Donna Mariel T. Calimpong and Olga M. Nuñeza
Department of Biological Sciences, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, Iligan City, 9200, Philippines
Key words: Birds, Endemic, Habitats, Migrant, Resident.
Birds are an integral part of the ecosystem – they pollinate plants, disperse seeds, scavenge carcasses, and recycle nutrients back into the earth. This study was conducted in three sites in Bega Watershed, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur to document species diversity, richness, and endemism of birds as there is still no available avifaunal record in the area. Methods used were a combination of mist netting for a total of 100 net days and a 2-km transect walk, for a total of 48 hours. . Eighty-three bird species comprising 35 (42.17%) endemic species, 44 (53.01%) resident species, and 4 (4.82%) migrant species, were recorded. Five globally threatened species (four vulnerable, one endangered) were documented. A high species diversity (H’=3.781) with a more or less even distribution was recorded. Results showed that Site 3, the least disturbed area with more or less intact vegetation, had the highest species richness with 71 species present. Sites 2 and 3 had the highest similarity percentage (46.40%) as shown by the Bray-Curtis cluster analysis. Individual rarefaction analysis showed that a more rigorous sampling in Site 1 is likely to yield additional species. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that five species of birds are distinctly affected by the slope, elevation, and on-site disturbances. Conversion of forested areas for agricultural use was observed as one of the major threats to the endemic and threatened avifaunal species in Bega Watershed. Results imply the need to conserve the avifauna of Bega Watershed and environs through the conservation of habitats.
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