wetland habitats and agricultural fields adjacent to wetland habitats. A 3 km Abundance categories were <0.1, 0.1–2.0, 2.1–10.0, transect line was used to count birds in open wetland 10.1–40.0, and 40+. For each category, one of the following habitats and adjacent farm fields at 100–300 m sighting abundance scores was given: 1 (rare), 2 (uncommon), 3 distance. (frequent), 4 (common), and 5 (abundant) [24]. International Journal of Zoology 3 37º40'0''E 37º45'0''E 37º35'0''E Ethiopia 37º35'0''E 37º40'0''E 37º45'0''E Name W E Chemoga Wetland East Gojjam Dechekes Wetland km 0 4.5 9 18 Sentera Wetland Yebasan and Des Yewula Wetland Figure 1: Location map of the study area. 3. Results 3.1. Species Composition. A total of 55 bird species belonging 12 to 20 families and 9 orders were recorded in the studied sites (Figure 2). Passeriformes had the most families and species (7, 12, resp.) followed by Accipitriformes and Charadriiformes, 3 3 which had nine species each and 1 and 4 families, respectively 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 (Figure 2). �e order Caprimulgiformes had the fewest species recorded (Figure 2). Among them, black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), black-headed gull (Larus rid- ibundus), and white stork (Ciconia ciconia) are Palearctic migrants. Black kite (Milvus migrans) and tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) are African migrants. Wattled ibis (Bostrychia car- unculata), thick-billed raven (Corvus crassirostris), and white- No. of species collared Pigeon (Columba albitorques) are among the endemic No. of family Ethiopian and Eritrean species recorded in the studied area. An Figure 2: Family and species compositions of each order in the endemic bird species, the spot-breasted lapwing (Vanellus study sites during the study period. melanocephalus), was also recorded. 50 species were classiˆed as least concern by the IUCN in 2021, but two species, the hooded vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus) and the white-backed 3.2. Species Diversity, Evenness, and Dominance Index. vulture (Gyps africanus), were listed as critically endangered. Chemoga wetland habitat had the greatest Simpson’s D �e wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus), the black crowned species diversity index (1 − D) (0.99). Yebasan and Des crane (Balearica pavonina), and the tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) wetland habitats, on the other hand, had the lowest species were all vulnerable. During the study period, the endangered diversity score (0.97). Yewula wetland habitat had the lappet-faced vulture (Torgos tracheliotus) was also recorded. highest Shannon-Wiener Index (H′  3.45) and evenness 10º10'0''N 10º15'0''N 10º20'0''N 10º25'0''N PELECANIFORMES PASSERIFORMES 10º10'0''N 10º15'0''N 10º20'0''N 10º25'0''N CHARADRIIFORMES CICONIIFORMES ANSERIFORMES COLUMBIFORMES GRUIFORMES ACCIPITRIFORMES CAPRIMULGIFORMES 4 International Journal of Zoology (E � 0.50). *e highest dominance index (D � 0.03) was activities such as overgrazing and agricultural development. found in the Yebasan and Des wetland habitats (Table 1). Destruction, habitat degradation, and climate change can all lead to migration and extinction of bird species that live in that environment [29]. A total of 55 bird species were 3.3. Avian Similarities in the Study Sites. *e same bird recorded from the entire surveyed sites in this study. *e species can be found in most wetland habitats. *e cluster Chemoga wetland habitat is inhabited by 47 species, the analysis (Figure 3) reveals the study sites’ similarities, with largest number compared to any other habitat. *is could be Sentera and Yewula wetland belonging to the same clade, owing to the species’ suitable habitats, the abundance of implying that they shared the same avifaunal species. In food, and the less disturbance level compared to other sites. addition, the wetlands of Yebasan and Dechekes/Yejube In the Chemoga wetland, species such as the Gruiformes constituted the first clade, indicating that these sites shared (wattled crane, Bugeranus carunculatus; black crowned many of the same avifaunal species. *e Chemoga wetland crane, Balearica pavonina) were restricted. *e Dechekes habitat is distinct from all other wetland habitats (Figure 3). wetland has the fewest species among all the habitats studied. *is may be somewhat accurate due to the significant ag- ricultural expansion that encompasses the entire area when 3.4. Relative Abundance. *e relative abundance of birds compared to other sites. Changes in species numbers among varied throughout the study sites. *e most numerous similar habitat types may be due to the differences in pre- species were locally abundant in Chemoga, Sentera, Yewula, dation pressure, accessible food, disturbance, and particular and Yebasan/Des wetland habitat, although a high number habitat selection nature of birds [30–32]. Habitat size and of locally common species were recorded in Dechekes/ quality, bird foraging strategies, and floristic composition Yejube wetland (Table 2). Chemoga wetland has both un- may all have a role in avian species distribution in the above common and common birds, although it had a higher variables [31–33]. number of bird species (47) than any other wetland. *e *e highest diversity of species in the Chemoga wetland Dechekes/Yejube wetland area had the fewest bird species among the study sites could be attributed to favored reported. breeding sites, availability of food in microhabitats that *e Egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca; white stork, preferred certain bird species, predator protection, and Ciconia ciconia; little egret, Egretta garzetta; wattled ibis, fewer disturbances compared to other sites, according to the Bostrychia carunculata; hadada ibis, Bostrychia hagedash; findings [34]. Floristic composition and vegetation structure Abdim’s stork, Ciconia abdimii; and black-winged stilt, are frequently mentioned as factors that influence the Himantopus himantopus, were the most abundant bird number of species found in a given area [35, 36]. *is re- species in all study sites (Figure 4). *e study sites had low search backs up prior findings from other researchers populations of common buzzard, Buteo buteo; black-chested [30–39]. It is possible that the habitat’s high species evenness snake-eagle, Circaetus pectoralis; augur buzzard, Buteo au- during the study in the Yewula wetland habitat is due to the gur; little swift, Apus affinis; and plain martin, Riparia habitat’s ability to support a variety of habitat specialist and paludicola. generalist bird species that can take advantage of the available resources [40]. *e existence of numerous equally 3.5. Distribution of Species among the Study Sites. *e dis- distributed species may be due to the fewer disturbances of humans and other animals in comparison to other areas. *e tributions of bird species indicated a few differences across all of the sites surveyed. Pelecaniformes, Passeriformes, highest species dominance index is found in the Yebasan and Des wetland habitats. Little egret (Egretta garzetta) was Charadriiformes, Ciconiiformes, Anseriformes, Colum- biformes, and Accipitriformes were found at all of the study determined to be the dominating species with the highest dominance index (D � 0.03), which is likely due to the sites, out of a total of 55 bird species identified (Table 3). However, only the Gruiformes (wattled crane, Bugeranus presence of a diverse range of habitats and favorable food carunculatus; black crowned crane, Balearica pavonina) availability for little egret in the area. Dominance occurs were found in the Chemoga wetland habitat. Chemoga when one or more species exert control over the environ- wetland habitat has the highest number of species (47) and ment and conditions, as well as influencing other species [41]. *e existence of a high abundance bird species in this individuals (2557) among the sites studied. Dechekes/Yejube has the fewest records at both the species (35) and individual area is indicated by a high dominance index value [41, 42]. Little egrets are friendly birds that eat a variety of items level (Figure 5). found in shallow marsh settings, particularly by following cattle [43], and there were many of them throughout the 4. Discussion study period. Due to the large plain area and availability for A large number of bird species and individuals were found to foraging of different livestock animals, this species is highly be supported by the various habitat types and settings near to opportunistic and contributes positively to their presence. the study areas. Various researchers have reported that Sentera and Yewula wetlands are found in the same anthropogenic activity fluctuations and rates have an impact clade, according to cluster analysis. *is suggests that the on bird species richness, distribution, and abundances, ei- species found in these areas are similar. Because these sites share several bird species, the largest species similarity be- ther directly or indirectly [27, 28]. During the study, habitat disturbance was identified as a result of anthropogenic tween the two habitats, which are physically closest, is International Journal of Zoology 5 Table 1: Avian species diversity, evenness, and dominance during the study period. Study sites Richness No. of individuals (abundance) D (1 − D) H′ H′max H′/H′max Chemoga 47 2557 0.01 0.99 3.05 7.85 0.39 Sentera 43 1267 0.02 0.98 3.17 7.14 0.44 Yewula 43 1051 0.02 0.98 3.45 6.96 0.50 Yebasan and Des 37 659 0.03 0.97 3.29 6.49 0.51 Dechekes/Yejube 35 388 0.02 0.98 3.23 5.96 0.54 H′: Shannon-Wiener Index; H′/H′max: evenness; (1 − D): diversity index; H′max: ln(S). Similarity Yebasan Dechekes Sentera Yewula Chemoga Figure 3: Similarity of species composition and their distributions of birds across the study sites (Bray–Curtis cluster analysis-paired group). Table 2: Abundance rank of bird species along the study sites. No. of species Study sites Uncommon Frequent Common species Abundant species Total recorded species Chemoga 1 2 8 36 47 Sentera 7 36 43 Yewula 8 35 43 Yebasan and Des 14 23 37 Dechekes/Yejube 24 11 35 the two closest habitats, the Sentera and Yewula wetlands, had a higher similarity percentage, which supports the above ˆnding. �e relative abundance of birds in the study area revealed that the majority of species were abundant. �is could be due to the greater detectability of birds in open wetland habitats and agricultural ˆelds, as opposed to places with dense forest growth, which results in poor visibility. �is is consistent with [32, 45]. Species abundance scores dižered among habitats. �is could be attributed to dif- ferences in resource/food availability across study sites. �e change in abundance of bird species among habitats is driven by food availability and nesting sites, according to [36, 39]. Baker et al. [46] also found that there was more Abundant species change in bird species abundance between habitats than Chemoga Yewula Dechekes/Yejube between seasons. �e change in bird species abundance Sentera Yebasan and Des observed in dižerent study sites could be caused by bird species’ temporal and geographical movements in response Figure 4: Spatial variations of the most dominant birds in the study to unique species requirements, such as nesting and sites. breeding places for survival and reproduction [30, 31]. expected. �e similarity of bird species composition between Most species types and individuals were not distributed habitats, according to [44], implies a tendency for similar evenly among survey sites, and most species populations habitats to have similar species composition. In this study, showed changes in abundance. Variations in water or food No. of individuals Wattled Ibis Hadada Ibis Black-winged Stilt Abdim’s Stork White Stork Egyptian Goose Little egret 1 6 International Journal of Zoology Table 3: Distribution of bird species among the study sites during the study period. Species Plain wetland habitats Common name Scientific name Chemoga Sentera Yewula Yebasan and Des Dechekes/Yejube Sacred ibis 6reskiornis aethiopicus + + + + + Wattled ibis Bostrychia carunculata + + + + + Hadada ibis Bostrychia hagedash + + + + + Cape crow Corvus capensis + + + + + Fan-tailed raven Corvus rhipidurus + + + + + *ick-billed raven Corvus crassirostris + + + + + Pied crow Corvus albus + + + + + Black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus + + + + + Egyptian plover Pluvianus aegyptius + + + + + Woolly-necked stork Ciconia episcopus + + + + + Abdim’s stork Ciconia abdimii + + + + + White stork Ciconia ciconia + + + + + Egyptian goose Alopochen aegyptiaca + + + + + Knob-billed duck Sarkidiornis melanotos + Ruddy shelduck Tadorna ferruginea + Black-headed heron Ardea melanocephala + + + + + Little egret Egretta garzetta + + + + + Great egret Egretta alba + + + + + Hamerkop Scopus umbretta + + + + + Red-billed oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus + + + + + Greater blue-eared starling Lamprotornis chalybaeus + Ruppell’s ¨ starling Lamprotornis purpuroptera + + Lesser blue-eared starling Lamprotornis chloropterus + + Speckled pigeon Columba guinea + + + + + White-collared pigeon Columba albitorques + + + + Blue-spotted wood dove Turtur afer + + + Ring-necked dove Streptopelia capicola + + + Red-eyed dove Streptopelia semitorquata + + + + + African mourning dove Streptopelia decipiens + + + + + Dusky turtle dove Streptopelia lugens + + + + + Laughing dove Streptopelia senegalensis + + + + + Wattled crane Bugeranus carunculatus + Common crane Grus grus + Black crowned crane Balearica pavonina + Spot-breasted lapwing Vanellus melanocephalus + + Long-toed lapwing Vanellus crassirostris + + + + Spur-winged plover/lapwing Vanellus spinosus + + + + + Black-winged plover Vanellus melanopterus + + + Black-headed gull Larus ridibundus + + + Gull-billed tern Sterna nilotica + + + + + Whiskered tern Chlidonias hybrid + Yellow-billed kite Milvus (migrans) aegyptius + Black kite Milvus migrans + + + + + Hooded vulture Necrosyrtes monachus + Lappet-faced vulture Torgos tracheliotus + White-backed vulture Gyps africanus + Black-chested snake-eagle Circaetus pectoralis + + + + + Augur buzzard Buteo augur + + + + + Common buzzard Buteo buteo + + + + + Tawny eagle Aquila rapax + + Little swift Apus affinis + + + + + Nyanza swift Apus niansae + + + + + Plain martin Riparia paludicola + Common bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus + + + + + Village weaver Ploceus cucullatus + + + + + Red-billed firefinch Lagonosticta senegala + + + + + + indicates the species presence in the area; blanks indicate the species absence. International Journal of Zoology 7 overgrazing, agricultural expansion, and habitat fragmen- tation have all been identiˆed as serious threats to birds in the study areas. 1267 6. Recommendations (i) More research on biodiversity components, in- cluding the wet season, is required. Chemoga Sentera Yewula Yebasan and Dechekes/Yejube (ii) To conserve the biodiversity of the study sites, it is Des necessary to safeguard these wetland habitats Study sites through raising community awareness. Number of individuals Number of species (iii) To limit the level of disturbance at the study sites, a controlled grazing system should be adopted. Figure 5: Species and abundance rank of bird species in the study sites during the study period. (iv) A sound conservation approach and a wetland habitat management system should be implemented. supplies, individuals’ ability to disperse to new locations, and species interactions such as predation or competition are all Data Availability possible causes of variance [32, 47]. In terms of species diversity, the Chemoga wetland had the most. �is could be �e raw data can be obtained from the ˆrst/corresponding linked to the habitat type that is best for a given species, as author upon reasonable request. the Chemoga wetland has various grass layers, water ponds, and agricultural areas close to the wetland environment. �e Conflicts of Interest species’ specialized requirements unique to each given habitat determine the dižerences in bird species preferences. �ere are no con«icts of interest stated by the authors. Some species demand short grasses and little cover, while others require the opposite [37]. Bird distribution patterns Authors’ Contributions often re«ect the spatial structure of the environment and the habitat requirements of the bird species, according to AG and YB conceived the study and assisted with data [32, 48]. �is is consistent with the ˆndings of this study, gathering at all studied sites. AG has organized the data and which revealed habitat speciˆcity and generalization. Pele- fed it into software for analysis, as well as writing the ˆrst caniformes, Passeriformes, Charadriiformes, Ciconiiformes, draft of the manuscript. AG and YB interpreted and ana- Anseriformes, Columbiformes, and Accipitriformes, for lyzed the data and read and approved the ˆnal paper for example, were found in all of the study sites. However, only publishing consideration. the Gruiformes (wattled crane, Bugeranus carunculatus; black crowned crane, Balearica pavonina) were found in the Acknowledgments Chemoga wetland habitat. �e highest number of bird species recorded across all of the sites studied requires �e Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute planned and ˆnanced conservation attention. data collection process and support materials for this re- search. �e authors specially thank the Gozamin Woreda 5. Conclusion Natural Resource O¬ce and Mr. Kalkidan Alen, who pro- vided with the essential information and assisted at each During the study, a high number of species and interna- study site. tionally endangered birds were recorded at the study sites. �e presence of endemic, migrant, and globally threatened References species emphasizes the importance of the study areas for bird conservation. �e study sites dižered in terms of bird species [1] P. Dubeau, D. J. King, D. G. Unbushe, and L. M. 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Assessment of Bird Species Composition, Relative Abundance, and Distributions in East Gojjam Wetland Habitats, Ethiopia

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Copyright © 2022 Amare Gibru and Yihew Biru. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Hindawi International Journal of Zoology Volume 2022, Article ID 2802998, 9 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/2802998 Research Article Assessment of Bird Species Composition, Relative Abundance, and Distributions in East Gojjam Wetland Habitats, Ethiopia Amare Gibru and Yihew Biru Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, P.O. Box 30726, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Correspondence should be addressed to Amare Gibru; agibru64@gmail.com Received 2 April 2022; Revised 12 May 2022; Accepted 27 May 2022; Published 15 June 2022 Academic Editor: Joao Pedro Barreiros Copyright © 2022 Amare Gibru and Yihew Biru. �is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Many bird species depend on wetlands and the surrounding habitats. However, the status of these wetlands, as well as their biodiversity, is poorly understood and maintained. From January to February 2021, we assessed the compositions, relative abundances, and distributions of bird species throughout ˆve wetland habitats in the East Gojjam zone. In each study site, systematic random sampling techniques were applied at a 4 km interval along the wetland habitats. Bray–Curtis cluster analysis was conducted using PAST software. During the study period, Simpson’s Index and Shannon–Wiener Index were also used to assess the diversity of bird species at various study sites. As a result, a total of 55 bird species from 20 families and 9 orders were identiˆed. During the study period, 49 species were classiˆed as least concern, two were critically endangered species, two were vulnerable species, two were endangered species, and one was an endemic species. During the study, overgrazing and agricultural expansion were identiˆed as threats to biodiversity. To conserve the biological richness of these ecosystems, a wetland con- servation strategy and a sustainable usage system are required. population continues to put a strain on wetlands, and rates 1. Introduction of degradation have accelerated across the world [13, 14]. Wetlands are well-known as the world’s most productive Wetland disturbances, degradation, and loss result in the environments [1, 2]. �ey are important stores of plant extinction of native plant species, the invasion of exotic genetic material and habitats for a wide range of species species, and the decline of wetlands’ ecological and eco- [3–6]. Wetlands provide food, breeding, nesting, and raising nomic importance [15, 16]. opportunities for a wide range of amphibians, birds, and Many African bird species, including Ethiopian ones, mammals [3]. Wetland microhabitats ožer avifauna pop- depend on wetlands and their surroundings for foraging, ulations with abundant and high-quality shelter and food all breeding, resting, and mate-ˆnding [17–19]. Because most year [7]. Wetlands also provide important ecological and birds are able to immediately respond to any change in habitat or climatic condition, the presence or absence of economic functions, such as water supply and pollution control [8, 9]. birds reveals the ecological conditions of wetlands and the Mammals, birds (including migratory species), reptiles, link between the food web and the nutrient cycle [20, 21]. As amphibians, ˆsh, and macro and micro invertebrate species wetland habitat structures and adjacent land use change, so all thrive in dižerent wetland types. �ey also mitigate do the composition and diversity of bird species. Infor- climate change and global warming by sequestering carbon mation about a wetland’s biodiversity is extremely useful in [4]. Wetland environments in many areas have a lot of determining the habitat’s status and developing appropriate promise for biodiversity conservation [10]. On the contrary, conservation measures for long-term biodiversity conser- mounting problems are threatening the wetlands’ contri- vation. However, the state of these wetlands, as well as their biodiversity, is poorly documented and maintained in these bution to biodiversity protection [11, 12]. �e rising 2 International Journal of Zoology wetland areas. Despite the fact that the wetlands in East 2.3. Data Collection Methods. Ornithological data was col- Gojjam have a higher bird species composition and abun- lected in each study site from January to February 2021, with dance, no scientific data has been collected in the study areas. four consecutive day surveys in a week. *e start and end To fill the gaps in existing knowledge, the current study was geographical coordinates of each transect were saved in a done to analyze the composition of bird species, relative Garmin GPS 72 during the bird counting, and the bird abundance, and distributions throughout the five wetland species, number, and survey site were recorded. Bird species habitats in the East Gojjam zone to show the potential of the were kept at a safe distance from each other throughout the areas for biodiversity conservation. count to reduce disruption [24]. Bird species were identified based on the shape and color of their feathers, beaks, eye colors, legs, and body size. At each transect line, the number, 2. Material and Methods type, and location of birds were recorded for a set amount of time. 2.1. Study Area Description. *e research was carried out in *e study was conducted in good weather from 6:30 a.m. five wetland habitats (Chemoga, Sentera, Yewula, Yeba- to 10:00 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., when bird san/Des, and Dechekes/Yejube woreda) in part of Blue activity is high [24]. Bird identification was based on Nile basin, East Gojjam zone, Ethiopia’s Amhara Regional morphological characteristics such as feather pattern, size, State (Figure 1). Debre Markos, the zone’s administrative shape, color, sounds, and field guides [25], with Nikon town, is located 290 kilometers northwest of Addis Ababa binoculars assisting in observations. Photographs were also (the country’s capital city) and 265 kilometers from Bahir taken to help with the identification of the inconspicuous Dar, the Amhara Region’s capital city. *e East Gojjam species. zone encompasses a variety of geographic features, and the highest mountain, Choke, with an elevation of 4100 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l) is found in this zone [22]. 2.4. Data Analysis. *e information gathered in the field was *e current study sites are located in this zone, and first compiled in an Excel spreadsheet, and descriptive and Gozamin woreda covers the majority of the studied inferential statistics were analyzed. Biodiversity indices and wetlands, accounting for nearly 90% of the total research 2 Bray–Curtis cluster analysis were conducted using Paleon- area. *e woreda, which covers 1217.8 km [23], is bor- tological Statistics (PAST) software version 4.6b. It is a free dered on the east by Aneded and Debay Telatgen woredas, statistical software tool for analyzing paleontological data on the west by Machakel and Debre Elias woredas, on the that allows you to construct diversity measures [26]. During north by Sinan woreda, and on the south by Baso Liben the study period, Simpson’s Index (Simpson, 1949) and woreda (Abay River) (Figure 1). Chemoga, Sentera, Shannon–Wiener Index (Shannon and Wiener, 1949) were Yebasan, and Des are found in the Gozamin woreda employed to assess the diversity of bird species at various administration, whereas Yewula and Dechekes/Yejube are study sites. found in the Baso Liben woreda. *e wetlands under study can be found in a variety of landscape places and settings, H′ � − 􏽘 P ln P , i i such as floodplain channels used as lower catchment i�1 (1) regions, springs, rivers, ponds, open shallow water bodies, and open grazing land plains. All of these wetlands are 2 D � 1 − 􏽘 P , located between 5 and 20 kilometers from Debre Markos. i�1 *e current study sites in the East Gojjam zone are ° ° where H′ is the Shannon–Wiener Index, S is the number geographically located between 10 10′-10 25′N and ° ° of species observed, P is the proportion of the total 37 35′-37 45′E, with an altitude ranging from 1159 to 2600 sample, ln is the natural logarithm, and D is Simpson’s meters above sea level (m.a.s.l) (GPS reading during field Index. work). *e rainfall pattern is primarily unimodal, with Relative abundance of avian species was determined annual rainfall ranging from 900 to 1800 mm on average. using encounter rates following [24]. Encounter rate was *e zone’s average temperature ranges from minus 7.5 C ° calculated for each species by dividing the number of birds to plus 27 C [22]. recorded by the number of hours spent searching, in order to get a figure of birds per hour for each species. It was cal- culated as follows: 2.2. Sampling Design. According to [24], a systematic ran- dom selection approach was applied to choose the actual Encounter rate sampling locations from a total of five study sites. A total of (2) 15 line transects (35 percent) of the study sites (100 km ) Total number of individual birds observerd � × 100. were sampled. *en, at every 4 km interval, a line transect Period of observation in hours method was used to count birds in open wetland habitats and agricultural fields adjacent to wetland habitats. A 3 km Abundance categories were <0.1, 0.1–2.0, 2.1–10.0, transect line was used to count birds in open wetland 10.1–40.0, and 40+. For each category, one of the following habitats and adjacent farm fields at 100–300 m sighting abundance scores was given: 1 (rare), 2 (uncommon), 3 distance. (frequent), 4 (common), and 5 (abundant) [24]. International Journal of Zoology 3 37º40'0''E 37º45'0''E 37º35'0''E Ethiopia 37º35'0''E 37º40'0''E 37º45'0''E Name W E Chemoga Wetland East Gojjam Dechekes Wetland km 0 4.5 9 18 Sentera Wetland Yebasan and Des Yewula Wetland Figure 1: Location map of the study area. 3. Results 3.1. Species Composition. A total of 55 bird species belonging 12 to 20 families and 9 orders were recorded in the studied sites (Figure 2). Passeriformes had the most families and species (7, 12, resp.) followed by Accipitriformes and Charadriiformes, 3 3 which had nine species each and 1 and 4 families, respectively 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 (Figure 2). �e order Caprimulgiformes had the fewest species recorded (Figure 2). Among them, black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), black-headed gull (Larus rid- ibundus), and white stork (Ciconia ciconia) are Palearctic migrants. Black kite (Milvus migrans) and tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) are African migrants. Wattled ibis (Bostrychia car- unculata), thick-billed raven (Corvus crassirostris), and white- No. of species collared Pigeon (Columba albitorques) are among the endemic No. of family Ethiopian and Eritrean species recorded in the studied area. An Figure 2: Family and species compositions of each order in the endemic bird species, the spot-breasted lapwing (Vanellus study sites during the study period. melanocephalus), was also recorded. 50 species were classiˆed as least concern by the IUCN in 2021, but two species, the hooded vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus) and the white-backed 3.2. Species Diversity, Evenness, and Dominance Index. vulture (Gyps africanus), were listed as critically endangered. Chemoga wetland habitat had the greatest Simpson’s D �e wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus), the black crowned species diversity index (1 − D) (0.99). Yebasan and Des crane (Balearica pavonina), and the tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) wetland habitats, on the other hand, had the lowest species were all vulnerable. During the study period, the endangered diversity score (0.97). Yewula wetland habitat had the lappet-faced vulture (Torgos tracheliotus) was also recorded. highest Shannon-Wiener Index (H′  3.45) and evenness 10º10'0''N 10º15'0''N 10º20'0''N 10º25'0''N PELECANIFORMES PASSERIFORMES 10º10'0''N 10º15'0''N 10º20'0''N 10º25'0''N CHARADRIIFORMES CICONIIFORMES ANSERIFORMES COLUMBIFORMES GRUIFORMES ACCIPITRIFORMES CAPRIMULGIFORMES 4 International Journal of Zoology (E � 0.50). *e highest dominance index (D � 0.03) was activities such as overgrazing and agricultural development. found in the Yebasan and Des wetland habitats (Table 1). Destruction, habitat degradation, and climate change can all lead to migration and extinction of bird species that live in that environment [29]. A total of 55 bird species were 3.3. Avian Similarities in the Study Sites. *e same bird recorded from the entire surveyed sites in this study. *e species can be found in most wetland habitats. *e cluster Chemoga wetland habitat is inhabited by 47 species, the analysis (Figure 3) reveals the study sites’ similarities, with largest number compared to any other habitat. *is could be Sentera and Yewula wetland belonging to the same clade, owing to the species’ suitable habitats, the abundance of implying that they shared the same avifaunal species. In food, and the less disturbance level compared to other sites. addition, the wetlands of Yebasan and Dechekes/Yejube In the Chemoga wetland, species such as the Gruiformes constituted the first clade, indicating that these sites shared (wattled crane, Bugeranus carunculatus; black crowned many of the same avifaunal species. *e Chemoga wetland crane, Balearica pavonina) were restricted. *e Dechekes habitat is distinct from all other wetland habitats (Figure 3). wetland has the fewest species among all the habitats studied. *is may be somewhat accurate due to the significant ag- ricultural expansion that encompasses the entire area when 3.4. Relative Abundance. *e relative abundance of birds compared to other sites. Changes in species numbers among varied throughout the study sites. *e most numerous similar habitat types may be due to the differences in pre- species were locally abundant in Chemoga, Sentera, Yewula, dation pressure, accessible food, disturbance, and particular and Yebasan/Des wetland habitat, although a high number habitat selection nature of birds [30–32]. Habitat size and of locally common species were recorded in Dechekes/ quality, bird foraging strategies, and floristic composition Yejube wetland (Table 2). Chemoga wetland has both un- may all have a role in avian species distribution in the above common and common birds, although it had a higher variables [31–33]. number of bird species (47) than any other wetland. *e *e highest diversity of species in the Chemoga wetland Dechekes/Yejube wetland area had the fewest bird species among the study sites could be attributed to favored reported. breeding sites, availability of food in microhabitats that *e Egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca; white stork, preferred certain bird species, predator protection, and Ciconia ciconia; little egret, Egretta garzetta; wattled ibis, fewer disturbances compared to other sites, according to the Bostrychia carunculata; hadada ibis, Bostrychia hagedash; findings [34]. Floristic composition and vegetation structure Abdim’s stork, Ciconia abdimii; and black-winged stilt, are frequently mentioned as factors that influence the Himantopus himantopus, were the most abundant bird number of species found in a given area [35, 36]. *is re- species in all study sites (Figure 4). *e study sites had low search backs up prior findings from other researchers populations of common buzzard, Buteo buteo; black-chested [30–39]. It is possible that the habitat’s high species evenness snake-eagle, Circaetus pectoralis; augur buzzard, Buteo au- during the study in the Yewula wetland habitat is due to the gur; little swift, Apus affinis; and plain martin, Riparia habitat’s ability to support a variety of habitat specialist and paludicola. generalist bird species that can take advantage of the available resources [40]. *e existence of numerous equally 3.5. Distribution of Species among the Study Sites. *e dis- distributed species may be due to the fewer disturbances of humans and other animals in comparison to other areas. *e tributions of bird species indicated a few differences across all of the sites surveyed. Pelecaniformes, Passeriformes, highest species dominance index is found in the Yebasan and Des wetland habitats. Little egret (Egretta garzetta) was Charadriiformes, Ciconiiformes, Anseriformes, Colum- biformes, and Accipitriformes were found at all of the study determined to be the dominating species with the highest dominance index (D � 0.03), which is likely due to the sites, out of a total of 55 bird species identified (Table 3). However, only the Gruiformes (wattled crane, Bugeranus presence of a diverse range of habitats and favorable food carunculatus; black crowned crane, Balearica pavonina) availability for little egret in the area. Dominance occurs were found in the Chemoga wetland habitat. Chemoga when one or more species exert control over the environ- wetland habitat has the highest number of species (47) and ment and conditions, as well as influencing other species [41]. *e existence of a high abundance bird species in this individuals (2557) among the sites studied. Dechekes/Yejube has the fewest records at both the species (35) and individual area is indicated by a high dominance index value [41, 42]. Little egrets are friendly birds that eat a variety of items level (Figure 5). found in shallow marsh settings, particularly by following cattle [43], and there were many of them throughout the 4. Discussion study period. Due to the large plain area and availability for A large number of bird species and individuals were found to foraging of different livestock animals, this species is highly be supported by the various habitat types and settings near to opportunistic and contributes positively to their presence. the study areas. Various researchers have reported that Sentera and Yewula wetlands are found in the same anthropogenic activity fluctuations and rates have an impact clade, according to cluster analysis. *is suggests that the on bird species richness, distribution, and abundances, ei- species found in these areas are similar. Because these sites share several bird species, the largest species similarity be- ther directly or indirectly [27, 28]. During the study, habitat disturbance was identified as a result of anthropogenic tween the two habitats, which are physically closest, is International Journal of Zoology 5 Table 1: Avian species diversity, evenness, and dominance during the study period. Study sites Richness No. of individuals (abundance) D (1 − D) H′ H′max H′/H′max Chemoga 47 2557 0.01 0.99 3.05 7.85 0.39 Sentera 43 1267 0.02 0.98 3.17 7.14 0.44 Yewula 43 1051 0.02 0.98 3.45 6.96 0.50 Yebasan and Des 37 659 0.03 0.97 3.29 6.49 0.51 Dechekes/Yejube 35 388 0.02 0.98 3.23 5.96 0.54 H′: Shannon-Wiener Index; H′/H′max: evenness; (1 − D): diversity index; H′max: ln(S). Similarity Yebasan Dechekes Sentera Yewula Chemoga Figure 3: Similarity of species composition and their distributions of birds across the study sites (Bray–Curtis cluster analysis-paired group). Table 2: Abundance rank of bird species along the study sites. No. of species Study sites Uncommon Frequent Common species Abundant species Total recorded species Chemoga 1 2 8 36 47 Sentera 7 36 43 Yewula 8 35 43 Yebasan and Des 14 23 37 Dechekes/Yejube 24 11 35 the two closest habitats, the Sentera and Yewula wetlands, had a higher similarity percentage, which supports the above ˆnding. �e relative abundance of birds in the study area revealed that the majority of species were abundant. �is could be due to the greater detectability of birds in open wetland habitats and agricultural ˆelds, as opposed to places with dense forest growth, which results in poor visibility. �is is consistent with [32, 45]. Species abundance scores dižered among habitats. �is could be attributed to dif- ferences in resource/food availability across study sites. �e change in abundance of bird species among habitats is driven by food availability and nesting sites, according to [36, 39]. Baker et al. [46] also found that there was more Abundant species change in bird species abundance between habitats than Chemoga Yewula Dechekes/Yejube between seasons. �e change in bird species abundance Sentera Yebasan and Des observed in dižerent study sites could be caused by bird species’ temporal and geographical movements in response Figure 4: Spatial variations of the most dominant birds in the study to unique species requirements, such as nesting and sites. breeding places for survival and reproduction [30, 31]. expected. �e similarity of bird species composition between Most species types and individuals were not distributed habitats, according to [44], implies a tendency for similar evenly among survey sites, and most species populations habitats to have similar species composition. In this study, showed changes in abundance. Variations in water or food No. of individuals Wattled Ibis Hadada Ibis Black-winged Stilt Abdim’s Stork White Stork Egyptian Goose Little egret 1 6 International Journal of Zoology Table 3: Distribution of bird species among the study sites during the study period. Species Plain wetland habitats Common name Scientific name Chemoga Sentera Yewula Yebasan and Des Dechekes/Yejube Sacred ibis 6reskiornis aethiopicus + + + + + Wattled ibis Bostrychia carunculata + + + + + Hadada ibis Bostrychia hagedash + + + + + Cape crow Corvus capensis + + + + + Fan-tailed raven Corvus rhipidurus + + + + + *ick-billed raven Corvus crassirostris + + + + + Pied crow Corvus albus + + + + + Black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus + + + + + Egyptian plover Pluvianus aegyptius + + + + + Woolly-necked stork Ciconia episcopus + + + + + Abdim’s stork Ciconia abdimii + + + + + White stork Ciconia ciconia + + + + + Egyptian goose Alopochen aegyptiaca + + + + + Knob-billed duck Sarkidiornis melanotos + Ruddy shelduck Tadorna ferruginea + Black-headed heron Ardea melanocephala + + + + + Little egret Egretta garzetta + + + + + Great egret Egretta alba + + + + + Hamerkop Scopus umbretta + + + + + Red-billed oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus + + + + + Greater blue-eared starling Lamprotornis chalybaeus + Ruppell’s ¨ starling Lamprotornis purpuroptera + + Lesser blue-eared starling Lamprotornis chloropterus + + Speckled pigeon Columba guinea + + + + + White-collared pigeon Columba albitorques + + + + Blue-spotted wood dove Turtur afer + + + Ring-necked dove Streptopelia capicola + + + Red-eyed dove Streptopelia semitorquata + + + + + African mourning dove Streptopelia decipiens + + + + + Dusky turtle dove Streptopelia lugens + + + + + Laughing dove Streptopelia senegalensis + + + + + Wattled crane Bugeranus carunculatus + Common crane Grus grus + Black crowned crane Balearica pavonina + Spot-breasted lapwing Vanellus melanocephalus + + Long-toed lapwing Vanellus crassirostris + + + + Spur-winged plover/lapwing Vanellus spinosus + + + + + Black-winged plover Vanellus melanopterus + + + Black-headed gull Larus ridibundus + + + Gull-billed tern Sterna nilotica + + + + + Whiskered tern Chlidonias hybrid + Yellow-billed kite Milvus (migrans) aegyptius + Black kite Milvus migrans + + + + + Hooded vulture Necrosyrtes monachus + Lappet-faced vulture Torgos tracheliotus + White-backed vulture Gyps africanus + Black-chested snake-eagle Circaetus pectoralis + + + + + Augur buzzard Buteo augur + + + + + Common buzzard Buteo buteo + + + + + Tawny eagle Aquila rapax + + Little swift Apus affinis + + + + + Nyanza swift Apus niansae + + + + + Plain martin Riparia paludicola + Common bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus + + + + + Village weaver Ploceus cucullatus + + + + + Red-billed firefinch Lagonosticta senegala + + + + + + indicates the species presence in the area; blanks indicate the species absence. International Journal of Zoology 7 overgrazing, agricultural expansion, and habitat fragmen- tation have all been identiˆed as serious threats to birds in the study areas. 1267 6. Recommendations (i) More research on biodiversity components, in- cluding the wet season, is required. Chemoga Sentera Yewula Yebasan and Dechekes/Yejube (ii) To conserve the biodiversity of the study sites, it is Des necessary to safeguard these wetland habitats Study sites through raising community awareness. Number of individuals Number of species (iii) To limit the level of disturbance at the study sites, a controlled grazing system should be adopted. Figure 5: Species and abundance rank of bird species in the study sites during the study period. (iv) A sound conservation approach and a wetland habitat management system should be implemented. supplies, individuals’ ability to disperse to new locations, and species interactions such as predation or competition are all Data Availability possible causes of variance [32, 47]. In terms of species diversity, the Chemoga wetland had the most. �is could be �e raw data can be obtained from the ˆrst/corresponding linked to the habitat type that is best for a given species, as author upon reasonable request. the Chemoga wetland has various grass layers, water ponds, and agricultural areas close to the wetland environment. �e Conflicts of Interest species’ specialized requirements unique to each given habitat determine the dižerences in bird species preferences. �ere are no con«icts of interest stated by the authors. Some species demand short grasses and little cover, while others require the opposite [37]. Bird distribution patterns Authors’ Contributions often re«ect the spatial structure of the environment and the habitat requirements of the bird species, according to AG and YB conceived the study and assisted with data [32, 48]. �is is consistent with the ˆndings of this study, gathering at all studied sites. AG has organized the data and which revealed habitat speciˆcity and generalization. Pele- fed it into software for analysis, as well as writing the ˆrst caniformes, Passeriformes, Charadriiformes, Ciconiiformes, draft of the manuscript. AG and YB interpreted and ana- Anseriformes, Columbiformes, and Accipitriformes, for lyzed the data and read and approved the ˆnal paper for example, were found in all of the study sites. However, only publishing consideration. the Gruiformes (wattled crane, Bugeranus carunculatus; black crowned crane, Balearica pavonina) were found in the Acknowledgments Chemoga wetland habitat. �e highest number of bird species recorded across all of the sites studied requires �e Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute planned and ˆnanced conservation attention. data collection process and support materials for this re- search. �e authors specially thank the Gozamin Woreda 5. Conclusion Natural Resource O¬ce and Mr. Kalkidan Alen, who pro- vided with the essential information and assisted at each During the study, a high number of species and interna- study site. tionally endangered birds were recorded at the study sites. �e presence of endemic, migrant, and globally threatened References species emphasizes the importance of the study areas for bird conservation. �e study sites dižered in terms of bird species [1] P. Dubeau, D. J. King, D. G. Unbushe, and L. M. 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International Journal of ZoologyHindawi Publishing Corporation

Published: Jun 15, 2022

References