The effects of forest fragmentation on the population density and distribution of the globally endangered Ibadan Malimbe Malimbus ibadanensis and other malimbe species

S Manu, W Peach, C Bowden, Will Cresswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The lbadan Malimbe Malimbus ibadanensis is a globally Endangered but poorly known forest species endemic to a small region of south-western Nigeria, where almost all forest has been severely fragmented. We carried out the first comprehensive survey of lbadan Malimbe, and tested whether forest fragmentation is important in determining the distribution of this and related species in south-west Nigerian forest patches. lbadan Malimbes were found at 19 of 52 sites surveyed but these were all clustered in a relatively small part of what appears to have been the former range. Unlike other malimbes, lbadan Malimbes were less abundant in, or absent from, relatively isolated forest patches. Red-headed Malimbe M. rubricollis, Red-vented Malimbe M. scutatus and Crested Malimbe M. malimbicus were significantly more abundant in forest patches that retained vegetation characteristic of primary forest (i.e. tall trees and high tree densities). The average density of lbadan Malimbes was 0.22 birds/ha (95% confidence limits (CL): 0.14-0.34) across all sites, but varied with degree of isolation, with densities of 0.06 birds/ha (0-03-0.14) in the 50% of fragments that were most isolated, compared with 0.33 (0.19-0.56) in the 50% of fragments that were least isolated. This gives a population estimate Of 2,469 individuals (1,401-4,365) for the remaining potentially occupied forest area of 112 km(2). Given that our survey covered most forest patches within the majority of the historical range of lbadan Malimbe this can probably be considered a reasonable maximum world population estimate. Ibadan Malimbes appear to be restricted to a small number of relatively small forest patches most of which are highly vulnerable to further destruction, degradation and fragmentation. Conservation effort should urgently focus on the protection of currently occupied sites and increasing the number and extent of forest patches within and around the existing range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-285
Number of pages11
JournalBird Conservation International
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005

Keywords

  • NIGERIA
  • VEGETATION

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