Ecological research on a sahel savanna in northern ferlo senegal study of an avian community

Morel, G.J.; Morel, M.Y.

Cahiers OO.M.-(Office-de-la-Recherche-Scientifique-et-Technique-Outre-Mer)-Serie-Biologie. 13(1): 3-34


Accession: 005210528

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The results of a study of breeding and non-breeding bird populations in the bush savanna ecosystem of northern Senegal ( 06W) were presented. Observations were made by monthly censuses and bi-monthly searches for nests in a 25 ha quadrat, continuously for 8 yr (1969-1976). A total of 112 spp. of which 83 Ethiopian and 29 Palearctic migrants (Accipitridae and Falconidae excluded) were found. Bird density and biomass were studied. The main factors that influenced the population were water (both as an agent of vegetation growth and for drinking); fire which destroyed the grasslayer; the grasslayer (which varied in height, density and composition); and arthropod production. This dry bush savanna is tropical as far as the fauna is concerned. But the specific richness cannot be explained through climatic stability since its climatic variations are its main feature. All the indices which were tested to obtain a definition of this bird population showed much variation. The diversity index was not significantly correlated with the number of species (with the habitat structure), but with equitability: each year, the bird population was comprised of a few species with a much higher density than the others.