Avian Diversity on the Sandstone Cliff Outskirts of the Maloti/Drakensberg ‘Hot-Spot’ Area in Southern Africa

  • 1 Department of Wildlife Management, University of Namibia, Katima Mulilo Campus, Private Bag 1096, Wenela Rd., Katima Mulilo, Namibia

During the year 1999-2001, avian assemblages associated with cliffs and bushy vegetation of the Clarens Formation have been quantified by means of the line transect method (total length of transects - 107 km) in Lesotho lowlands. In total, 80 species resident in these habitats were recorded. Overall, six species were classified as dominants: Serinus canicollis, Prinia maculosa, Streptopelia senegalensis, Emberiza tahapisi, Emberiza capensis and Cisticola fulvicapilla. Together they comprised 41.4 % of all breeding pairs. Ten other species were classified as subdominants (33.9 %). Granivores were the most numerous feeding guild (31 species; 48.0 % of all pairs), followed by insectivores (27 species; 32.3 %) and frugivores (11 species; 17.4 %). The most numerous nesting guild were shrub/tree nesting birds (47.2 %). Proportions for some congereric species were calculated. The bushy vegetation is characterized by high species diversity and relatively high population densities of some species.

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