Intensified agricultural land-use and bird conservation in Burkina Faso
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Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment;99(1-3): 113-124
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/30021
The response of bird communities to a gradient of agricultural intensity was investigated in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Such knowledge may aid in predicting how avian diversity copes with increased human population density and land-use. A total of 34 transects were established on which bird censuses were made to test the effects of different fallow age, soil type and grazing intensity. Avian species richness was highest on actively disturbed land and gradually decreased with time since disturbance. Of 23 species restricted to one land-use type, 16 were found on cultivated land or recent fallows, 8 of them being categorized as uncommon in West Africa. Guild analyses suggest that availability of nest sites and food were the principal factors affecting bird distribution. For birds to persist in the agricultural landscape woody vegetation should include many different species and large trees should occur in the fields. Cultivated lands on the cuirasse had the highest average number of birds and many species were restricted to this land-use type. The potential for negative impact on the bird community was hence particularly high on the cuirasse.