Original Research

The avifauna of the forest mosaic habitats of the Mariarano region, Mahajanga II district, north-west Madagascar

Rachel H. Palfrey, Jack Baddams, Bruno A. Raveloson, Solohery Rasamison, Fionn Ó Marcaigh, Jamie Neaves, Peter R. Long, Thomas E. Martin
Bothalia | Vol 49, No 1 | a2416 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v49i1.2416 | © 2019 Rachel H. Palfrey, Jack Baddams, Bruno A. Raveloson, Solohery Rasamison, Fionn Ó Marcaigh, Jamie Neaves, Peter R. Long, Thomas E. Martin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2018 | Published: 24 October 2019

About the author(s)

Rachel H. Palfrey, Conservation, Education and Research Department, Operation Wallacea, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Jack Baddams, Conservation, Education and Research Department, Operation Wallacea, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Bruno A. Raveloson, Conservation, Education and Research Department, Operation Wallacea, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Solohery Rasamison, Departement de Biologie Animale, Faculte des Sciences, Universite Antananarivo, Antananarivo, Madagascar
Fionn Ó Marcaigh, Department of Zoology, The University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; and, Trinity Centre for Biodiversity Research, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Jamie Neaves, Conservation, Education and Research Department, Operation Wallacea, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Peter R. Long, Oxford Long-Term Ecology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Thomas E. Martin, Conservation, Education and Research Department, Operation Wallacea, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom


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Abstract

Background: The West Malagasy dry forests support numerous endemic species and experience heavy anthropogenic pressures, yet remain very poorly studied. Further research is required to understand species distributions and overall diversity in these threatened forest ecosystems.

Objectives: We aimed to provide a description of the avifaunal community of a particular dry forest, Mariarano forest, north-western Madagascar, as well as other habitats that are heavily integrated with these Forests. The study site possesses a highly endemic bird community and is under severe environmental pressure, but remains poorly explored.

Method: We compiled all records from a 9-year (2010–2018) bird survey data set (the most extensive compiled from a Madagascan dry forest to date), which yielded data from a combination of point count and mist-netting protocols. This was further supplemented by approximately 4384 h of opportunistic observation effort.

Results: In total, 95 species were detected, including 63 regional endemics (66.3% of all species), 2 local endemics and 7 Threatened or Near-Threatened species.

Conclusion: We highlight the forest mosaic habitats of Mariarano as a potential new Important Bird Area, given the regional importance of its endemic avifauna.


Keywords

birds; endemic; Madagascar; inventory; dry forest

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